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Old 06-13-2007, 12:24 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 21
ashwin81 HB User
Ear pain, tinnitus,dizziness, fluctuation b/w sensitivity to sound and dull hearing

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you guys know that I really like this board and it's comforting to see other people who can relate to what you're going through.

My problems started exactly a month ago. I'd attended a wedding reception where the band and dj were a bit too loud. As a result, my hearing ended up muffled and dull the rest of the night.

Things improved the next day but my ears weren't the same. My ear canal felt a little sore, and over the next few days I felt pain inside my ears and I developed ringing as well. Thing is, I've always had tinnitus, but it was always a soft hum that I could hear only in really really quiet places and it never ever bothered me. Suddenly, it felt like the pitch of the ringing had gone up a notch, though the ringing would come and go. Usually my ears would suddenly feel blocked followed by the high pitches ringing which would disappear just as suddenly as it came.

Anyway, I decided to wait and watch over the next few days, hoping to see some sort of improvement. Things just remained the same, and the final straw was when I'd gone to watch Shrek the third in the theater and ended up having my ears hurt like crazy by the end of the movie. My ears had turned way too sensitive to sound, and the ear pain was dull and intermittent.

So finally I went to Doctor #1 (Gen Phys). He looked in my ears and said that my ear canal was red and inflamed and that I have an ear infection. He prescribed some neomycin sulphate ear drops and said don't worry bout it.

Anyway, I followed his orders but a week later, my ears were still hurting. So I went and saw Doctor #2 (Gen Phys). This doctor again looked in my ears and told me that the "ear infection" hadn't quite resolved yet and that I have white spots on my ear drum. As a result, he prescribed stronger medication -amoxicillin tablets as antibiotics and ciproflaxcin ear drops, and gave me a referral to an ENT specialist.

So I go and meet Doctor #3 (ENT) last Friday, and he tells me that I don't have an ear infection! Infact, he couldn't tell me what was really wrong with me. He said that I could either have a TMJ disorder or a cochlear concussion due to the loud music exposure from the wedding reception.
The good news was that he made me do a hearing test at his office and my hearing seems to be excellent ("near virgin" in his words). Anyway, he told me to stop taking the meds as apparently nothing is wrong with my ears but I beg to differ.

I'm totally confused at this point. The GPs say otitis media, the ENT says TMJD/cochlear concussion. End result - my ears still hurt!

My symptoms change constantly from sensitivity to loud sound to feeling of hearing loss! These are some of the things I feel :

inner ear pain, sensitivity to sound, feeling of hearing loss, need to pop ears, tinnitus, red/sore ear canal, slight faintness/dizziness.

Can anyone relate to what I'm saying? Thanks for reading!

 
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:13 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: outer banks, nc
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glowing4 HB User
Re: Ear pain, tinnitus,dizziness, fluctuation b/w sensitivity to sound and dull heari

Yes. I can most definitely relate to what you are saying and I have been down the same path you have. Mine occured after a great deal of dental work. At first I thought I had an ear infection so I did the same things you did and finally the ENT said, like you, no ear infection, most probably TMJ. And, I experience all of your symptoms, the worst for me being the tinnitus, feeling of fullness in the ears, and aching in the facial area at times.

I have researched all of this a great deal and am considering goint to a TMJ specialist. However, in all of my research I have found that stress is a major component. It is very easy to put everything off onto stress when nothing else can be found, but I do believe that it plays a major role here. While TMJ is a real issue, stress does majorly affect it. It is the grinding of the teeth, the tensing of muscles, etc. that make the problem worse. And yes, I have had a lot of stress in my life lately. But, I also believe that a great deal of stress can come just from not feeling well, not finding the answers, and not knowing how to fix it.

I am also considering massage by someone who understands TMJ, facial, and ear pain if I can find someone like that. I have also begun to talk more positively to myself so that I can begin to relax with it all a bit. I try to tell myself to relax so that the muscles relax. I am not one who likes to take drugs so I have shied away from many of the drugs that are prescribed and suggested by my dentist and ENT - muscle relaxers, many of which can be addictive.

I find my symptoms are often worse in the morning, probably from the unconscious tensing of muscles during the night and also at night when things are quiet and I am more focused on thinking about it - not so actively involved in other things. Do you find the same?

May I suggest reading books by Dr. Sarno. His theories began with dealing with back pain, however his theories apply to many parts of the body and he does list TMJ, ear problems, and tinnitus as examples of his TMS theory. His basic premise is that stress or unrecognized emotions create oxygen deprivation to different parts of the body resulting in pain.

You have my sympathy and understanding. This is not easy. And, I certainly do not mean to say that all problems are stress related, but I do think it plays a role. I would check with your dentist to see if TMJ is a factor here and also do some research on that. You probably will find many of your symptoms listed, as did I. And, if you are not satisfied, try another ENT.

Please write back if you care to. I hope I have helped somewhat - at least to let you know you are not alone.

Thinking of you,

glowing4

 
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