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Old 07-21-2010, 06:13 PM   #1
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Mystery ear problem, blocked and sore, Has anyone had a similar experience?

My ear has been blocked for over 2 weeks now, I've been to 3 different doctors who all said different things and i'm now waiting until next week to see a Ear, nose and throat Specialist.

The first Doctor said it was an outer ear infection and she saw pus in my ear so she prescribed 2 different types of external anitbiotics in the form of ear drops, they both didnt work and i was in A LOT of pain the first week.

The second Dr said he couldnt see anything in my ear..even though it was really swollen (i was crying about the pain). He said it was something to do with my Jaw Joint (i couldnt really open my mouth that wide without experiecing pain) and he prescribed me extra strength voltaren and panadeine. which amazingly took away all of the pain and swelling.

A week later though my ear was still blocked so i went to a 3rd Dr to see if he could figure out what it was. He did a gentle syringe but the wax didnt budge, he said the inside of my ear was still red, so he told me to keep using one of the ear drops i was prescribed by the first dr and he prescribed me some oral antibiotics on top of that. A couple days later i went back in to see him again, and he checked my ear and it hurt when he looked inside, he said it was still red and that the antibiotics should have worked by now. He also took a swab test but it didnt come back with anything. So he referred me to a specialist that im still waiting to see.

Basically i want to know if anyone else has experienced problems like this? My ear is still blocked, but not as swollen as it was before (it used to hurt to even touch my ear or the surrounding area) It is still aching dully and i have a mild headache stemming from the area of my head.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

 
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:00 PM   #2
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Re: Mystery ear problem, blocked and sore, Has anyone had a similar experience?

I've got an ear that has been stuffed for about 17 months. I've also had severe ear pain on and off. Been to several PCP's, Audiologists and ENT's. None of them could find anything wrong. I was on antibiotics, ear drops, muscle relaxers, anti-depressants and pain killers. Nothing as worked to help in the long run. Muscle relaxers helped some. The anti-depressant totally knocked me out.

Finally figured out it could be TMJ. Evidently, my TMJ disc has slid forward and caused my lower jaw to be pushed back against the ear. This is causing my stuffiness. I've also had major problems with the muscles around the ear tightening and spasming causing intense pain. I'm doing PT and trigger point releases to help some. The muscles in my neck, shoulder and upper back have all eventually really tightened up as a result as well.

Not sure this will help, but the doc who said it could be your jaw may be on to something.

 
Old 07-22-2010, 08:17 PM   #3
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Re: Mystery ear problem, blocked and sore, Has anyone had a similar experience?

If no other cause can be found, this symptom of a blocked ear feeling might be caused by trigger points in the medial pterygoid muscle. This is a jaw muscle inside the mouth. To get treatment for it, you need to find someone trained and experienced in the technique of intra-oral massage wearing a glove and going inside the mouth. Such a person might be a dentist, a physical therapist, a chiropractor or a massage therapist trained and certified in Neuromuscular Therapy.

That's what it was for me and I had relief in three visits. The cost was $90 per visit and not covered by insurance.

 
Old 07-22-2010, 09:27 PM   #4
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Re: Mystery ear problem, blocked and sore, Has anyone had a similar experience?

I've been seeing a PT trained in trigger point therapy who also does the intra-oral massage/releases. It took several visits and is painful at first, but the releases in the pterygoid and masseter muscles are very helpful. I agree with esker on this. It is fairly inexpensive and you can eventually learn to do it on your own. You need a professional until you get things loosened up though.

 
Old 08-03-2010, 05:24 PM   #5
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Re: Mystery ear problem, blocked and sore, Has anyone had a similar experience?

My neuro-otologist put tubes in my ear that was having the problem you described. It was done in his office, no pain prep, and it hurt like @$#D. I have had a lot of pains including childbirth and the was the worst. It worked though.

By the way, using a hot water bottle and sleeping on it against my ear for several nights was very relieving and I think it helped.

Last edited by ladybugrose; 08-03-2010 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Forgot something

 
Old 08-03-2010, 07:42 PM   #6
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Re: Mystery ear problem, blocked and sore, Has anyone had a similar experience?

My ENT offered me the chance to try tubes in my ear. I haven't taken him up on it yet because I'm hoping the tmj treatments will help. Were yours successful?

 
Old 08-04-2010, 01:00 PM   #7
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Re: Mystery ear problem, blocked and sore, Has anyone had a similar experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainReader View Post
My ENT offered me the chance to try tubes in my ear. I haven't taken him up on it yet because I'm hoping the tmj treatments will help. Were yours successful?
Yes, my ear drained quite a bit in the first two days and I was able to hear again and didn't have the fullness. After that it continued to drain from time to time. It was the first time I have ever gone through that type of problem. Some of the drainage was a deep brown, which I hadn't seen before. He elected to leave it in for a few months and eventually it worked its way out of the ear drum and he removed it from the canal.

I would recommend using the hot water bottle when you first notice this problem and see if that helps at all.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:42 AM   #8
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Re: Mystery ear problem, blocked and sore, Has anyone had a similar experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainReader View Post
I've got an ear that has been stuffed for about 17 months. I've also had severe ear pain on and off. Been to several PCP's, Audiologists and ENT's. None of them could find anything wrong. I was on antibiotics, ear drops, muscle relaxers, anti-depressants and pain killers. Nothing as worked to help in the long run. Muscle relaxers helped some. The anti-depressant totally knocked me out.

Finally figured out it could be TMJ. Evidently, my TMJ disc has slid forward and caused my lower jaw to be pushed back against the ear. This is causing my stuffiness. I've also had major problems with the muscles around the ear tightening and spasming causing intense pain. I'm doing PT and trigger point releases to help some. The muscles in my neck, shoulder and upper back have all eventually really tightened up as a result as well.

Not sure this will help, but the doc who said it could be your jaw may be on to something.
Wow..can TMJ cause a stuffy ear??

 
Old 08-05-2010, 09:46 AM   #9
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Re: Mystery ear problem, blocked and sore, Has anyone had a similar experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by esker View Post
If no other cause can be found, this symptom of a blocked ear feeling might be caused by trigger points in the medial pterygoid muscle. This is a jaw muscle inside the mouth. To get treatment for it, you need to find someone trained and experienced in the technique of intra-oral massage wearing a glove and going inside the mouth. Such a person might be a dentist, a physical therapist, a chiropractor or a massage therapist trained and certified in Neuromuscular Therapy.

That's what it was for me and I had relief in three visits. The cost was $90 per visit and not covered by insurance.
Do you know what would cause the trigger points to I will assume, flare up?

 
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