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Old 07-24-2011, 03:07 PM   #1
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severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Hello all I am seriouly about to go crazy for months now my ears has had this pressure in them and the right ear always feels clogged, and what really freaks me out is that the pressure really increases when im up and moving around, and it also builds when my head is tilted down. I really think I have a brain tumor or something. I've been to a ENT and he said there is no infection and I am now taking nasonex which is not working.

can someone please let me know if you have ever experienced anything like this before?

 
Old 07-24-2011, 10:29 PM   #2
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Since your problem has continued, you might need to re-visit your ENT. Have you had a scope to have your eustacian tube? Is the nasal spray actually helping? If so, you might ask about being tested for allergies. Do you have any sinus problems? If so, that can affect your ears as well. Have you had an audiologist check out your ears?

If they can't find any other reasons for your problem, you might seek out a TMJ specialist to have them check your TMJ. A couple years ago, my ear went stuffy and stayed that way for over a year. Part way through that year, I also developed bad ear pain. Turned out my tmj discs had slipped forward and resulted in my lower jaw being pushed back towards my ear. That caused the stuffiness and eventually muscle spasms that caused my ear pain. I didn't have any actually jaw pain, just the ear problems. It took me a very long time and many specialists to get my diagnosis. The treatment is even longer and I'm still in the first phase of treatment, but about 6 months into treatment my ear gradually got better.

Just something to think about.

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Old 07-27-2011, 11:25 AM   #3
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Hi MountainReader,

I also got a TMJD diagnosis as part of my Eustachian Tube Dysfunction problem...which began after a flight I took with a bad cold on Dec 18, 2010. I got a night guard to wear, but only recently re-found it as I had misplaced it. I wore it last night for the first time in a couple months and will try to be more diligent.

I wanted to ask...your therapy that unstuffed your ear...was it mainly wearing a nightguard? Heat/cold therapy?

I find taking a klonapin in the evening when my ears feel rotten really helps. I know they are addictive, but I am suffering and my family suffers when I suffer, so I do whatever it takes to remain "relatively normal and cheerful" for their sakes. The klonapin relaxes the muscles in my face and also my e-tubes, which I compulsively flex (I can crack them open at will) all day due to the stuffy congestion feeling.

The only upshot of this 7 months journey is that I have found great relief from the low level humming/vibrating tinnitus that was part of the problem.

Your thoughts and wisdom are appreciated.
--Jennifleck

 
Old 07-27-2011, 11:26 AM   #4
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Hi Matthew,

Yes, there's a whole group of us on here discussing problems with ear pressure/clogging. We had a long thread going that may have some information that you will find helpful...Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Caused Tinnitus. The thread has since been closed, but it is easily found by searching.

Be well,
--Jennifleck

 
Old 07-27-2011, 06:56 PM   #5
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

I have had a multi-prong approach to treatment which over time helped relieve my ear pressure, pain and tinnitus.

*I used Flexeril and Elavil to help with the pain. I used the muscle relaxer fairly regularly at first. The low tricyclic anti-depressant was ok in helping with the pain, but it made me pretty sleepy. These were prescribed by my ENT.
*I applied heat when the pain was bad.
*I played a relaxation CD when going to sleep at night to try to take my mind off the pain and ringing. It is called Freedom from TMJ by Denise Lynch and came recommended by my first TMJ specialist.
*I searched out a good TMJ specialist. It took me a couple tries to find a really good one and was quite expensive, but it has been very worth it. He takes a holistic approach to treating my TMJ and helping me understand how to make my body healthier overall. I'm currently in splint therapy with a custom mandibular repositioning splint that won't let me bite down unless I move my lower jaw a bit forward. With my discs slipped some, the lower jaw was pushing a bit back towards the ear causing my problems. My muscles took a bit of time adapting to the change, but they are much much happier now. I'll be starting my phase II treatment soon which will be a combination of braces and splint therapy to help my bite adapt permenantly to correct positioning. BTW, at night, I wear a custom splint. It does two things: holding my jaw forward when I sleep and keeping me from grinding at night. It has worked wonders for me.
*I have had on-going treatment with a physical therapist. She works on my jaw, neck, shoulder and back. With my jaw out of alignment, it has impacted my other muscles as well. It is quite common for that to happen. I have exercises for my jaw and neck. The best thing she does for me is to do "trigger point releases" on my masseter and pterygoid areas. The pterygoid one really really hurts at first, but helped immensily with the ear issues. There is a good book called The Trigger Point Workbook by Clair Davies which explains things well. It is really hard to do the facial ones on yourself though when the muscles are very tight. Certainly worth the money though.
*My ENT was willing to put tubes in my ear, but I opted to stay with the TMJ treatment and am glad I went that route.
*I had a couple ultrasound treatment sessions. I couldn't do as many of those because everything was costing so much since it isn't covered by my insurances.
*My dentist has a biomodulator unit that he uses as well. I didn't have as many sessions with that for the same reason as above.
*I had chiropractic sessions to help with the alignment issues that go along with the TMJ.

I've done so much in the last couple years that I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I think I got the most effective listed though.

There is a great book that is well worth the $ and is fairly cheap. It is called the TMJ Healing Plan by Cynthia Peterson. She covers the medical side of things, lifestyle things you can do, physical therapy exercises, etc... Most of the things in the book you can do on your own.

It is interesting how many people find an ear-TMJ connection. I only wish I had known about it sooner. I suffered for way too long before finding out what the problem was. On top of that, I have severe hearing loss in one ear and I get paranoid about something happening to my remaining hearing so this really freaked me out.

Throughout all of this, I maintain close contact with my ENT and update him on the TMJ treatment since things are connected. I also see him for my allergy & asthma issues as well. Fortunately they are under control enough that we were able to rule them out as a cause of my ear problems early on.

I hope this helps.

MountainReader
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:12 AM   #6
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Is it usual for the pressure to be worse when standing or walking around? Does anybody else experience this? Iheard that EU dysfunction was relieved when standing and worse when laying down.for me it's the opposite. Can somebody please reply back ASAP

 
Old 07-28-2011, 11:17 AM   #7
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Hi Matthew,

My pressure feels worse when I am up and active. In fact, I often wake up and feel okay until I get out of bed. Then it's either back, or it comes on later and then gradually worsens thru the day.

When did your problem begin? Can you remember anything that may have caused it?

 
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Hi MountainReader,

Thank you for your thoughtful and considered reply. I am going to print it out to use as a guideline, as I am willing to try anything to rid myself of this issue (clogged/pressurized ears, especially the right ear, for 7+ months).

Out of desperation, I did opt to have a pe tube placed in the worst ear 9 days ago. The feeling of pressure left that ear almost immediately, and I thought I had found a fix. But unfortunately the relief I felt in the first couple of days went away, and now I feel like the ear is full again -- which makes no sense, since the pe tube is open. I can blow air through the tube, so I know it is not clogged. I feel like something is putting pressure on the actual eustachian tube. Or it's my eardrum sensing a foreign body stuck in it (tube), and I haven't yet gotten used to it?

I have not had much pain with the TMJD issue so far...occasional pain along jaw and a scary stabbing pain now and again in the ear. Mostly I experience lots of crackling when I open my mouth, and the aforementioned ear clogging/fulllness problem. I know that something IS affecting my eustachian tube's ability to regulate the middle ear. My tympanogram showed abnormal positive pressure, especially in the bad ear. My ear pressure goes crazy when I take car rides through hills/mountains, and I won't even try flying right now. I also suffer when the barometer changes, which happens frequently where I live in the Pacific Northwest, and we have had no relief from rain and storms constantly coming in this summer. I have even considered taking a trip somewhere warm and mild, with few storms, to see if that would help ease the suffering.

I wish I had a TMJD specialist as knowledgeable as yours seems to be. Not to diss my TMJD clinic -- but they favor a VERY conservative approach, which means a simple bite splint and heat/cold therapy. They do not believe in changing the actual position of your jaw, even though I feel intuitively like mine may be pushed too far back, putting pressure on my e-tubes and ears. They did not do any imaging of my jaw, just manually searched for tender points on my jaw and wear patterns on my teeth. I think that if I'm clenching my teeth at night, I'm probably also clenching the bite guard, right? So how is that relieving pressure on the joints?

At any rate, it IS reassuring to read that someone has successfully relieved the ear pressure thing with a multi-pronged attack. The feeling of something stuck in my ear/ears almost all day, every day, has been very upsetting and has robbed me of a sense of well-being.

 
Old 07-28-2011, 08:45 PM   #9
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifleck View Post
Hi Matthew,

My pressure feels worse when I am up and active. In fact, I often wake up and feel okay until I get out of bed. Then it's either back, or it comes on later and then gradually worsens thru the day.

When did your problem begin? Can you remember anything that may have caused it?
Back in Febuary of this year when I was in school, I noticed that during the mornings when I had my head tilted downward looking at paper work I was doing I would get this intense pressure in my ears , but it would be relieved whenever I would put m head back up. Then around in April one night my right ear started feeling clogged up and it has pretty much felt like that ever since with an occasional relief that lasted maybe a day or two, and then in May I started noticing that once again during the mornings whenever I would tilt my head down I would once again get that really bad pressure in my ears, but by the afternoon it would be gone and I would think of it no more in till the next morning.

All that was bearable in till the middle of June when the ear pressure started getting really intense when ever I would get up at start walking no matter what time of day it is, and it has been like this ever since, and it has ruined my whole life, I can't even go out shopping anymore, or clean my house, it's a struggle to even go to the grocery store becuase within just a few minutes of being there the pressure begins and it is so intense, and the more I walk around the worse it get's, and if I continue to walk around I then begin to get this wooshing heartbeat sound in them, and these symptoms wont go away in till I go somewhere and set down for a while.

I am really scared that I have some type of tumor or cancer. I appreciate the help I've been getting here, and im trying to explain everything the best way I can. I hope you all can understand what im talking about.

please reply back A.S.A.P

 
Old 07-28-2011, 10:38 PM   #10
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Hi Matthew,

I've been diagnosed with Eustachian Tube Dysfunction...mine began with a cold back on Dec 18th 2010...I stupidly flew twice in that day with congestion, ended up with a blocked ear on landing, and it soon turned into a double ear infection. The infection cleared with antibiotics, but it has been a struggle ever since to keep my ears -- especially the right one -- open. It's truly the worst health issue to have ever hit me, and I have had my share in 38 years. This is the one health thing that I am never able to completely ignore...the symptoms/feelings are extremely intrusive to my sense of well-being. So I can understand your frustration and fear. I am fighting the same kind of battle myself.

For the past two days the pressure in my right ear has been intense and very debilitating, so I know exactly how bad it gets and how horrible it feels to try to live a "normal life" while walking around with what feels like cement in your ear canals. I definitely feel better when I lie down at night to read or watch a movie. And when I wake up in the morning, I'm always hopeful that a miracle cure has happened, because the symptoms don't kick in right away. Sometimes they start as soon as I get up and walk around, and sometimes it will take 1/2 the day...or sometimes I get as long as two clear days at a stretch...and then wham, the clogging is back. It is a crushing blow.

Have you had any problem with ringing or tinnitus in your ears? Any sense of vibrating in the head/ear? In the early stages of my ETD, this was really a problem for me. Luckily this phase seems to have subsided, and I found the triggers that bring tinnitus on for me and avoid them.

Have you had a hearing or audiology exam? During this exam, it is usual to do a procedure called a tympanogram...it measures the amount of pressure in the middle ear. Mine comes up abnormal, indicating the eustachian tube isn't doing its job keeping my middle ear properly pressurized, hence the discomfort. Do you feel like you need to "pop" your ears? The reason I ask these questions is that there are a few other conditions that can cause a feeling of fullness and pressure in the ears, including TMJD (which I apparently have) and Meniere's disease. MD actually affects the inner ear, but fullness is one of the four symptoms.

I am wondering, too, if you might not only have some eustachian issues going on but some fluid in your ears. Fluid/mucus builds up easily in the ears when the e-tubes aren't allowing it to flow freely into the throat. I can tell the times when my ears are fluid-y because different ways of tilting my head actually gives me the sense of fluid moving in my head. Kind of like a snowglobe full of gluey gunk.

To reassure you, it is unlikely that a brain tumor is causing the problems...there IS a kind of rare non-cancerous tumor called an acoustic neuroma that can affect the ear (which an MRI can rule out; I had one done), but I think in such a case you would be feeling pressure in one ear instead of both. A good ENT will order an MRI and possibly a CT scan to rule this and other possibilities out, like perilymph fistula and superior canal dehiscence.

I will be fighting this problem to the bitter end and am trying to share all my findings online. It also serves as a kind of journal for me, so I can refer back to it and remember what happened when, if that makes sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew2009 View Post
Back in Febuary of this year when I was in school, I noticed that during the mornings when I had my head tilted downward looking at paper work I was doing I would get this intense pressure in my ears , but it would be relieved whenever I would put m head back up. Then around in April one night my right ear started feeling clogged up and it has pretty much felt like that ever since with an occasional relief that lasted maybe a day or two, and then in May I started noticing that once again during the mornings whenever I would tilt my head down I would once again get that really bad pressure in my ears, but by the afternoon it would be gone and I would think of it no more in till the next morning.

All that was bearable in till the middle of June when the ear pressure started getting really intense when ever I would get up at start walking no matter what time of day it is, and it has been like this ever since, and it has ruined my whole life, I can't even go out shopping anymore, or clean my house, it's a struggle to even go to the grocery store becuase within just a few minutes of being there the pressure begins and it is so intense, and the more I walk around the worse it get's, and if I continue to walk around I then begin to get this wooshing heartbeat sound in them, and these symptoms wont go away in till I go somewhere and set down for a while.

I am really scared that I have some type of tumor or cancer. I appreciate the help I've been getting here, and im trying to explain everything the best way I can. I hope you all can understand what im talking about.

please reply back A.S.A.P

 
Old 07-30-2011, 08:59 AM   #11
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Jenn - I see that you mentioned a Low Level Tinnitus - have you looked into Cochlear Hydrops as a possible condition?






Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifleck View Post
Hi MountainReader,

Thank you for your thoughtful and considered reply. I am going to print it out to use as a guideline, as I am willing to try anything to rid myself of this issue (clogged/pressurized ears, especially the right ear, for 7+ months).

Out of desperation, I did opt to have a pe tube placed in the worst ear 9 days ago. The feeling of pressure left that ear almost immediately, and I thought I had found a fix. But unfortunately the relief I felt in the first couple of days went away, and now I feel like the ear is full again -- which makes no sense, since the pe tube is open. I can blow air through the tube, so I know it is not clogged. I feel like something is putting pressure on the actual eustachian tube. Or it's my eardrum sensing a foreign body stuck in it (tube), and I haven't yet gotten used to it?

I have not had much pain with the TMJD issue so far...occasional pain along jaw and a scary stabbing pain now and again in the ear. Mostly I experience lots of crackling when I open my mouth, and the aforementioned ear clogging/fulllness problem. I know that something IS affecting my eustachian tube's ability to regulate the middle ear. My tympanogram showed abnormal positive pressure, especially in the bad ear. My ear pressure goes crazy when I take car rides through hills/mountains, and I won't even try flying right now. I also suffer when the barometer changes, which happens frequently where I live in the Pacific Northwest, and we have had no relief from rain and storms constantly coming in this summer. I have even considered taking a trip somewhere warm and mild, with few storms, to see if that would help ease the suffering.

I wish I had a TMJD specialist as knowledgeable as yours seems to be. Not to diss my TMJD clinic -- but they favor a VERY conservative approach, which means a simple bite splint and heat/cold therapy. They do not believe in changing the actual position of your jaw, even though I feel intuitively like mine may be pushed too far back, putting pressure on my e-tubes and ears. They did not do any imaging of my jaw, just manually searched for tender points on my jaw and wear patterns on my teeth. I think that if I'm clenching my teeth at night, I'm probably also clenching the bite guard, right? So how is that relieving pressure on the joints?

At any rate, it IS reassuring to read that someone has successfully relieved the ear pressure thing with a multi-pronged attack. The feeling of something stuck in my ear/ears almost all day, every day, has been very upsetting and has robbed me of a sense of well-being.

 
Old 07-30-2011, 12:27 PM   #12
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Hi Cally,

It was initially suspected that I might have Cochlear Hydrops when my symptoms first came on, but doctors eventually moved on from that because it appears my problem is a slight conductive hearing loss or impedance through middle ear (not sensorineural hearing loss/inner ear). My tympanogram indicates there's a pressure problem in my middle ear.

When I had tinnitus earlier this year, I could stop it completely by plugging my ear with a finger firmly, which would suggest the tinnitus is somehow reacting to sound crossing my tympanic membrane into the middle ear.

The one thing that does parallel Cochlear Hydrops is that high sodium and especially MSG will bring my tinnitus back or make it much louder. As long as I avoid high salt/msg, the buzzing/humming seems to stay away. Perhaps it's the inflammatory nature of a high sodium load, affecting my already aggravated middle ear and making things swell.

Other weirds things I've had in conjunction with the ETD and middle ear infections: middle ear myoclonus. That's a twitch/click/flutter of one of the tiny muscles of the middle ear. It's completely noise-triggered -- especially by certain pitches of human voice. I have attacks of it from time to time...muscle relaxants calm it down. It's always in the right/bad ear.

Weird stuff...never had ear problems or ear infections until I moved to the Pacific Northwest, yet so far my doctors have not authorized allergy testing to find out if there's some underlying allergy triggering my tubes to gunk up. Today my bad ear is full of fluid...I can blow ear through the new pe tube, and it sputters wetly. *sigh*

 
Old 07-31-2011, 07:05 AM   #13
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

weird you say that cause i have the same thing. its been 10 days since i had a tonsillectomy and wow when i lay down or get up the pain is insane. i just hope aches for me dont last for a month or so..

 
Old 07-31-2011, 10:33 PM   #14
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

Hey Matthew -

Ask your ENT for a fistula test, which I believe is also called an ENG test. Do u feel fluttering in your eyes at all when you place your pinky finger in your ear? If so, you have a perilymphatic fistula, which is a whole in-between your inner and middle ear and can ONLY be fixed by exploratory surgery, whereas they will see the whole then provide a patch to stop the perilymph fluid leaking from one side of your brain to the other, which is causing both your fullness and I'm sure some daily imbalance as well.

My best, Nick

 
Old 08-01-2011, 03:58 PM   #15
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Re: severe ear pressure wont go away!! help !! h

you may have what is called "aural fullness". If you have any tinnitus especially in the low pitch end, you should investigate cochlear hydrops or even Menieres disease. Otherwise a short course of steroids should be tried.

 
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