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Old 11-27-2009, 10:08 AM   #1
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Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

HI All! I have been up most of the night with a strange sensation by my left ear and temporal area. It feels just like pressure, no pain, just pressure and a almost warm sensation. It is freaking me out. I was thinking my sinus infection had reoccured so I just went to the doctor this morning. She see's no sign of infection in ears, nose or throat. I don't have drainage although my sinus do feel congested.

She wants to run tests. She took my blood to see if I have a swollen temporal artery. I just about lost it right there. I have no idea what this means but it is scaring me. The tests will come back this afternoon. If it is positive then I will be put on prednisone to take down the swelling. I have also been scheduled for a cat scan of my sinus's for this up coming wednesday. I had one of those two years ago and the sinus's looked clear but obviously it has been two years and maybe there is a polyp or obstrucion.

Has anyone been throught this at all that could offer me some hope? I felt this sensation a few months back but it went away. Now it is back and I am scared. Thanks for any responses!

Also...could it be TMJ or something like that??

 
Old 12-12-2009, 07:52 PM   #2
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

Well no one ever did answer me. So anyhow, I was diagnosed with arthritis in the left jaw joint. So incase any of you ever have symptoms like this you may know what it might be.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:11 PM   #3
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

Hi there
I am so sorry that you have been diagnosed with arthritis. I hope that they will find a medication to help you. Was the arthritis in your jaw the cause of the strange sensation in your sinuses?
I have had something similar for 2 weeks now. A real pressure feeling in my sinuses and a sinus headache. I don't have any congestion, so this is really strange. I have had several sinus infections in the past and this feels like one again, but without the congestion. Nothing that I take in the way of OTC medicines has any effect on this headache or pressure sensation.
I hope you get a solution to your problem
Take care,Daisy

 
Old 12-13-2009, 01:05 PM   #4
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

Thanks for responding! We are trying to figure it out. I go back to the doctor again tomorrow. What I have is slight pressure in the sinus's congestion in my ears. It feels like I have to keep opening my jaw to get my ears to pop. And then slight but managable dizziness. That bothers me. I just wish I knew how to fix it. Or is this going to be a life long condition. I don't know if I need more scans of my head or not. They did a CT scan and it showed just mild swelling in the sinus's. I just didn't know if anyone else has this thing going on and if it is from arthritis or low barometric pressure in the cold weather.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:26 PM   #5
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

I haven't been able to get my jaw to pop since last March. I have a constant stuffiness. They've ruled out any physical problem with my ear. I went to a jaw specialist and they said the muscle tightness in my face from a jaw disorder is causing it. The tight muscles are pushing on the eustatian tube. I've been in PT with someone who specializes in treating this for the last month. My muscles have loosened some, but still no popping. I'm to the point that I think I may need to go back to the ENT. I started there last June though. I did learn though my search for an answer that I've lost 30% of the bone in my jaw. I have also developed a significant hearing loss in my "good" ear.

I had the sinus CT a couple years ago. My ENT wanted me to do the allergy immunotherapy before taking any further steps. I've been on my second go-round of immunotherapy for a couple years now. Hoping in another month or two to go to getting my shots every 3 weeks. Gone from 4 to 2 allergy meds also.

 
Old 12-13-2009, 07:22 PM   #6
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

HI Mountain Reader! Sorry that you are suffering too. I am on the immunology shots. I just started in Sept. so I have a long ways to go. But on top of my allergies I seem to have a jaw problem too. They say I have arthritis in my left jaw. I have pressure near both ears and a little more on the left. I just finished up some prednisone. I still have the pressure and the feeling of needing to pop open the ears. I have some slight dizziness too. Do you have that? How do you deal with all this. I am suppose to see the ENT tomorrow again and I have no idea the plan of action he is going to take with me. He mentioned sinus surgery to open up my passages more. I already said NO WAY!!! NO WAY!! That is a VERY last resort. So I am always gonna be on zyrtec, sudefed and nasonex and Lord knows what else.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

For the allergies, I was on Allegra (had to stop the "D" because it was affecting my blood pressure), Astelin, Flonase and Singulair. The Singular does double duty for my asthma. I also use saline nasal spray to keep my nose hydrated. NeilMed has a new hydrating spray gel. I also like Xlear. Have you tried using a Neti Pot to help keep your sinuses clear? With winter you might also need a humidifier.

The ear popping is an annoyance. I'm hopeful I'll find something that will work. I know if I go back to the ENT, I'll probably end up needing a CT scan I really can't afford. I had to pay out of pocket for the TMJ dentist and I've already paid $400 for PT this month that I hadn't planned on. The dentist also wants me to have a sleep study done. He said that TMJ, hypertension and reflux are all signs of a sleep disorder. It will probably cost me about $1200 for that according to a couple people at work. (Have to meet a new deductible and pay 20%.)

I wasn't on Prednisone for my ear, but I've been on it twice for my asthma since this started and didn't notice a difference.

My pressure is just one-sided. My right is really out of whack. It bothers me that my hearing has gone from normal to a moderate hearing loss in the last two years. I have no idea why. I'm wondering if it is related to the TMJ thing.

I've also found out that my bum shoulder is affecting my jaw. My shoulder is chronically sore and the shoulder tightness is carrying up to my neck and jaw. The TMJ dentist said I need to get the shoulder treated to help my jaw. I've got hyperflexiblity in my shoulder though that isn't "fixable" so I figure I'm stuck in a no win situation.

Good luck at the ENT tomorrow. I was thinking of scheduling an appointment with mine again, but haven't wanted to deal with the potential costs from it. I actually go to my ENT for my allergies now and they've been great in that regard. (Much more friendly and aggressive than my old Allergy/Asthma clinic.)

 
Old 12-14-2009, 09:06 PM   #8
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

TEdds83,

Ironically, I woke this morning with a lot of ear pain in my right ear, the one that hasn't popped since March. I called my ENT and got a morning appointment. He spent a while talking to me then did the examination. He scoped me to take a look at my Eustacian tubes. They were OK. He talked about putting me on oral steroids, but decided not to when I told him I was on them last month for my asthma and my ear didn't clear during that time. He did put me on some nasal steroids again for a couple weeks. He also gave me a prescription strength anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxer for a couple weeks. We'll see if it helps.

He also told me if my asthma, triggered by the cold air we've been having, doesn't get better soon that he will look at an alternate treatment there as well.

I'm really excited that he also has a new med for my itchy ears. Up until now, I've been told there wasn't much they could do for that.

I'll keep you posted on if the muscle relaxant and stronger anti-inflammatories really help. I got a call from my PT's office that insurance hasn't approved any further visits and that I've hit my limit with 8 visits. They are trying to get authorization there, but I'm not very hopeful. May need to pay out of pocket.

Let me know how your visit went today.

MountainReader

 
Old 12-15-2009, 09:47 PM   #9
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

Hi Mountain Reader! Thanks for posting! Was at the ENT yesterday complaining of my dizzines and ear congestion feeling. He says its all related to the front nasal congestion I have. He says I have small air passages and is still recommending sinus surgery for me. He says its a 20 minutes procedure where he scrapes come cartilage down to allow me more room for breathing. I told him I am not ready for that and need more time to think. So unsure...I am a singer, it could change the way I sound. Not to mention the pain and suffering. But tonight I am dizzy again! And my ears need popping. It is 3 degrees out tonight. He mentioned that the cold weather has a big factor into the dizzy thing. I just hate it! I am constanting on Zyrtec, Sudfed and my nasal sprays. I just don't remember have the dizzy thing happen as much as it is this year.

What do you think about all this? Do you think yours is because of this?
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Last edited by TEdds83; 12-15-2009 at 09:48 PM.

 
Old 12-15-2009, 11:36 PM   #10
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

I went though something like this recently. Lots of pressure in both ears but the worst was the right ear. Felt like I needed to pop it like when your on a mountain. It started with dizziness, I almost passed out in the store. It kept getting worse til I couldn't even stand loud noise, it would make a whoosing sound in my ear.

The Dr put me on antibiotics for a week. It helped with the worst of it but I still have some lingering dizziness. So most likely it was an inner ear infection or virus. If its an virus that can take weeks to clear up. I was sick with it for a while before the Dr thought to try the antibiotics. I thought it was going to last forever and was really worried since I couldn't even drive.

I hope you are feeling better soon.

 
Old 12-16-2009, 10:56 PM   #11
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

TEdds83,

It is reassurring having someone to compare notes with. I really have no idea what is causing my problems right now. I do think it is a combination of TMJ, bruxism, allergies and sinus problems.

My ENT established a plan with me a couple years ago that we are following before considering surgery. He wants me to aggressively treat the allergies first. For years, I've been on Allegra (dropped the D due to High BP), Astelin, Flonase and Singulair in addition to my second round of immunotherapy. I also use saline sprays and the Neti Pot. It has taken a couple years, but I'm finally reduced down on my amount of allergy meds and am on the Astelin and Singulair (for asthma also). The ENT added Omaris nasal spray as well for a few weeks to try to help with the current ear thing.

I haven't had dizziness lately. I've had it in the past with my sinus infections though.

I'm 10 months out trying to get my ear to pop. I flew out of town and back today and hoped that I could help the ear along in popping. My left popped as normal when flying, but the right did nothing. I hoped for a moment that it had on the way home, but my ear is still stuffy. I have 13 days left on the muscle relaxers to see if they will help the ear. If not, I have no idea what the next step might be. I'm going broke trying to figure it out. I do know it definitely isn't an ear infection. I've had that confirmed by ENT's, scopes and two Audiologists.

I have several friends who have had successful sinus surgery. I don't know on the real ramifications vocally. I'd certainly look for a second opinion before you have the surgery if that is where you end up having to go eventually. A good doctor shouldn't be offended by the fact you get a second opinion.

I'm right there with you on the cold air. We spent about 10 days in the 20's or lower with below 0 at night. It plays havoc on my asthma, but I really don't know that it had much impact on my ears. If you have indoor allergies, they get worse sometimes when you are stuck inside a lot. I'm also dealing with high altitude issues as well.

You have reflux right? That could be a cause of your problems as well. I know that I've seen a significant decrease in my number of sinus infections since I had reflux surgery a year ago. I knew I had chronic acid problems and that the acid was coming up into my throat and lungs. I had no idea that the acid was making its way up into my sinus passages. In my case, even twice a day PPI's stopped working in my acid treatment. You might have some discussions with your ENT or GI doc about that. My ENT does the dual probe pH testing with one at the LES and one at the UES to measure the impact of the acid on the throat. I'd think the fact the acid is coming up above the UES also means it could be affecting your sinuses. Just a thought. It was a "hidden" trigger for my sinus infections in addition to the allergies for years.

I know it is mostly psychological, but I lay with my ear on a heating pad to help a bit with the pain. It doesn't cure anything, but makes me feel a bit better.

Take care,
MountainReader

 
Old 12-18-2009, 02:22 PM   #12
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

TEdds - my sister is looking at a procedure called balloon sinuplasty that helps open up the nasal passages to let them do their thing. Less invasive than regular surgery, etc.
Also, not sure if this has come up already, but have you tried any nasal irrigation stuff like a neti pot? Can work wonders.
Best of luck.

 
Old 12-20-2009, 09:44 AM   #13
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Re: Very scared, possible inflamation of temporal artery

Thanks for writing back everyone. I have some good days and some bad. Somehow I think this is all connected together. I have the acid reflux I am dealing with and the sinus and allergy issue. Its no wonder I have jaw problems, dizziness and congestion. I treat all with the right drugs but I am telling ya, some of this has to do with the weather too. This cold, damp snowy weather is NOT helping matters at all. Not to mention I am stressed out from the holidays. I hope you are all feeling good today!
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