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Old 06-23-2006, 07:27 AM   #1
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Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

I had posted this under a different title, thought maybe if I change the title more people will actually look at this post...Ok, this is gonna be really long, so just bear with me if you can. I have been having problems for at least 3 yrs now and my doc has finally come to the conclusion that I might have otosclerosis. I started having problems with my ears always feeling like they need to be popped, (like I'm on the top of a mountain), probably about 2 or 3 yrs ago. I went to the ear doc and he said that I had retracted eardums and put me on nasal spray. It didn't feel like it helped much, but when i went back the doc he said the eardrums were back to normal. Well, that feeling of needing to be popped never went away and actually got worse over the next 6-9 months. It has gotten to where I am always opening my jaw really wide to get a little relief. (When i open my jaw really wide, I hear and feel this crackling popping noise, and it feels like it opens my ears a little. But only for a second. So I end up doing this over and over...) And It felt like my ears were hurting inside my head. The whole area around my ears and my jaw joint would hurt and ache. Went back to the ear doc and this time during the exam he put his hands on my jaw joint next to my ears (TMJ) and told me to open wide. He said that I had TMJ disorder and that's what was causing my ear problems. He referred me to a TMJ Specialist two hours away. Saw him, he said that I grind my teeth at night and gave me a nightgaurd and things started getting a little better as far as the pain was concerned. But my ears still felt all screwed up, like they need to be popped. The TMJ doc said sorry, can't help you there. So I dealt with it for a year, to see if the gaurd would starting helping more with the ears, but it didn't. Finally went back to the ear doc again a few months ago and he did hearing tests and said that I have some hearing loss that might be from Otosclerosis, but that I also have signs of eustation tube dysfunction. He put a cut in my right eardrum, to see if I needed tubes and the ear felt better as soon as he cut it (release of pressure as soon as the blade hit it). So he put in tubes and my ears really didn't feel much better 2 weeks later. They still felt like they needed to be popped. So he put a patch over one of the tubes, to see if I wanted them out and it felt horrible! I didn't realize how much the tubes had helped until he did that! So I defenetely have some eustation tube dysfunction and want the tubes to stay in. He also did another hearing test with the tubes in and my ears and I still have hearing loss. And my ears still feel like they need to be popped all the time. So now he is sending me to an ear doc at Stanford University, who specializes in Stapoid Surgery. I am scheduled for surgery July 13th. My ear doc isn't for sure that I have otosclerosis, but he said this doc should be able to figure it out. Sorry this is soo long, but does anyone with otosclerosis have any of these symptoms? I am getting so frustrated with this!

 
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Old 06-25-2006, 04:04 AM   #2
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

Hello, look up the symptoms for 'patulous eustachian tubes' and see if the symptoms you are having are for this condition. I have had this condition for many years. I always felt like I needed to pop my ears, however, this would only relieve it very briefly. Mention it next time you go to your ENT doctor and take the literature with you when you research it; if you think it applies to you. Let me know what you think, after you have read about the condition. All the best. CCC.

 
Old 06-26-2006, 07:41 AM   #3
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

I've got the exact same problem minus the jaw pain. I've been to see several specialists and they all say they can find nothing wrong (I also had a Dr. tell me I had TMJ). I've been dealing with this since I was a kid but was always able to get my ears to clear by either opening my mouth wide or putting back pressure on my ears. These days it's a very rare occurance when they acutally "pop" and I can hear normally again. When I fly it just about drives me crazy.

I found a Dr. in Boston named Dennis S. Poe. Supposedly he's had a ton of experience in this area. My doc is working on getting me a referral so I can see him. I'm pretty well done with all the nasal sprays and misdiagnoses!

Hope that's some help.

thhaze

 
Old 06-27-2006, 04:35 AM   #4
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

Hi guys, I hear that Dr Poe is the absolute best, so you are on the right track. He is apparently doing a lot of research and specializes in helping people who have the very problems that you describe. I don't live in USA, though if I did he would be the doctor I'd be heading off to see. All the best, CC.

 
Old 06-27-2006, 03:59 PM   #5
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

CCC: I looked up patulous eustachian tubes (the first article in the list was by my doc, Dr.Hoffman) and I do have a lot of those symptoms, but like you it doesn't help to put my head down. Nothing seems to help my ears feel normal except opening my jaw wide, over and over and over...Sometimes when I just swallow it makes my ears have that popping/relief of pressure feeling. I had problems with autophony in my right ear right after I had the tubes put in, but it seems to be getting better(or maybe I'm just getting used to it...) I have been through two pregnancies, I have also had a large weight loss (I used to be 200 lbs, now I'm 130), so maybe this is really it. I guess I need to call Dr.Hoffman and see if he thinks this could be it. Oh yah, I also have a lot of pain from this...the pain is in my head, the area around my ears/tmj and on my bad days pretty much the whole bottom half of my head hurts, causing horrible headaches. (It's really hard to explain..)
I live in California, so seeing Dr.Poe is out of the question. I am scheduled for stapes surgery for otosclerosis in Sept with a doc at Stanford, but Dr.Hoffman says that he's not positive I have otosclerosis. (The ear feeling like it always needs to be popped isn't a symptom of that.) The doc at Stanford won't even know for sure until he actually gets into my ear. Does PET cause actual hearing loss? That's why Dr.Hoffman thinks I have otosclerosis, because of my hearing loss. Maybe I have both?....Thank you everyone for all your comments! This has been driving me nuts for soo long now that's it's really starting to depress me! Any help is greatly appreciated!

 
Old 06-28-2006, 12:14 PM   #6
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

Oh yah, and a lot of the time, when I am chewing food my ears crackle and pop, every single time I chew. Sometimes it's really loud...sometimes it's on one side only, sometimes on both. Can't chew gum most of the time because of it.

 
Old 06-30-2006, 01:09 AM   #7
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

Hello Hiouchi, when you say you looked up info on patulous eustachian tube (PET) and you doc's info was there (Dr Hoffman); did you look up any of the other info from other sources?

I had tubes put in my ears several times and it never relieved the problem. It made me feel worse. The echoing of my voice got worse and I still felt like I needed to pop my ears. Very uncomfortable! If the doc isn't really sure of the diagnosis of 'otosclerosis' for you, it would be advisable to go back and tell him.

He can then investigate for other problems, including a patulous eustachian tube. I am also one of the rare people that does not get relief when I am lying down; however I have had all the other symptoms. These would include:-
-Blocked feeling( even though the ear appears normal to the examiner)
-Tinnitus- high pitched- the more uncomfortable the feeling the louder the ringing.
-Some days not as bad as others.
- Improves when I have a cold (because the ET tube swells)
-noise sensitivity
- feeling deaf - even though the hearing test is within the normal range.
- top heavy feeling in head
- difficulty telling the direction of sounds
-difficulty hearing in background noise (the cocktail party syndrome- as referred to by audiologists)

Do these symptoms sound familiar? Talk soon CC.

 
Old 06-30-2006, 07:36 AM   #8
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

Yes, I spent at least an hour or two looking up PET. My ears actually did get worse when the tubes were first put in, (could hear myself talk really loud for at least a week or two), but the doc put a block on one of the tubes, to see if I would feel better with the tubes out and it was horrible! The tubes are defenetely helping to some small degree...(such a small amount that I really can't tell unless he blocks a tube. Weird..)
The only reason he thinks I might have otosclerosis is because I have a definate hearing loss in both ears. I figure that the doc at Stanford will defenetely be able to figure this all out because he is a better doc thatn what I can get around here.
I do have all the same symptoms as you, except the tinnitus. Sometimes I hear like an ocean in my ears when I'm trying to go to sleep, and that can get loud and annoying, but other than that I don't hear any ringing. And I don't seem to have much noise sensitivity. The only time is when I'm on a fire scene for hours and hours (I'm a firefighter) I start to get a headache. But that could just be the elements too. It's not easy work
I still haven't called Hoffman's office and ran this by him. Have been wayyy too busy! Gotta put that at the top of my list for today. Thanks!

 
Old 06-30-2006, 11:36 PM   #9
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

Hi Hiouchi, when you breathe in and out can you hear yourself breathing? Do you think you could have a combination of a definite hearing loss and PET?
Take care CCC

 
Old 06-30-2006, 11:38 PM   #10
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

P.S. roaring tinnitus (like the ocean as you described) is another symptom of PET. CCC.

 
Old 07-01-2006, 03:45 PM   #11
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

I usually can't hear myself breathe. Right after the tubes were put in, I could for a day or two but that went away. I defenetely think I have PET though. And my doc thinks that the otosclerosis explains the hearing loss. I bet I have some of both. Just my luck!

 
Old 06-18-2008, 04:54 PM   #12
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

I've been reading many of the ear problems post... I too have had an ongoing ear infection / negative pressure problem in my left ear for twenty years. I have seen so many ear specialist with no resolve.

I found relief with an ear specialist in Geneve' SW. DR Kujaski is one of the only specialist that works directly with Eustation tubes. My left ET was too restrictive. It always caused negative pressure in my left ear. We all know how irritating that can be. Additionally when the ET is so restrictive... Yes... you can equalize your ears by plugging your nose and blowing air in, but that typically doesn't allow the moisture out. This leads to either ear infection or that itchy ear canal. That is the bodies way of releasing extra fluid for the inner ear if it cannot be released throught the ET.

I have had the proceedure done once, but need to have it performed again because of the extent of damage in my left ET. Plan on going back to Europe this fall.

 
Old 06-18-2008, 04:55 PM   #13
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccc123 View Post
P.S. roaring tinnitus (like the ocean as you described) is another symptom of PET. CCC.
I've been reading many of the ear problems post... I too have had an ongoing ear infection / negative pressure problem in my left ear for twenty years. I have seen so many ear specialist with no resolve.

I found relief with an ear specialist in Geneve' SW. DR Kujaski is one of the only specialist that works directly with Eustation tubes. My left ET was too restrictive. It always caused negative pressure in my left ear. We all know how irritating that can be. Additionally when the ET is so restrictive... Yes... you can equalize your ears by plugging your nose and blowing air in, but that typically doesn't allow the moisture out. This leads to either ear infection or that itchy ear canal. That is the bodies way of releasing extra fluid for the inner ear if it cannot be released throught the ET.

I have had the proceedure done once, but need to have it performed again because of the extent of damage in my left ET. Plan on going back to Europe this fall.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:28 PM   #14
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

My local ENt thought I had otosclerosis -symptoms were hearing loss, (continually getting worse), tinnitus, pressure / can not pop the ear, negative ear pressure, eustachian tube dysfunction. He suspected this for 6 months and sent me to a specialist in New Orleans. At first, the specialist thought possibly otosclerosis, then under microscope, saw a cholesteatoma. He sent me for a ct scan which confirmed the cholesteatoma. It is a benign tumor that in my case, has destroyed two of the three bones in the middle ear, the malleous and incus. I has surgery this past Tuesday. He attached my tympanic membrane to the stapes. Also, the tumor had invaded the mastoid bone significantly. Left unattended, it could have destroyed the stapes, and also gone into the brain.

My ear had been feeling full since November. I am relieved to know that the ct scan confirmed my diagnosis before I had the surgery. Although my symptoms said it was otosclerosis, it really was a cholesteatoma.

I had decided not to be in a rush to do the stapedectomy for otosclerosis, but now that I found out it was a growing tumor, I am glad someone (an audiologist) convinced me to follow up on it. I trust the surgeon; he does several stapedectomies and cholesteatoma operations per week at Oshners hospital in New Orleans.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:04 AM   #15
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Re: Ears always feel like they need to be popped-even with tubes in.

If you think you have Et Dysfunction (and not PET), then I would recommend trying the Ear Popper devise before having surgery. Its a non invasive devise designed to open your Eustachian tube - but it does require a Rx from your doctor.

Might be worth a try - Cost is $135.

Regards,

Barry

Last edited by moderator2; 07-08-2008 at 01:59 PM. Reason: please delete huge quotes and do not post disallowed website

 
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