Long Term Strange Ear Issues...
Hello! My life is being basically ruined with ear problems and I really hope you can shed some light on these issues for me. First and foremost, I have been seeing a specialist here in FL for awhile now, but I am not sure he is guiding me in the right direction. He is an ear specialist - I am going to a neurologist next week. So, I suppose I will just describe this long, boring story to those of you that care to listen.
About 8 years ago my left ear began to make what sounded like broken speaker or static noises when exposed to loud and/or high pitched noises. At the advice of my doctor (the partner of my doctor now), I had both my tensor tympani any my stapiedal muscles severed surgically to correct the problem. After the bandages were removed, I discovered that it did not correct the problem at all, but merely changed it. Now, the static sound occurred when the left ear was exposed to any sound of mid-loud range of any pitch. This is tolerable as it happens a lot and my brain mostly tunes it out (although it is hard sometimes as it varies in volume depending on certain factors). More importantly, when the atmospheric pressure outside my ear changes at all (i.e., when there is a storm front, when I am in an elevator, when I drive up a mountain), there is a feeling of fullness in my ear and a pulsating sensation along with a kind of whooshing noise. During this period the static sound is usually present, and if the left ear is exposed to any noise an extremely loud static noise is heard instead. To temporally "clear" the ear, I pop my eardrum by moving my jaw and blowing out my nose in a certain way after sucking in through my nose (so basically moving my eardrum back and forth by altering middle ear pressure). This only works for a few seconds/ minutes and then the pulsating/whooshing/static comes back. Eventually it goes away and the ear returns to its normal tinnitus of low static noise with most noises.
So I lived with this condition until a few weeks ago. It was not very easy, but I got by. I figured it was just something I had to come to to terms with. Then I started having random spasms in my temporalis muscle above my right ear and in my neck...it was not long until I starting hearing random thumps in my right ear. I never experienced these noises in my right ear before. They are completely random, and can occur in extremely rapid succession of 10 or more or in singular form. My ear could just thump once and be done for the day, but usually thumps for part of the day, once or in groups, and then subsides for hours or sometimes days. This is clearly tensor tympani myclonus to me in my right ear, because what else could it be? However, there is no static sound like in my left ear. My doctor prescribed to me an anti-seizure medication to deal with the spasms but it hasn't helped, and coupled with my left ear I just can't handle it any more. The thumping can be induced by yawning as well. I am starting to hear a thumping noise in my left ear as well..but it is much diminished (probably because the muscles are cut).
While I was there trying to treat the newly found myclonus of my right ear, I decided to ask the doc about my left. Since cutting the muscles didn't work, I doubt that it was tt myclonus that was causing the static noises. His theory is that it is Cochlear Hydrops. I am on a low sodium diet and pills now to lower the symptoms. I get a lot of headaches, so he seems to think that they are partly to blame for the myclonus and for the CH. Also, I have been experiencing myclonus all over my body..such as in my fingers...so I may just be prone to it (my theory).
What do you think of my doctor's diagnosis and my symptoms? I really need some answers because this is driving me crazy. I am very glad I found this forum, so at least I know I am not alone in dealing with severe ear issues. I really don't want the static sound to spread to my right ear, is there any way to prevent this?
Edit: Additional Info:
1. My left ear also always pops whenever I swallow. At the start of this new problem and continuing until now, my right ear pops whenever I swallow as well.
2. I have ringing in both of my ears, but more so in my left. I cannot tell how long this has been present, but I have noticed it recently so it may have gotten louder.
3. The whooshing sound/ pulsing/ static variant sound also occurs when I lay down, especially completely flat. Or during physical activity, such as exercise.