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Old 07-28-2012, 04:10 PM   #1
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Fullness & Hearing loss?

Hello. I'm really happy I found this forum, seems like a great deal of nice people here! I posted this in the Ear, Nose & Throat section as well, but figured this would be a better place for it. First, let me introduce myself:

I'm 20 years old, male, living in Sweden, otherwhise healthy, except for the part that I'm a worrysome person(one could say I have slight hypochondria).

However, this problem started bothering me around 3 years ago, and it's been a hell lately , and even if this post will be long, I would appreciate any responses/tips until my scheduled appt(in 1 month).

My problem is one-sided ear fullness, and slight hearing loss in the higher frequencies(particularily 6khz and 8khz), as well as some weird dizzyness, pretty much the same feeling you get from low bloodpressure when you get up from bed too quickly, except I get it when I turn around quickly and such.
I don't have any pain around the ear area, only migraines once every month or so.

The fullness feeling is hard to describe, I'm not sure it's the usual ear fullness that you get from a cold or such, it's more like I feel the urge to pop that ear, 24/7. Without thinking about it I use my jaw muscles to try to equalize the pressure. It looks really weird when I do it, almost like I press my jaw forward on that side. This doesn't help at all though.

My first thought when I experienced this problem was that my eustachian tube was messing with me, or that I had water/wax inside my ear. I've tried cleaning out possible wax, 5-6 times, no help. I've also tried simple nasalsprays, with no relief.

I've been to a ENT-specialist with this problem, but all she did was a tone audiogram and looked into my ears. The audiogram showed slight difference between the ears, but only 10-15 DB(6khz, 8khz). Both ears were in normal range, actually my "good" ear was extremely good she said. I've scheduled an appt with a new ENT in approx a month, since she didn't take me seriously..

I've been extremely worried that I have an acoustic neuroma(tumour on the hearing/balance-nerve), or even worse, Neurofibramatosis type 2, since I'm in that age... My symptoms seems to be on the spot for this . I'm stupid enough to google on my symptoms, and of course think the worst.

I do realize it's extremely rare, but the "what-if" scares the crap out of me.

I think the problems started around the same time as my wisdom teeth started growing out, but they haven't been troubling me a lot, only slight infections now and then. According to a friend I also have sleep apnea(stop breathing in the sleep, scary I know), maybe related?

I really hope this is only some eustachian tube or dental problem, and not some scary tumour.

I'm sorry for such a long post, I just hope to find some relief/answers while waiting for my ENT appt. I'm really devastated at the moment, and I don't know what else there is to do than wait.. A month seems like 10 years away, as I can barely handle a day with this worry.

Thank you, thank you, I really appreciate your input.

 
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:46 PM   #2
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Re: Fullness & Hearing loss?

Hmm, if you could recall: what were you doing before this happened? Were you swimming? Traveling by plane? Or was it that you just suddenly woke up like this? I know you said that it was when your wisdom tooth started. Basically, my question is: was it gradual or sudden?

Anyway, yeah. I don't think it's tumor or anything of that dramatic fashion. Especially considering since it's rare. My rather uneducated guess would be ear barotrauma [Keep in mind, I'm not doctor ]. Even so, I would suggest mentioning to your ENT your concerns about acoustic neuroma or Neurofibromatosis 2.

I was reading about Neurofibromatosis 2 for quite while and it seems to include a lot of symptoms that you don't exhibit (well, you didn't mention them), such as "changes in vision, cataracts at young age, weakness of the face" (I got that from MedicinePlus, but also various sites).

My tip would be to lay off Google and searching your symptoms. Find something else to do. I find that reading helps a lot. I know that sounds lame, but believe me. I had an ear problem recently and all I did was look up symptoms and became severely depressed because I thought I had *everything*. I searched your symptoms for a good hour and they seem to apply to a large variety of problems: another reason why I doubt it's something extreme like a tumor.

Yikes, I know I didn't really help, but that's my take on it. Hopefully someone more educated on ears will come along while you wait for the appointment.

 
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