Can't figure out what's going on- help!
I've never posted on this board before, but am trying to gather as much information as possible right now. Here's what's been going on. Last year I came down with a terrible cold and my left ear ended up with Eustachian tube dysfunction. I was no stranger to this, as it happened to me when I was pregnant with my younger daughter in '09 and lasted a couple months before finally resolving. It was pretty 'blocked' though, so I sought treatment for an ent. And my journey began. Initially I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and treated with harsher and harsher antibiotics. It was the theory that the relief for the sinus infection would relieve the ears. No success and my dr was out of ideas. So I sought treatment with another ent. This time I was given a ct scan which was NORMAL and had a full battery of allergy testing done. It turned up significant indoor/outdoor environmental allergies. I began allergy drops (similar to shots) and was told that allergy treatment would be the end if my now going on 3 months ear problem. I got no relief from the drops. In fact, I started to feel less of a blockage in my ear and more of a pressure/fullness in my ear and head. I had exactly 2 episodes of this weird thing where my ear would ring and my hearing would get lower for about 2-3 seconds. I reported these episodes to my ent and he told me it was the Eustachian tubes and sudden pressure changes. I experienced no lasting ringing or hearing change. Fast forward to June '12. I was sick of the ears. I finally had a newer procedure which has been discussed on the ent board here to reopen my blocked e tubes from the inside ( not tubes). The procedure was successful and after a period of swelling post op, I regained my normal ears. I thought I was in the clear.
In September I awoke to the weird pressure feeling in my left ear again. I was now able to pop my ears at this point and so tried to equalize. Despite popping my ear gently 3+ times, the fullness remained. I returned to the ent who did my Eustachian tube procedure, and he said it was allergies and time to get back on immunotherapy. So in October, I began shots. Gradually the ear pressure went away and I thought the shots were starting to work. In December I had a bad case of pharyngitis and was told I couldn't receive my shot that week. Then the next 2 weeks were Xmas and New Years and those fell on the days I'd normally get shots ( the clinic is only open 3 days a week, so they were closed). I returned to shots on January 7th.
That evening I received my shots as normal without a reaction. The next morning my ear was full of pressure. The allergist denies that this is an atypical but allergic response. He didn't allow me to receive my next shot though and gave me a 40mg/5 day course of prednisone. I just finished the pred with no change. Here's the weird things that I'm concerned about:
- today I had another episode of ear ringing/diminished hearing that lasted for about 2-3 seconds BUT my e tubes aren't blocked
-I can easily pop both my ears but the equalization doesn't fix the pressure feeling. This can lead me to an ear pop tic where I will do it several times throughout the day even though it does nothing because I keep thinking it will!
-to date, I have taken 3 Eustachian tube function tests with an audiologist within a 4 month span which have all returned normal results ( no dysfunction). I'm scheduled for another one tomorrow at the ALLERGIST'S request... If I pass that too it'll be 4 in 4 mos.
I need some insight guys. I'm a 27 yr old female, mother of 2. I have no family history of hearing disorders/loss. I personally have no hearing loss as I was tested for this about 6 mos ago as well. I don't experience dizziness or vertigo, but I do experience the feeling of pressure in my whole head sometimes, like someone is blowing up a balloon in there. I occasionally get tingling/numb like feelings on the left side if my face though it passes. No headache medicine or allergy medicine or saline rinse or ear popping has changed this when it comes on. Anyone experience similar symptoms? Any insights? Obviously I'm going to be following up with a specialist, though they just keep passing me around!