My whole ear/TMJ thing started with tinnitus, hearing loss - "tunnel hearing" sounds like a good description for what I had too. I noticed that when I was tired or stressed or had to do public speaking my right ear would start to clog, buzz and tunnel. Then it started to happen when I was driving, then at home and then I went almost totally deaf in one ear. One night I got way stressed and angry about it all and stuck a cotton bud in my ear canal untill it bled. Then the blood made me totally deaf -DO NOT DO THIS EVER! It was really really scary. There was lots of blood too. It was stupid.
My Dr syringed my ear out and removed a HUGE rock hard lump of ear wax and said she could see the scab in my ear canal and to never do that again - btw where I had dmaged my ear canal was nowhere near where the rock of wax was. Well, doh. I knew it was dumb, I was desperate.
Then I was GREAT for about 5 days. Until I got what the ENTs said was a vestibular infection or labyrinthitis or some kind of inner ear infection. This was in May '05 (this year) I couldn't walk or sit upright for about 8 -10 days - the world would spin. It was terrifying. I still get the dizzies at least once a week. I'm starting to think that the syringing with water which the Dr did to get the ear wax plug out was the cause of my inner ear infection.
I also reckon that the TMJ made the wax in the ear of my "bad" jaw side build up and stick and turn into a rock; the syringing got the rock out but gave me the inner ear infection and now I'm left with "feeling" the TMJ way worse than I ever ever realised. Before all this started I used to have a "weird ear" that would hurt occassionally and just give me the irrits. Now I have PAIN PAIN PAIN. Sometimes I think I'd be better off half deaf with the lump of wax still in my ear and having a "weird half deaf ear" than the pain I have now.
I still get the tinnitus and slight deafness when I'm nervous or stressed but not like I used to before the rock of wax was removed. And it was a ROCK I assure you. Looked like a lump of coal and sorta fossilsed to me (I made the Dr show me, even though it grossed her out
So yes, I have the ear and hearing loss troubles. I just want this to be *over* and be like I used to be.