It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-27-2011, 08:19 AM   #1
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 81
rlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB User
For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

Hello Fellow TMJ Sufferers,

For those with ear problems, can you tell me what it feels like? I have a lot more than just ear pain going on and it worries me. My left ear is my worse ear and it always feels like there's something in it. It feels like it's half plugged when I swallow or yawn until I pinch my nose and gently blow. Doing that will help equalize the pressure in both ears, but it never lasts more than a few minutes and then I have to do it again. The ear often feels like its going to burst from all the building pressure. My left ear and left side of my face always feel like someone just hit me on that side.
My right ear does the opposite and has negative pressure and feels like someone is trying to suck it out. It's a strong drawing or pulling feeling. Both ears crackle and pop constantly. I used to have a quiet, high pitched tinitus in both ears when I would lie down at night, but that has gone away. Its more like a rumbling or vibrating sensation now mostly in the right ear--like the ear drum is having a spasm or something. My hearing has been uneffected but at times, I do have a muffled sensation in both ears. I don't notice it until I pop my ears and then I can hear better. Is this typical of TMJ ear problems? I do have burning and stabbing ear pain at times too, but pressure and popping symptoms are my main ones that are with me all the time. If you do have ear problems from your TMJ, I would appreciate you sharing what it feels like. It will help me to know that this is all very normal for TMJ ear problems. Many thanks,

Rachael

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 01-27-2011, 08:42 AM   #2
Veteran
(male)
 
esker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 395
esker HB Useresker HB Useresker HB Useresker HB Useresker HB Useresker HB Useresker HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

I had the stuffed ear feeling and it turned out to be the medial pterygoid muscle. That's one of your internal jaw chewing muscles. When it's tight the muscle blocks the eustachian tube from opening properly. To get relief I had to find a special kind of massage therapist trained to do massage inside the mouth while wearing a latex glove. Only three treatments were needed to solve my problem but I did have to drive an hour about 45 miles to find a clinic where they specialized in that kind of work.

The popping, cracking sounds and the pain can come from other tmj muscles like the lateral pterygoid, masseter and temporalis.

Last edited by esker; 01-27-2011 at 08:44 AM.

 
Old 01-27-2011, 12:52 PM   #3
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: AZ
Posts: 105
saltyk9 HB Usersaltyk9 HB Usersaltyk9 HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

rlat45,
everything you said is exactly how my ears are as well. Mine is even in the left ear just like yours. I constantly pop my ears all day long because I just can't stand the feeling of them being stuffed. Mine only stay unclogged after doing that for about 4 seconds, though. I know that popping them probably makes it even worse every time I do it, so I try to do other things that will take my mind off of it.
What you described, though, is definitely typical ear symptoms of TMJ.

 
Old 01-27-2011, 09:00 PM   #4
Facilitator
(female)
 
MountainReader's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Out West
Posts: 3,664
MountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

I agree with the other posters.

My TMJ diagnosis came after I'd been to my PCP, ENT and a couple Audiologists because my ear wasn't popping and I had some really intense ear pain. They couldn't find anything wrong physically. After tons of frustration, I finally self-diagnosed based on internet research. Testing with my TMJ specialist confirmed the TMJ.

My right ear hasn't fully popped since May 2009. My right ear also had intense pain and ringing. It felt like a really deep bad neverending ear infection, but it wasn't. Turns out when my TMJ discs slipped it caused my lower jaw to be pushed back into my ear. My muscles were in constant spasm because of this. I felt it as ear pain though.

Ironically, my testing shows that my left TMJ is actually much worse. Go figure.

I'm currently in splint therapy. The thing that helps most is seeing my PT who does the orofacial releases, neck work and body alignment. Just wish more visits were covered by insurance. My ear still hasn't fully popped, but my muscle spasms got tons better. The pain has been coming back the last couple weeks though. At least it is a new year so I can have a few more PT visits approved.

I can't sleep much when the ear pain is at its most intense. My ENT will prescribe an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer to help some. I will also apply heat. At least it helps me get to sleep. For some reason, ear pain always feels worst at night and the ringing much louder. I guess it is because there is nothing else to take your mind off things.
__________________
Asthma, Allergies, severe LPR/GERD, TMJD, Hearing Loss, Ulnar Impaction Syndrome, Shoulder Impingement, Plantar Fasciitis, DeQuervains, Hypermobility, possible Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

 
Old 01-30-2011, 10:32 AM   #5
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 81
rlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

Hi Saltyk9, esker, and MountainReader, Thanks so much for your messages. I appreciate you replying to my post.

Saltyk9--you said that these are definitely typical TMJ ear symptoms? I hope you're right cause I've been having the worst tinitus (I think that's what it is) for the past three days. It sounds like a low bass sound--like there is a large diesel truck parked outside my house. It sounds so real, I went looking for where the sound was coming from. I then realized it was coming from my own ears. I've had a rumbling sound before in just the one ear, but never this loud. This is coming from both ears and is driving me crazy. If I turn my head quickly, the sound stops for a second and then starts again. Normal? What the heck is this? Is this worth a call to the ENT? Is there anything I can do to make it stop? I'm so frightened by my symptoms sometimes, I worry I'm going to go deaf or something. How on earth can TMJ make my ears hum like this??
Anyway, if I didn't see this forum and others with similar symptoms, I'd probably think I was either losing my hearing or my mind by now. Many thanks and prayers for healing for all of us.

 
Old 01-31-2011, 08:31 AM   #6
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: AZ
Posts: 105
saltyk9 HB Usersaltyk9 HB Usersaltyk9 HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlat45 View Post
Hi Saltyk9, esker, and MountainReader, Thanks so much for your messages. I appreciate you replying to my post.

Saltyk9--you said that these are definitely typical TMJ ear symptoms? I hope you're right cause I've been having the worst tinitus (I think that's what it is) for the past three days. It sounds like a low bass sound--like there is a large diesel truck parked outside my house. It sounds so real, I went looking for where the sound was coming from. I then realized it was coming from my own ears. I've had a rumbling sound before in just the one ear, but never this loud. This is coming from both ears and is driving me crazy. If I turn my head quickly, the sound stops for a second and then starts again. Normal? What the heck is this? Is this worth a call to the ENT? Is there anything I can do to make it stop? I'm so frightened by my symptoms sometimes, I worry I'm going to go deaf or something. How on earth can TMJ make my ears hum like this??
Anyway, if I didn't see this forum and others with similar symptoms, I'd probably think I was either losing my hearing or my mind by now. Many thanks and prayers for healing for all of us.
The over-activity of your jaw can make your ear canal sensitive. The ear has two important muscles: the tensor tympani (it attaches to the ear drum, and stabilizes it from the excess vibration caused by loud sounds) and the tensor levi palatini (it attaches to the Eustachian tube, and helps to open and close the tube, thereby equalizing pressure within the inner ear...it is what "unplugs" your ears as you chew gum in an airplane).

Over activity of these muscles can sometimes cause a ringing sensation, called tinnitus. It is not unusual for the patient with TMJ/CMD to complain of ringing in their ears, or vertigo. The tensor tympani and tensor levi palatini are tensed whenever the jaw-closing muscles are tensed, i.e., when ever the jaw is clenched. The reason is that the same nerve (the trigeminal) feeds all of the muscles of mastication as well as these two important ear muscles.

I have very mild tinnitus, most of the time I never even notice it. When I do, it is a very high pitched noise, unlike yours. It is not very loud, fortunately.
Every doctor and ENT I have seen have all said that my ears are fine and see nothing wrong with them. You could always see an ENT if you think it would be beneficial, but don't be surprised if they tell you your ear looks fine.
I know that many people have had success with easing their tinnitus from neuromuscular dentistry.

 
Old 01-31-2011, 11:00 AM   #7
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 81
rlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

Hey Seltyk9,
Actually, I have seen an ENT and two neurotologists (inner ear specialists). They've all said that my ears are fine. I should be reassured by this, but I keep thinking that maybe I have an inner ear disorder that is gradually developing. Maybe I'm just crazy. Don't you ever worry that there is something wrong with your ears?
I did have tinitus like yours--soft high pitch ringing, until I got this humming 4 days ago. It's still doing it this morning along with incredible head and ear pain and pressure. It feels like my head and ears are filled with water and when I stand up quick from either sitting or bending over, I get a head rush with a sensation of my ears feeling extra full and muffled for a few minutes.

Thanks for the explanation of the two middle ear muscles. It makes sense, but wouldn't I have terribel jaw pain when the ear symptoms are acting up? I find that they don't necessarily act up together. Some days I have terrible face and jaw pain while experiencing less ear symptoms and vice versa.

 
Old 01-31-2011, 11:41 AM   #8
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: AZ
Posts: 105
saltyk9 HB Usersaltyk9 HB Usersaltyk9 HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

I feel your pain. I have probably only had jaw pain from my TMJ a few times. It hurt very badly to chew food so I wasn't really able to eat anything that required chewing. The main issues with me are headaches and ear problems.
The headaches I get are dull and long lasting-- kind of like constant pressure on my head--mostly in the temple area. The ear problems range from pain and the stuffiness, like there is water in it just like you said. This is only in my left ear... right ear seems perfectly normal.
I just started treatment with a highly experienced neuromuscular dentist who has been practicing NMD for over 2 decades. I should be receiving the orthotic that I was fitted for sometime this week. I'll let you know whether or not I notice any improvement.

 
Old 02-03-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: the beautiful and moldy Pacific NW
Posts: 252
jenni9033 HB Userjenni9033 HB Userjenni9033 HB Userjenni9033 HB Userjenni9033 HB Userjenni9033 HB Userjenni9033 HB Userjenni9033 HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

rlat45: I think I know exactly the kind of tinnitus you are suffering from. Low frequency, fluctuating hum/buzz? Back in October, seemingly out of nowhere, I started hearing a big diesel engine or some kind of heavy equipment running all night long.

I got really mad after a few nights of this, and tried to locate the source.

Turns out, it was my own ears making the sound.

About two months after the ringing/buzzing commenced, after several colds, I developed a double ear infection and eustachian tube dysfunction...or at least, I'm assuming that ETD is a correct diagnosis because the meds and sinus rinse I was prescribed do seem to temporarily get rid of the problem.

While I was acutely ill and my ears very congested/plugged a few weeks back, the tinnitus became almost deafening. It can wear you down emotionally.

Keeping my e-tubes completely open and unplugged has been a struggle, but the tinnitus is pretty much gone as of a couple weeks ago. So...just wanted to let you know from personal experience, this is a kind of tinnitus that CAN go away or quiet down substantially...I don't know if mine is gone totally or permanently, and I suspect if I didn't constantly work on keeping my ears open, it might return. Sometimes I have little hints of it, and just the anxiety of that keeps me on edge.

I've thought about looking more closely at TMJ as an underlying cause of my own ear dysfunction and woes, but I don't know how to start...is this something you bring up to your primary care physician? ENT? Dentist? I'd be grateful for any information shared.

 
Old 02-03-2011, 01:30 PM   #10
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 81
rlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

Hey Jennifleck,
Yes, that's it exactly. It's so good to know there is someone else who has experienced this. It's very strange and like you, I really thought it was something outside my house too. Other kinds of tinitus sound like they are coming from your ears but this low humming sounds like its external. I called my ENT yesterday and described it. I thought they would offer some kind of help but they just told me that this was TMJ and restated that there was nothing wrong with my ears. They kinda made me feel silly for calling.
I'm glad yours went away--gives me hope that this won't stay this way. Interesting you mentioned the cold virus. I've been very sick for the last week with a terible head cold that my kids had and passed on to me. Maybe this is contributing to the sudden increase of this kind of tinitus?
Regarding where to start to diagnose TMJ, the one thing I've learned through all this is that its very difficult to find professionals that are knowledgeable in TMJ. My original diagnosis came from the ENT who I was seeing because I thought I was having a problem with my ears. He diagnosed me with TMJ and told me to see my dentist to get a night guard. Well, don't do that. I saw like four or five dentists who told me that TMJ doesn't cause the kind of ear symptoms I had and that they thought I had an inner ear thing. So, I went in circles to the ENT's who said I had TMJ and there was nothing wrong with my ears and to the dentists who said I had TMJ but also thought I had an inner ear thing. I then went on to two inner ear specialists who said this was totally TMJ and to not listen to the dentists who know nothing about the inner ear. I've noticed that there are a lot of dentists who claim to be TMJ specialists when they're not. I did find an oral surgeon who told me that my jaw joints were good and that the TMJ pain are my muscles and ligaments. He made me a night guard, but I haven't had much luck with it. I'm still in search of the right specialist to treat me and am presently looking around for a neuromuscular dentist.

 
Old 02-03-2011, 03:37 PM   #11
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: AZ
Posts: 105
saltyk9 HB Usersaltyk9 HB Usersaltyk9 HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

rlat45--
You are absolutely right in that many don't know what they are talking about. I went to a so-called "TMJ Specialist" who treated that and only that, and not even he knew that much about it. It was just a business.
Not even all neuromuscular dentists know a whole lot about it because a large majority of them do mainly cosmetic dentistry rather than treating strictly TMJ. It's not to say that of them could not help you, but I would rather be in the hands of someone who treats that as the majority of their practice.
Study up on TMJ and be sure to ask a lot of questions. It took me a while to find a dentist that actually knew more about TMJ that I did and had me feeling confident that I would be in good hands. Ask them what percentage of the patients that they treat are there for TMJ treatment. The NMD that I am currently with is about 60% with TMJ only.

 
Old 02-05-2011, 06:25 PM   #12
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 81
rlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

My ear symptoms are scaring me. The humming in my ear(s) is getting louder. I can't tell if the humming is coming from just one ear or both. It sounds like it's external, but it's not. It's like the rumbling of a truck or other heavy machinery. If I shake my head fast, the sound stops for a second or two and then starts again. It also stops when I talk or listen to someone else talk. My hearing doesn't seem to be distorted at all, my ears just hurt and feel muffled. I really can't stand the humming anymore. am terrified that this type of tinitus is more of a symptom of an inner ear problem rather than TMJ. I need some reassurance here--anyone have any ideas as to whether this sounds like a TMJ thing? TIA

 
Old 02-05-2011, 08:05 PM   #13
Facilitator
(female)
 
MountainReader's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Out West
Posts: 3,664
MountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB UserMountainReader HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

It could be TMJ, that doesn't mean that it is. Have you been to an audiologist yet? They do testing that ENT's don't. A good Audiologist could help rule out some other ear problems.

My TMJ symptoms are severe ear pain and ringing. I also have tight neck, shoulder and back muscles.

My ENT and doctors said nothing was wrong.

It took a couple tries with TMJ Specialists. My second TMJ specialist did lots of testing and an MRI of my jaw. I had to go to a certain diagnostic center for the MRI because he said most places didn't do the MRI's for TMJ very well. There is a sticky at the top of this board that gives names of TMJ specialists that others on this board have found success with.

My ear pain and ringing lessened over time with physical therapy, trigger point releases, massage therapy and use of a repositioning splint. I still have periods of pain and ringing, but I'm still in treatment.

To help with my immediate problem my ENT prescribed muscle relaxants. He also had me try low-dose trycyclic anti-depressants, but I had side effects from them so I don't know how well they would have worked. I was also on regular doses of anti-inflammatories. I took OTC ones for a while then switched to a prescription that was easier on my digestive system.
__________________
Asthma, Allergies, severe LPR/GERD, TMJD, Hearing Loss, Ulnar Impaction Syndrome, Shoulder Impingement, Plantar Fasciitis, DeQuervains, Hypermobility, possible Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

 
Old 02-06-2011, 05:55 AM   #14
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 81
rlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB Userrlat45 HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

Thanks MountainReader. I've been to an ENT, two neurotologists (inner ear specialists), two neurologists, an oral surgeon, 4 dentists, and 4 chiros. I've had 3 hearing tests from an audiologist over the past year. I've had two MRI's, a CT scan, ENG (balance test), hearing and pressure tests, blood tests. etc. Everything has come back normal. The ear specialists tell me my ears are fine and they don't seem to like when I call with concerns.
The only medications I've been prescribed are Nasinex, valium, and nortriptaline. The only one I tried was the Nasinex which did nothing. I didn't try the other two because I don't like medication and was afraid of the side effects.
My other symptoms besides the ear symptoms are daily headaches, neck and shoulder pain, dizziness, facial pain at cheeks and TMJ joints , pain behind eyes, and constant sore throats.
I'm not even sure where to turn to next. All the dentists I've seen who said they treated TMJ just told me there was nthing they could do for my TMJ other than the night guard, heating pads, and antiflammatories. Regarding the tinitus, they told me to just put some music on so I didn't hear it. Yeah, that was so helpful of them. Even though all the ear specialists have told me my ears are fine, I still have so much anxiety about my ear symptoms. I can't stop worrying that they are missing something.

 
Old 02-06-2011, 06:28 AM   #15
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: anderson, in usa
Posts: 50
Dianatlol HB UserDianatlol HB User
Re: For those with ear problems, what exactly does it feel like?

The ringing in my left ear has now started to go away some. I am in a thinker Splint that I wear 24/7. It becomes louder when I take the splint out to eat, then for a good hour or two it is super loud. Only in my left year. With my new thicker guard, the fullness in my ear is going away, and I do not getting the popping in my ear much anymore. Headaches are very mild and gone after a few hours. I am hoping this thicker splint keeps improving my symptoms. It can be depressing sometimes, feel better, then 2 steps back, 1 step forward, 2 back.. Ugg

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Anyone else with tongue & throat problems? Neonsky TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint 5 10-06-2010 02:21 PM
Throat problems Cheri1957 TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint 4 10-02-2009 10:02 AM
The thread for young people with TMJ baseballguy TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint 6 01-25-2009 04:47 PM
Just diagnosed with TMJ... CaKatie TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint 9 04-21-2008 08:07 PM
dizziness and ear problems associated with TMJ jshors TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint 13 05-15-2007 02:12 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Botox
Flexeril
Ibuprofen
Klonopin Motrin
  Neurontin
Tylenol
Valium
Vioxx
Xanax




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



MountainReader (77), Canuck65 (32), Shirlett (26), TMJ82 (22), Jill 227 (17), judye (16), Marlene (13), navymid (10), clencher1 (9), saltyk9 (8)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1167), MSJayhawk (1000), Apollo123 (899), Titchou (836), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (758), ladybud (747), sammy64 (668), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:39 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!