I'm in a seriously bad state right now. I'm an audio engineer and music producer who just now (after 5 years of interning and working hard and sacrificing everything) has started a dream career. Now, just 2 weeks into being happy that I've made it, this happens. I now have a completely blocked right ear. It came on after a really bad ear infection. No Doctor has been able to help. One ENT mentioned TMJ, so I researched it (along with the 30 other "diagnoses" I've received) and it seems to be the most possible.
I have always had clicking in my jaw and when I open my mouth wide, the jaw kind of pops out or catches. I've never been diagnosed with it or even thought that I had it, though. I also brux at night.
Aside from the ear pain and blockage, I have been getting headaches and having problems with balance. I'm noticing that the joint under my right ear is inflammed compared to the left (this is the problem ear).
About a year ago, a fraudulent dentist made me get one of my back teeth (left side) removed and I have been unable to afford or find a dentist worthy of getting an implant. So, I'm afraid that this may have been a cause of the TMJ flare up as I only chew on one side of my mouth and that obviously has strengthened and irritated this inflamed muscle under my ear.
I'm at my wits end, because like I said, all my dreams that I have worked my adult life for are now SMASHED and RUINED. I can't work because my ears fatigue extremely quickly and sounds start to hurt my ear and my head. So, I'm completely miserable and see no purpose in my career future since everything I have read from these TMJ sites say that nobody has had relief from their ear problems. The one or two people that have didn't get that relief for years and years. So, basically I just wasted my whole 20's because I can't just put this new career on hold, unfortunately, life does not work that way. Sorry to be so depressing, but this is what I'm dealing with. I can not find any information on who to go see about this or how to get treatment in my city. To top it off, my insurance isn't covering anything else this year so that's really not going to help.
I live in North Hollywood, CA, can anyone refer me to someone that can actually help with this and isn't just going to financially screw me?
Can anyone tell me that they found relief from their blocked ear?
I really just need any help and encouragement there is... My family, my girlfriend whom I live with, my friends don't seem to care or want to help because they don't understand. Also, most people don't know what it's like to work your whole life toward something, making huge sacrifices along the way and then just have it all smashed away for absolutely no fault of your own.
All I can say is I've had a bout of tmj since march.Ive started splint therapy ( repositioning splint/ anti clench splint I wear at night).The biggest impact I've had on my tmj is trigger point therapy I do to myself, massage therapy I have done, diet (weeding out bad food for tmj) taking supplements.Perfom. Stretches, exercises neck back shoulder snd jaw. I watch my posture,changed my pillows and I control my allergies. All this has allowed me not to lose a high paying job , thank god!! A lot of good info off this site and I bought a lot of books on it , and on trigger point therapy. Now it all seems like much but I to had no support, family, gf, friends and work colleagues . It's hard for them to understand the sheer pain, Dizzyness etc this causes.TMJ syndrome sufferers look normal when were out and about, it's all internal and pain.My ears used to block but I got that under control except on really bad flare ups but I can't control it 100%. Hopefully my splint will correct everything and my posture exercises since that's primarily my cause ( too much damage from weightlifting).I hope this helps you as there is no one way if treating tmj and no one cause of tmj. Mine is muscular ( no noises, lock jAw,rarely head aches)mine is neck shoulder back pain plus inflammation under ears and sinus pressure,
Thanks for your reply. I have made an appointment with a "TMJ Specialist" dentist. I'm hoping to get started on treatment. I have been reading as much as I can and already started some exercising and massaging. I will continue this and get more detailed instructions on them. It's nice to hear that your ear pressure is not constant anymore. Thanks again.
Also, has anyone experienced sensitivity to sound? This is my main issue as sound is my life, my dreams, my hopes, my love and my passion. It's what I do, but when I sit down to work, within 30 secs of hearing constant sound (the music I'm working on), I start to get very uneasy, headaches pop up, and my teeth start to hurt badly. Anyone else?
My ear was blocked/stuffy and didn't pop for over a year. I also developed ear pain after several months of that. It took me a long time to figure out it was TMJD and longer to find the right functional orthodontist/orofacial pain dentist. Once I was diagnosed, I realized that I was in constant spasm in my jaw, ear, neck and shoulders. Getting orofacial trigger point releases by a trained PT really helped. I also had a lower mandibular repositioning splint that really helped as well. There are long months of time where I forget about the ear issues I had. Mostly the symptoms just flare a bit when I hit a new stage of my treatment.
Through a lot of testing, I found that my tmj discs had slipped forward and resulted in my jaw being pushed back some towards my ear which caused the problems with the repositioning splint, I was able to get the jaw in a forward position which really helped. I think I would have had the ear problems for a much shorter period of time if I had figured out what was wrong sooner.
I never had any issues with sound other than the stuffiness and some unfortunate hearing loss. I'm not 100% certain of the hearing loss connection though since I already had hearing loss in my other ear.
It sounds like you might be on track to getting your own diagnosis.
Thank you for your reply! I'm starting to cope a little bit better thanks to these comments and being able to sit down and talk w/ my girlfriend and have a phone chat with my mom. I'm also glad to know what it is that's causing all these problems. I'm realizing how many symptoms I have had for a long time. Today my ear feels a bit better, but my other symptoms are worse. At least I'm getting a little work done between headaches. Can't wait to see the doc on Monday and get some more comfort out of knowing treatment has begun and having an official diagnosis. Thanks again.