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Old 07-11-2013, 02:16 PM   #1
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TMJ - visual disturbances

Hi everyone,

I'm 50 and live in Spain. I've have been suffering from what seem like TMJ symptoms since October 2011. I have a pronounced overbite and wore a brace for a couple of years when I was young. Despite lots of dental treatment (including the removal of 22 teeth!), my teeth are still very crooked.

The 'TMJ' symptoms began with terrible pain around my left ear that would stretch up into the top of my head on that side and sometimes down my neck. This continued for a week or so and then, one night, I had terrible pain concentrated in and around my left ear. It was so bad I could not sleep. I though it was perhaps an ear infection and the doctor tried syringing my ears. This made things worse and I started to get very dizzy. The dizziness went on for months. I had an MRI and they found no problems. However, I also had an X-ray of my jaws and I was finally told I had TMJD and worn condyles by an ENT doctor.

The ear pain, headaches and dizziness would go away for a while and then come back. I also had frequent sinusitis with terrible face and eye pain. This continued for a few months and then, in May 2012 I noticed huge floaters in my right eye. I already wore glasses for reading but soon noticed I needed them for distance too (I have latent hyperopia). The floaters and other visual issues continued.

A couple of months ago I started getting a buzzing in my ears and a sensation of fullness (like I'd been underwater), which is especially bad when I am stressed and my jaws are sore.

The only symptom I have suffered from pretty much constantly since October 2011 has been the pain in my jaws, especially my left one. But the buzzing ears, floaters and other visual disturbances are even harder to deal with.

Can anyone relate to these symptoms, in particular the visual ones? I know that floaters are not necessarily related to TMJD, but has anyone had other visual problems they think are related? If so, would a splint help?

I visited so many doctors and dentists trying to find out what was wrong with me, it was like going round in circles. Here in Spain they are not very familiar with TJMD. I discovered it by chance whilst trying to find out what was wrong with me on Google!

Apologies for the rambling message! Thanks in advance for any ideas regarding what I could do to alleviate my symptoms.


Kasia

Last edited by Kasieta; 07-11-2013 at 02:20 PM.

 
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

I don't think floaters are related to TMJ - I've had floaters for ears before having TMJ. The nerves around your TMJ joint are very close to your ear and your eye so it not uncommon for TMJ suffers to feel like there ears are stuffed; to hear buzzing; to have pain around the eyes (I have that) and wouldn't surprise me if it could irritate your sinuses.

You should have CT scan in addition to an MRI. MRI is good for soft tissue and is used typically to see if there is an internal displacement or derangement of the disc that sits in the joint which can contribute to TMJ problems. A CT scan shows bone.

I don't think an ENT would be qualified to comment on your condyles - at least an ENT in CAnada certainly wouldn't do that. In Canada TMJ disorders are treated by dentists. I would look for a dentist in Spain that specilalizes in oral and facial pain. Good luck.

 
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:10 PM   #3
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Hi! Thanks for your reply. It's probably easier to see people who know about TMJD in Canada or the USA than in Spain. I did actually see a dentist and he confirmed the diagnosis of my jaw bones, based on a panoramic X-ray (I'm not sure of the name in English) of the whole of my jaws and mouth. He could see the parts that were worn away etc., plus my overbite is very obvious and he thought this was what had caused the problem. The ENT guy felt my jaws and heard them clicking, but of course it's not really his speciality. However, he has seen many people who have come to him complaining of ear pain etc., which was in fact caused by TMJD. I shall definitely try to have a CT scan. The MRI was carried out to check for other things, since at that time I was dizzy 24/7 as well as suffering pain in my head, ear and face.

I imagine the floaters have nothing to do with this - it was just a coincidence. However, the dizziness and weird vision started at exactly the same time as the TMJ pain, so I can't help thinking that they are somehow linked. The sore eyes and sinus pain were also bad then. Is it normal for symptoms to come and go and to vary?

Anyway, I shall try to see another dentist soon and get some kind of treatment.

Thanks again,

Kasia

 
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:11 PM   #4
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Hi!
Thanks for your reply. It's probably easier to see people who know about TMJD in Canada or the USA than in Spain. I did actually see a dentist and he confirmed the diagnosis of my jaw bones, based on a panoramic X-ray (I'm not sure of the name in English) of the whole of my jaws and mouth. He could see the parts that were worn away etc., plus my overbite is very obvious and he thought this was what had caused the problem. The ENT guy felt my jaws and heard them clicking, but of course it's not really his speciality. However, he has seen many people who have come to him complaining of ear pain etc., which was in fact caused by TMJD. I shall definitely try to have a CT scan. The MRI was carried out to check for other things, since at that time I was dizzy 24/7 as well as suffering pain in my head, ear and face.

I imagine the floaters have nothing to do with this - it was just a coincidence. However, the dizziness and weird vision started at exactly the same time as the TMJ pain, so I can't help thinking that they are somehow linked. The sore eyes and sinus pain were also bad back then. Is it normal for symptoms to come and go and to vary?

Anyway, I shall try to see another dentist soon and get some kind of treatment.

Thanks again,

Kasia

 
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:49 PM   #5
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Hi Kasia -

Have you considered going to a physiotherapist? Perhaps it's a muscular issue and going to get some trigger point massage or going to a physiotherapist might help alleviate the pain?

 
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:14 AM   #6
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasieta View Post
Hi!
Thanks for your reply. It's probably easier to see people who know about TMJD in Canada or the USA than in Spain. I did actually see a dentist and he confirmed the diagnosis of my jaw bones, based on a panoramic X-ray (I'm not sure of the name in English) of the whole of my jaws and mouth. He could see the parts that were worn away etc., plus my overbite is very obvious and he thought this was what had caused the problem. The ENT guy felt my jaws and heard them clicking, but of course it's not really his speciality. However, he has seen many people who have come to him complaining of ear pain etc., which was in fact caused by TMJD. I shall definitely try to have a CT scan. The MRI was carried out to check for other things, since at that time I was dizzy 24/7 as well as suffering pain in my head, ear and face.

I imagine the floaters have nothing to do with this - it was just a coincidence. However, the dizziness and weird vision started at exactly the same time as the TMJ pain, so I can't help thinking that they are somehow linked. The sore eyes and sinus pain were also bad back then. Is it normal for symptoms to come and go and to vary?

Anyway, I shall try to see another dentist soon and get some kind of treatment.

Thanks again,

Kasia
Its not uncommon for symptons to vary..

A CT scan, I believe, should be able to show your condoyles more clearly than a panoramic exray. Also if the MRI wasn't specifically looking at the the TMJ joint, then get another one done.

My only other suggestion would be to see a neurologist about your symptons, to rule out any other causes.

Physio can be helpful but I would be cautious about proceeding with physio until you a have a clear diagnosis as to what is causing your symptons.

In the meantime, hang in, and try to find a dentist that specializes in oral and facial pain.

Believe it or not, its hard to find good dentists who know what they are doing with TMJ in Canada and the US as well.

Take care and let us know how things go.

 
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:26 AM   #7
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasieta View Post
Hi!
Thanks for your reply. It's probably easier to see people who know about TMJD in Canada or the USA than in Spain. I did actually see a dentist and he confirmed the diagnosis of my jaw bones, based on a panoramic X-ray (I'm not sure of the name in English) of the whole of my jaws and mouth. He could see the parts that were worn away etc., plus my overbite is very obvious and he thought this was what had caused the problem. The ENT guy felt my jaws and heard them clicking, but of course it's not really his speciality. However, he has seen many people who have come to him complaining of ear pain etc., which was in fact caused by TMJD. I shall definitely try to have a CT scan. The MRI was carried out to check for other things, since at that time I was dizzy 24/7 as well as suffering pain in my head, ear and face.

I imagine the floaters have nothing to do with this - it was just a coincidence. However, the dizziness and weird vision started at exactly the same time as the TMJ pain, so I can't help thinking that they are somehow linked. The sore eyes and sinus pain were also bad back then. Is it normal for symptoms to come and go and to vary?

Anyway, I shall try to see another dentist soon and get some kind of treatment.

Thanks again,

Kasia
Don't know where you are in Spain, but after writing you I seemed to recall reading a scientific article authored by Spanish oral surgeons when I was doing research on my own problem (I need to surgery to remove an osteochondroma on the condoyle among other things) - Here is the cite to the article authors and the hospitals that they are affiliated with. This article is from 2009 so don't know if any of these people are still there but maybe its worthwhile trying to get an appointment with an oral surgeon at one of the hospitals listed. Even if an oral surgeon tells you don't need surgery they may be able to recommend other therapies or other dentists that you can help you (surgery should be a last resort).

Osteochondroma of the mandibular condyle: Resection and reconstruction
using vertical sliding osteotomy of the mandibular ramus
Sergio González-Otero 1, Carlos Navarro-Cuéllar 2, Margarita Escrig-de Teigeiro 3, Javier Fernández-Alba-
Luengo 4, Carlos Navarro-Vila 5
1 Resident in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain
2 Specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain
3 Specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain
4 Head of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hospital General Universitario de Guadalajara, Guadalajara,
Spain
5 Head of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain

 
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:46 AM   #8
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Thank you very much for all the replies! We live in Catalonia, very close to the French border, so quite far away from Guadajalara and Madrid. However, as you say, I can contact them to see if there is anyone they can recommend closer to home.

At the moment, my visual disturbances are causing me more problems than the pain, which I find easier to bear. Nevertheless, the buzzing in the ears can be very frustrating at times too. It also comes and goes - some days loud other days barely there at all. I suppose that is normal.

Thank you once again for your help!


Kasia

 
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:50 AM   #9
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Thank you very much for all the replies! We live in Catalonia, very close to the French border, so quite far away from Guadajalara and Madrid. However, as you say, I can contact the people listed to see if there is anyone they can recommend closer to home.

The MRI scan was not looking specifically at the TMJ - more at the inner ear, since I was very dizzy at that time - I don't know if that counts. Probably not! I think I'll try to get a CD scan or another MRI to check things out.

At the moment, my visual disturbances are causing me far more problems than the pain, which I find easier to bear. Nevertheless, the buzzing in the ears can be very frustrating at times too. It also comes and goes - some days loud other days barely there at all. I suppose that is normal.

Thank you once again for your help, Sd123 and Canuck65! I hope you find a solution to your problems too.


Kasia

 
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:49 AM   #10
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasieta View Post
Thank you very much for all the replies! We live in Catalonia, very close to the French border, so quite far away from Guadajalara and Madrid. However, as you say, I can contact the people listed to see if there is anyone they can recommend closer to home.

The MRI scan was not looking specifically at the TMJ - more at the inner ear, since I was very dizzy at that time - I don't know if that counts. Probably not! I think I'll try to get a CD scan or another MRI to check things out.

At the moment, my visual disturbances are causing me far more problems than the pain, which I find easier to bear. Nevertheless, the buzzing in the ears can be very frustrating at times too. It also comes and goes - some days loud other days barely there at all. I suppose that is normal.

Thank you once again for your help, Sd123 and Canuck65! I hope you find a solution to your problems too.


Kasia
Are you near Barcelona? Barcelona must have a major hospital or university which you could check to see if they have dental or oral surgery departments which deal with TMJ. Also, if visual disturbances are more of a problem go see an opthamologist (eye doctor) and neurologist to rule out any other causes. Good luck and take care.

 
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:41 AM   #11
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Hi Canuck,

Well, Barcelona is about 2.5 hours away. I've been to several ophthalmologists there but still have not solved my visual issues, unfortunately, despite a large number of tests. I've also been to a neurologist and an ophthoneurologist and they also carried out a whole bunch of tests and said my problem was not neurological! In any case, I need to pursue the dental route now to see if they can help with my jaw issues.

I was wondering whether anyone else on this board had any visual issues related to TJMD - they are listed as possible symptoms but I have not read of many people who suffer from them in relation to jaw issues, face pain etc. I suppose the visual stuff may be related to the dizziness I suffered a great deal last year. For some reason, I have not had dizziness for several months now. No idea why. From what I have read, it seems like other people on this board have pain, dizziness etc. all the time. But maybe I'm wrong.

Thanks for all your help!

Kasia

 
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:40 PM   #12
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Hi Kasia

I have eye floaters in one of my eyes, it's looks like lots of black specks and cobwebs floating around in my eye. The eye which is affected is the same side that I have facial pain, ear and eye pain, and I'm certain that my eye floaters have been caused by my TMJ.

 
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:42 PM   #13
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Hi Amanda,

Thank you so much for your reply. Did your floaters appear after the TMJD pain etc. or at the same time? How long have you had these symptoms? Do you ever suffer from dizziness or buzzing ears?

I'm pretty certain there is a connection too. My floaters are now in both eyes, and both jaws are effected by TMJD, but my left jaw, side of face, ear and eye are far worse.

Have you had any kind of treatment for your TMJD?


Kasia

 
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:43 AM   #14
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Re: TMJ - visual disturbances

Hi,
I have been having problems with sinus pressure, pain in ears, buzzing in ears ( sounds like a fly is in there, happens when I turn my neck, burning and twitching of my face and of course pain and clicking in my jaw. I just went to the denist yest and he said TMJ. I told him about my ear pain and he said its all connected. I have noticed visual changes BIG time since all this started. I see little light flickers appear for one second and go away, visual snow, and more lights in the sky (entoptic phenomena ) and extreme pressure behind both eyes and eyes watering. I NEVER had this before all of my muscle tension and neck pain. My dad is an optometrist and I have had several testing done he says my eyes are fine. SO is HAS to be b/c of the TMJ and muscle tension. I was worried I had optic neuritis there for a while but my vision with my glasses is fine, colors look normal etc. Its just hard not to think the worst. I have brain MRI and everything. I also have pain in the back of my head. Its like all of my muscles are out of whack. Most doctors say they don't know. Its so aggravating, I feel a bit relieved finding this post although Im sorry you are going through it as well. Thanks for the post.

 
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