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cocotorres 03-27-2006 06:28 PM

Problem with eustachian tubes?
I hope that someone might read this and be able to offer me some encouragement because I am at the end of my rope with these problems with my ears. Last year I caught a cold while on vacation and had to fly home with a cold. My ears never equalized, even a few months after the trip. Every time I swallow or try to pop them, all I hear is a clicking sound, as well as a constant ringing.
Finally got in to see a specialist. It was a frustrating appt. as he told me that it sounded like hydrops and to try some nose spray and watch how much sodium I ate. Eight months later the problem had still not gotten any better. Due to insurance purposes I couldn't go see anyone else. So I went back to the same dr. This time he said he still thought it might be hydrops but it could also be that my eustachian tubes were blocked. He sent me for this test called an ABR to see if it was hydrops. I went back for my followup today and he says he doesn't think that's what it is the problem. So today he did a myringotomy (where he cut a hole in the tube to see if that would equalize things). I have not yet noticed any difference and am beginning to doubt that this is going to solve the problem. He told me that I should call back in a week and we'll go from there, depending on what happened with this. I was so optimistic that this was the answer I was looking for but I'm beginning to have doubts. Is it possible that there is a lot of fluid in there and that he didn't suction out and that's why it doesn't feel better?
Does this make sense to anyone out there or am I just crazy?
any help would be really appreciated!

ellenjean 03-27-2006 07:47 PM

Re: Problem with eustachian tubes?
I can relate to your clicking and ringing. I also get thumping and a feeling of wetness in my ear. I had chronic ear infections as a kid and do have some hearing loss in one of my ears. At one time it got to the point it felt like I had a lump in my throat. I finally went to my Dr. and he found a swollen mandibular lymph node. He sent me to an ear nose and throat Dr. who immediatly ordered a cat scan (because of the lymph node) Said it came back with in the hi normal range. He put me on expensive antibiotics and that took care of the LN. After all that I still had the ear problem using an endoscope he inserted down my nose and throat to look for abnormalities and found none. He put me on a steroid nasal spray. It was like magic the ear cleared up and the throat feeling disappeared, for about 6 months then it all came back. I went back to my regular my Dr and got back on the nasal spray but it didn't seem to work this time as well. I lived with it for about 2 years then I got a bad cold. I went to regular Dr. and I told him about my ear popping and cracking plus now loud noise and wind made it hurt. He said I have Eustachian tube disfunction. He put me back on the nasal spray which has helped again. We have determined that it is allergy related to seasonal changes aand my cats. Hope this gives you some ideas.

arlmon18 03-28-2006 11:39 AM

Re: Problem with eustachian tubes?
Coco - I have a similar problem - I also flew home with a cold (2 weeks ago) and my ears have been blocked every since. I've been to the doctor 3 times - I can't take any decongestants because of my BP medication. Tomorrow I'm going to see another ENT for a second opinion. I wanted to ask you - what is hydrops? And, when the doctor did the myringotomy - did he do this in the office? Were you frozen? I can't imagine having that done? Wasn't it painful?

cocotorres 03-28-2006 07:50 PM

Re: Problem with eustachian tubes?
Please let me know how your appt. goes. I'd be curious to find out what the new dr. says.
Hydrops is a condition that results in ncreased hydraulic pressure within the inner ear's endolymphatic system. This pressure accumulation causes the following tetrad of symptoms: fluctuating hearing loss (sometimes good or bad); episodic vertigo ; tinnitus or ringing in the ears (usually low-tone roaring); and aural fullness (pressure, discomfort, fullness sensation in the ears).
I had this test called an Auditory Brainstem Response, which can determine whether it's hydrops or not. The dr. said that the results did not indicate that, but that it doesn't always rule it out either.
As for the myringotomy, he did it in the office. It wasn't really that painful. First he put in some drops to numb it, I sat there about 10 minutes, then he came back and made the little hole (couldn't feel anything), then it was over. I was really disappointed though because I figured that once he cut the hole I would be able to tell immedidately if my ear (he just tried it just the right one) had equalized. He told me I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference till the next day (that being today).
I can't tell any difference today, except that now it actually feels fuller, throbs off and on the ringing is getting worse. He told me to call back in a week and we'll go from there, but I'm not going to wait that long. I'll keep you posted.

arlmon18 03-29-2006 01:20 PM

Re: Problem with eustachian tubes?
Coco - The ENT I saw today isn't really "new". I saw him last June also for a second opinion for vertigo. He gave me Nasonex and ointment to put in my nose because it's "crusty". I was taking Otrivin and shouldn't have been because it's not good for blood pressure. I just posted about drug companies not doing enough research on vertigo medications and medications for those of us who can't take decongestants because of BP. Does your ear still bother you? Can you call the doctor's office and ask when it's going to feel better? Ears can cause alot of grief!!!!

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