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Ear ringing, tired, balance, sinus

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Old 06-22-2003, 08:14 PM   #1
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awilki01 HB User
Post Ear ringing, tired, balance, sinus

Back in March I started to notice ear ringing off and on in my left ear. I then got a sinus infection from my wife's strep throat (same bacteria can cause both). I took a 10 day supply of amoxicillin, and it seemed to work ok. To note, the ringing did happen prior to the sinus infection though. Recently, the ear ringing is pretty much constant - very high pitch sound in left ear. It seems worst when I'm tired or stressed. Occasionally, I'll get a little ear pain in my left ear. Also, the backside of my throat (assuming where my left ear's eustacian tube is) and my left ear (feels like the eardrum) will itch. I have to make some really weird sounds to scratch my throat - the wife loves that one. I've also noticed sinus pressure off and on in and around my different sinuses (behind eyes, sides of head, forehead, by nose, etc. It seems to move around). One thing to note is that some days there is no sinus pressure. I've also recently started feeling tired and a little off balance. I went to an ENT and an audiologist determined I had high frequency hearing loss in my left ear (probably from the Navy). My speech discrimination score was perfect though - no problems there. The ENT said my ear looked fine. He said the ringing was caused by the high frequency hearing loss. I feel like the ENT blew me off...he basically told me in so many words to deal with the ringing. Therefore, I'm going to another ENT next month to get a second opinion.

I thought it might just be allergies making me feel this way, but the ENT says the ringing was not caused by allergies. But, I'm not sure about the other symptoms.

Does anyone else have similar symptoms?

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Old 06-22-2003, 08:18 PM   #2
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awilki01 HB User

Oh..I forgot to mention.....

When I hold my nose and blow, both ears pop out. It seems like the eustacian tube is clear, but the left (bad) ear seems to take more pressure to get it to pop.

Also, I have to close my eyes real tight when doing this...It feels like my left eye has an air leak by my tear duct and might pop out? Is that normal?

Old 06-23-2003, 02:01 AM   #3
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hbep HB Userhbep HB Userhbep HB User

I'm not a doctor but one big possiblity is tempero mandibular joint disorder. Put that in to a search engine on this board and you will find my posts on the topic, there is also a tmjd board on healthboards with lots of info - people do not always experience jaw pain with tmjd, many have symptoms which are predominantly referred to the ears and or face. Your temple/sinus/ear pain, itch in ear, tinnitus, eye involvement and balance problems all sound fairly classic. Things that might help determine whether this is a problem are: Does your jaw ever click or pop? Do you have problem with grinding or clenching your teeth? If you move your jaw from side to side, or open wide do you feel any tension, does it feel tight? Open your mouth and feel around the area where your jaw joint is - is it tender at all?

The only thing making me wonder is that you have actually had a sinus infection - has this definitely cleared up? Then again, tmjd can make you more prone to sinus issues - can't remember the exact reason for this but I remember reading that's the case. TMJD often causes phantom sinus pain (no infection.) You should definitely be checked out by ENT again BUT if they say again there's nothing wrong with you that they can determine, be aware that tmjd is predominantly a dental problem. Many ENT's are ill informed about the relationship btwn tmjd and the ears, mine was, it took my dentist to spot the problem, and an oral surgeon at a dental hospital to diagnose me. ENT declared me a 'mystery.'

Hope this helps.

Old 06-23-2003, 08:05 AM   #4
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awilki01 HB User

Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it. My jaw does not feel different. I can move it side to side and occasionally hear a very small click, but I would imagine that to be normal. And it doesn't feel tight until I fully open my mouth, but that too strikes me as normal.

I'm really wondering if allergies are making me tired, weak, and a little off balance (not dizzy). The ENT said the ear drum was moving fine (some kind of instrument they stuck in my ear) and he said that would have shown if allergies were keeping my eustacian tube blocked. But, what of the inner ear? Can't allergies affect the inner ear directly? If it is, it may be aggravating a little tinnitus I have due to the high frequency hearing loss - making it worst than it normally is.

I remember that I went to my general practitioner last year and was feeling tired and off balance. She informed me it sounded like allergies.

What do you guys think?

Oh, and by the way, I hate that so many of you are having problems, but it is a relief to know that I'm not entirely alone.


Old 06-28-2003, 07:58 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Plainsboro, New Jersey, USA
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quinnma HB User

I, too, think you might check out the TMJ board. That's where I live most of the time. I started with a sinus infection and dizziness, with pain in the ears. The balance problem subsided, but has continued. Now I have more high pitched ringing in one ear- have also had the itch in the ear. I have a bad jaw, confirmed by two doctors and am hoping to get it treated soon. I continue to have significant facial pain - often feeling like a sinus infection. My CatScan of the sinuses showed they were healthy and clear, so my ENT suggested I consult with a TMJ doctor and a neurologist about possible facial pain syndromes. My ENT is treating me for Meniere's also, because my fluctuating hearing loss is in the low ranges. I am starting a diuretic and and a low salt diet. So it seems I could end up with three conditions, or maybe just the TMJ which mimics so many things. (I had severe trauma to chin and jaw a year and half ago.) It's a process of elimination, I guess, because the jaw is so complex. I also have a significant neck problem which is being looked into. There are actually trigger points and nerves in the neck that affect balance and facial pain.

Old 07-06-2003, 11:41 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2003
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mdla HB User

I have horrible TMJ and in the past three months have started to have the bad ear pain, fullness and ringing in one side. Can TMJ cause these symptoms? Has anyone out there had arthroscopy surgery for TMJ?

Old 09-15-2003, 02:57 PM   #7
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jwass HB User

Wow-was i surprised but relieved to read that so many people have similiar symptoms. I too have had ringing in 1 ear for several months now. i went on Allegra-D for 2 weeks, because my doc wanted to rule out a sinus/allergy infection. it didn't help with the ringing. recently, i have been experiencing some dizziness, usually upon standing or raising my head up from a lowered position. I got a little concerned, so I scheduled an MRI for the end of the month. I saw and ENT who did a fairly thorough exam, consisting of positional tests and lots of questions. He didn't seem to think it is sinus trouble, however i do feel the pressure and pain in my head and over my eyes. I have been told by my husband that i grind my teeth pretty aggressively at night, so i don't imagine that is helping anything much. RECENTLY, i have had a dull pain in my left eye upon any visual movement side to side. Has anyone had this? If so, what were you told it was? It has happened on 2 occasions now and I am a little concerned. Lastly, does anyone hear a constant faint sound in their ears that resembles the sound you hear when you turn your t.v. on? I thought it was something everyone heard when it's real quiet. is this true?

Old 09-16-2003, 01:34 PM   #8
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diabia HB User

I really suggest that you have a contrast MRI to rule out a brain tumor which occurred in me. My left ear and left side of my head gave me quite a grief. My ear was ringing, sounds were different in hearing vs. my other ear, headaches, pressure behind my eyes, jaw and neck pain, extreme tiredness. Antiobitics did not help and no ear infections were seen. Only when I had a physical and the Dr. said I was not noted to have headaches, a cat scan was done. The 1.5 cm noncancerous tumor was found. (Acoustic Neuorma) A constrast MRI showed it again and my hearing test showed I lost 2/3rds of my hearing on that side. I opted for the gamma knife radiation vs. surgery to shrink this tumor. My hearing will not be restored but the other nerves will hopefully not be affected. This affected my 8th nerve. Wll answer any questions... Diane

Old 09-16-2003, 01:47 PM   #9
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3
spedteacher HB User

Hi Diane,
I would really appreciate your input as you have been there. I hope all is well with you. For six months I have had right ear pain with nasal pain and teeth pain. It's been a constant low grade headache. Coincidentally, I developed a monthly migraine in conjunction with this. My internist said I did not meet the criteria for a ct scan. I'm seeing a neurologist soon. Any ideas? Does it sound similar to your situation? Thanks!

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