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Sudden plugging and ringing of ears?

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Old 02-04-2003, 03:17 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Carthage, NY, US
Posts: 341
KeithEugeneW HB User
Post Sudden plugging and ringing of ears?

I often will suddenly get a strange change in my hearing where one or both ears will suddenly plug up and ring like crazy (within a matter of seconds), to where I have a very difficult time carrying on a conversation. It seems to coincide with when my neck and shoulder bother me the most, and can come on just by the simple turn of my head. It usually goes away overnight. The sensation is as if I stuck my fingers into my ears or put in ear plugs. I have severe disk degeneration of C5-6 and C6-7 and bulging of those disks causing spinal cord compression. Would that cause these types of symptoms or must it be something else? I had my ears checked and tested, and while I have lost a lot of upper frequencies, and have some full time tinitis, there's nothing to indicate why this happens.

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Old 02-04-2003, 05:30 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 319
Nanner HB UserNanner HB User

KeithEugene, it sure enough can be a nerve/cord thing. I've had pressure in my ear canal (both sides) since November and get tinnitus in my left ear fairly often.

If you check my recent posts, I had a hearing test just last week. Eveything checked out okay, but sometimes it sure seems like my hearing acuity is reduced.

If you get anything definitive on cause/cure please fill me in. I had a ACDF at C7 in June, was going fine with the ears until several months ago.

My NS is talking a foraminectomy to widen the spaces for the nerves at several levels in my cervical spine.

Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
Nancy D-ACDF 6/2/02, bladder suspension 12/06, sarcoidosis 10/07, TKR 9/3/13

Old 02-06-2003, 04:21 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: La Vergne, TN USA
Posts: 79
Niki47 HB User

Hi there,

Post op for a cervical corpectomy, I developed a jaw thing kind of like TMJ, and also the ear thing.

My physio stuck his thumbs in my mouth and used a trigger point thing way back on the muscles behind my molars... ears popped open and jaw felt great.

Yes, aspirin will cause ringing if you take too much, also, an elevation in your blood pressure will cause ringing.

But considering your cervical problems... check muscles pressing the nerves. It seems the most probable cause.

Hope that helps.


Old 02-09-2003, 02:14 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Carthage, NY, US
Posts: 341
KeithEugeneW HB User

My blood pressure and cholesterol are good, and I rarely take asprin. Never heard of Chiari. I'm getting the cortisone epidural shots starting this Thursday, so it will be interesting to see after the 3rd session if the hearing thing changes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Old 02-09-2003, 03:58 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 36
Careyanne HB User

I get this same thing too! It happens without any warning & is such a weird sensation!

Never thought of it being possibly related to nerve impingement or pressure. I had C5 & C6 disks removed & the vertebrae fused 12 years ago. Five years ago an MRI showed I have since developed a bone spur just above the site of my fusion which is thought to be causing my swallowing difficulties.

I also have TMJ. So all of this I guess could be factors in causing the ear plugging/ringing sensations.

Have already gone through extensive audio testing to rule out Meniere's due to recurrent severe vertigo episodes. Was told no Meniere's but that I have high frequency hearing loss.

Thanks for sharing your info. Any further info would be appreciated also. Will update if I learn anything more from my neurosurgeon.

Best wishes!

Old 02-14-2003, 10:14 PM   #6
Posts: n/a

Hi Everyone,

Please advise. What is TMJ? I am almost 2 weeks post op, and the last three mornings I have woken up to ear aches! I am still in the hard collar, and I was just thinking that it's caused from the collar pushing up when I'm sleeping. I haven't had any ringing yet. Maybe it's nothing, but had dismissed all syptoms of my spinal problems as "on set of arthritis", and "I'm just getting older, everyone has aches and pains". Maybe if I would have listened to what my body was telling me, I could have caught this thing earlier. The ear thing is very interesting though. Would still appreciate any info. on TMJ. Thanks.

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