Discussions that mention valium

Inner Ear Disorders board

You say that MAV can cause ear fullness. Where did you learn about this association? I have not seen any documentation that associates ear fullness with MAV.

Hmmmm, I just looked at some articles and can't find any that make the association. I know there is one as I know people with MAV and they do experience ear fullness. Also, people are often initially diagnosed with menieres prior to discovering they have MAV, partly because the symptoms of ear fullness, tinnitus, dizziness etc... are very similiar. My guess is, it's possible that if someone only suffers with MAV, not tmj, then the ear fullness is intermittent.

One of the reasons I am curious about migraine/and or VN playing a part in all this for you alongiside tmj is the imbalance. I did a lot of research in to tmj, checking out boards, looking at other sufferers experience and my gut feeling after all this is that tmj on its own does not cause significant problems with imbalance (although some will say it does, I beg to differ.) There are people with extremely severe tmj, surgery cases, disabled by it, who experience no dizziness at all - which would seem odd to me. My gut feeling about myself and possibly you, is that you may have more than one thing going on. The clenching may be acting, as it does with me, as a trigger for migraine. Muscle tension is a known cause of migraine - for example, at the neurology hospital where I go, one of the treatments is injections directly in to the back of the neck for people who have neck problems that trigger their headaches. It follows that a jaw/clenching problem could do the same and I have often read tmj cited as a migraine trigger. This is unproven, as are all triggers for migraine - it is hard to prove what causes it - but it is certainly a trigger for me. Of course it could equally follow that if you succesfully treat the tmj and that subsides then the migraine it triggers would subside and so would the dizziness.

Bear in mind that migraine or VN are simply a guess and hunch on my part. I'm forgetting that you may have ETD along with the tmj, which does cause people to feel off kilter. As with all these things, knowledge is helpful. They are worth bearing in mind as another avenue of treatment you could explore. Generally diagnosies in the area of imbalance are a process of elimination through treatment. If the treatment works, retrospectively you know what you were suffering from.

How did they diagnose your VN?

Partly through the experience of the neurotologists in the clinic I go to - they see many cases like me. Partly due to a rotary chair test which picked up very mild left beating nystagmus - an irregular movement of the eyes caused by vestibular irregularities. There are 2 tests they generally do for VN - the eng and the rotary chair. Did your neurotologist give you these tests? Not everyone who has VN shows a positive result on the test. Often the diagnosis is based on the experience of the clinician diagnosing you. People with migraine caused imbalance often have a normal test result.

For the first year or so of the illness I experienced no vertigo at all, just dizziness and lightheadness and horribly full ears. This threw the 2 ENT's I saw who were rubbish and tried to palm me off with an anxiety diagnosis. I did eventually develop vertigo, which made things clearer, although the neurotology department told me that to experience no vertigo, merely dizziness, is not unusual in VN. Later on it became clear that I wasn't compensating properly from the VN and that's when they suspected I also had migraine which was upsetting the applecart and causing me not to compensate properly.

Were you on any other medication while wearing your NTI during the time when your ear fullness cleared?

I tried numerous drugs, reacted badly to all of them and came off them. I was not on a drug when the ear fullness cleared up. I am now on propanonol which seems to be working to stop the dizziness, although I have just developed very bad rhinitis, which may simply be hayfever, or may be a side effect of the drug. This is a pain in the backside as my sinuses are now effected, too much face pain and I get dizzy again. Unfortunately drugs are often like this - what they give on the one hand, they take away on the other. However, it is definitely worth trying them. I am glad I've taken this drug even if there are down sides.

How long did it take for the NTI to give you relief from your ear fullness? Was it a gradual process? Did you wear your NTI at night only? Did your ear symtoms get worse before they got better after starting the NTI? I am very interested in hearing your story from the time you started wearing your NTI through when your ears cleared.

You know the ear fullness drove me half mad. I related totally to you saying you would give up a lot to get rid of it. I used to fantasize about what I would trade to make it go. For example, I'll take a bad knee or IBS etc...rather than full ears. Obviously no one was offering me a trade, but I still pondered that a lot. I also used to fantasize about poking knitting needles in my ears. It brought me to my knees. Which is why it's crazy that I can't remember how it went. I know this is infuriating. I only know it was after I started wearing the NTI. Based on vague memory you're looking at months or weeks, definitely not days. And yes, it's a gradual process. I only wore it at night. Imagine how weird you'd look wearing that thing all day. Although I do wear it if I take a nap during the day - and as I work at home this isn't unheard of, lol.

I remember reading that you actually stopped wearing your NTI soon after you started, at least for a short time. Why was that?

I panicked because my tinnitus got slightly louder. Then decided what the heck I'm going to stick with it. You know the way it was explained to me is that it's a gradual process and, based on a bit of reading, I think it may feel like odd things are happening for a while. Using common sense, if you've been a clencher for a long time, and most people have been when they get problems, it's going to feel uncomfortable for a bit as the muscles relax. They are used to doing the wrong thing, so as they come out of spasm you might have some weird sensations going on. Imagine how your arm feels if you've been carrying a heavy bag, as you put the bag down and stretch it out it doesn't feel good for a bit. It hurts. I do remember a dentist writing something similiar somewhere on the net. The NTI isn't for everyone, but in your shoes I'd want to give it more than a couple of nights.

I really do feel for you. I fear the full ears coming back so much. I haven't flown since they cleared a long time ago now for fear that the negative pressure might stop them up again. Occasionally my right ear will block up a bit going down a hill in a car. I can unblock it by yawning and moving my jaw around. In the past, when it first happened and stayed with me for months, nothing would unblock them.

There is a procedure I know little about which I believe involves manual manipulation of the muscles in the ears by a dentist. It's for tmj related ear symptoms and it's called, I believe, a Trigeminal Pharyngioplasty procedure. Something else you might want to check out. The muscles that are involved in tmj related ear problems are the tensor veli palatine and the tensor tympani muscles. Another thing to look up if you're researching this, it will probably bring up some interesting info.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention one other thing. Get a book - Taking Control of Tmj by Robert O Uppgaard, a fairly cheap paperback. One other thing I was told to do was stretching of my neck/jaw, to loosen up the muscles. Some people swear by this as a partial cure for tmj. This book will explain which simple stretching exercises to do. I did them for a while religiously and I do think that helps too. Another book worth getting is - The Trigger Point Therapy workbook by Clair Davies. This explains how to do self massage to loosen up the muscles and is another recommended therapy.

Another recommended thing that I do intermittently (that reminds me I must start again) is taking magnesium supplements. 400mg a day of pure mag. It is a natural muscle relaxant and I was told to do this by this by my dentist. I also very occasionally used valium - a tiny dose - 2mg - when I developed a hideous vibration in my ears caused by stapedial muscle spasm. Valium is a fantastic muscle relaxant.The downer is that benzos are very addictive.

Sorry if this is muddling. I guess what I would say is - don't assume you only have one thing going on. If you remember that song - the knee bone connected to the thigh bone etc... Illness is often like that, one thing triggering another in a domino effect. I did a number of things - vestibular rehab, the nti, drugs, supplements, stretching. I attacked my problem from all angles. In your shoes I would probably go with the current diagnosis - ETD and tmj. I would use the NTI, stretch, take magnesium. I might throw amitriptyline in to the equation. A tip - start a drug like ami at a very low dose and work up slowly to try and counter side effects. If all that didn't work I'd look in to migraine/VN. Get some tests done if you haven't had them already. Maybe try a different migraine preventative if you've tried the ami and don't get on with it.

I hope all this helps.