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Ear, Nose & Throat Message Board


Ear, Nose & Throat Board Index


I have had a blocked up left ear since Sunday and it is beyond frustrating, I saw my doctor and he told me I had an inflamed ear (something to do with the membrane) and I was prescribed some ear drops (Sofradex) and they have hardly done anything, my doctor said that they would work in 48 hours when he prescribed them.

I just basically want some idea about when my ear is going to clean up please, I have been gargling salt water, chewing gum, stretching my jaw out etc but I am a bit afraid to do things like put olive oil and peroxide in my ear in case it causes damage.

I haven't had any pain from this luckily, just a constant feeling like air is trapped in my left ear, strange noises from that ear (a sort of cracking now and then) and I have also tried the humming test and it is louder in my left ear than it is in my right ear, which I think means it's not a terminal infection or something...(forgive me I read a lot on the net but forget things)

Has anyone had similar symptoms?
i feel your pain, i've had an ongoing "pluuged" ear for a few MONTHS now...my PCP looked in my ear back in Jan. and said it looked inflamed and put me on antibiotics...seemed to help for about 2 wks then the feeling returned. More antibiotics, steroid ear drops and it got WORSE..my ear canal was sooo swollen by the time i went to the ENT, he said it was an allergic reaction to the drops..so i stopped those and the swelling went down but that fullness in the ear is STILL there and i know it is BEYOND ANNOYING i keep yawning, trying to get it to Pop...and it wont. The ent did a hearing test and said i had minimal hearing loss. I have started probiotics (thinking they will help cuz of all the antibiotics ive been on the past few months) and also grapefruit seed extract tablets. As i type this, my ear is crackling, and feels like its gona explode. I just keep praying this goes away becuz it is so frustrating. Keep me posted on your progress and i will do the same..good luck!
[QUOTE=buffalonygal;4942414]i feel your pain, i've had an ongoing "plugged" ear for a few MONTHS now...my PCP looked in my ear back in Jan. and said it looked inflamed and put me on antibiotics...seemed to help for about 2 wks then the feeling returned. More antibiotics, steroid ear drops and it got WORSE..my ear canal was sooo swollen by the time i went to the ENT, he said it was an allergic reaction to the drops..so i stopped those and the swelling went down but that fullness in the ear is STILL there and i know it is BEYOND ANNOYING i keep yawning, trying to get it to Pop...and it wont. The ent did a hearing test and said i had minimal hearing loss. I have started probiotics (thinking they will help cuz of all the antibiotics ive been on the past few months) and also grapefruit seed extract tablets. As i type this, my ear is crackling, and feels like its gona explode. I just keep praying this goes away becuz it is so frustrating. Keep me posted on your progress and i will do the same..good luck![/QUOTE]

Thanks for your reply...you poor thing that sounds horrible, why would the Doctor only put you on antibiotics?, After I was on ear drops for a week (that didn't work at all) I was put on Amoxicllin and a nasal spray, I know it has only been 3 days but there hasn't been any change and my left ear is still blocked up and it sounds like everything is underwater when I speak, the only time I feel normal again is when my left ear is covered by a pillow.

It's honestly one of the most awful things I have had to endure which I know that you can relate to.

My Doc told me that I have an infection of the tympanic membrane and that is only temporary, I'd love to know how temporary because it does drive me insane and I have to return to work tomorrow, which I am dreading.

Good luck to you as well.
Hi guys,
Just saw your posts as I was checking back on one of mine. Sounds from your symptoms like some sort of eustachian tube dysfunction. I had a cold in January and woke up one morning with a blocked left ear. I thought it was a simple ear infection (had some before in past years) and went to the dr thinking I was going to be put on amoxicillan for 10 days to clear it. Turned out that it wasn't an infection, just a slightly red ear drum and no fluid behind it either. I still had my cold so I was told to take sudafed for a few days to reduce inflammation in the nasal/sinus cavities and thereby reduce swelling in the eustachian tube(which connects the nasal cavity to the middle ear and controls air pressure in the middle ear). The sudafed worked for 2 days and then I was back to a blocked up ear. This time I was given amoxicillan due to no improvement from the sudafed. When that didn't seem to have any effect I was placed on augmentin. Halfway through the useless augmentin I was told I had acute sinusitis. So I was apparently according to the urgent care doc placed on all the wrong meds and his solution was a different class of AB. When that did not work I was told to stop all AB treatment and was told that I was probably dealing with a virus. Since my ear at that point had fluid in it that refused to drain (3 wks into the block), I was given prednisone to try to stop the swelling in my eustachian tube and sinuses to allow things to drain. No such luck. I decided to see an ENT at this point, but all he did was say acute sinusitis and put me on some stronger AB called avelox. I hate this particular class of AB because they cause me extreme nausea, but I took it anyway. He also gave me flonase and a higher dose of prednisone. I mentioned my ear to him and he looked at it from sitting up/lying down and said no fluid. At that point he told me it was probably due to the sinusitis and to take all meds and follow up. Which I did. Only to be told that my problems were due to anxiety. Quack! I wanted to punch him! I decided not to give up. A girl from my work told me she had an awesome ENT and gave mr the number. This appt took forever to get. In the meantime I ended up in the ER for severe ear/facial pain and a massive migraine type headache. I was given CT scans which showed sinusitis. Back to square one. I saw the ENT I was planning to see and he agreed with the Dx. He told me that I had a couple options, allergy testing or surgery. I wasn't feeling confident about that, but have agreed to try the allergy testing. Then he addressed my ear situation which had now spread to the right ear. I did a hearing test and passed with flying colors. I did a tympanogram and failed. Too much negative pressure behind my ear drums. In fact, they were sucked in due to the pressure. Owie!! He told me it was eustachian tube dysfunction. Basically my tubes aren't equalizing the air pressure of my middle eat space with the outside world so easily. I asked what my options were and he said it usually resolves on it's own ( it had already been 2 mos) and I can keep on with the flonase, OR he could put tubes in my ears ( like kids get). He told me that he could not guarantee this helping me since my problem was pressure and not fluid behind my ear drums. I have great hearing according to my test, and he said that my hearing might be altered by the tubes (Omg). So what I did was probably the bravest thing I've done about this the entire ordeal and told him thanks but no thanks for now. He told me that he can do them anytime I want them so the option is always there, I just don't want to poke possibly unnecessary holes in my ear drums yet. I have had days of regret when I feel pain so much that I want to actually do the procedure myself, but I've managed to stay firm. Some days I have pain some days just a blocked pressure type feeling especially in my left ear. I think you should look into eustachian tube dysfunction as a possible cause of your blocked ear, especially since it followed an upper respiratory virus and if your dr sees no infection. You dont need to have pain to have ETD. You need to be pesky about it though because while some people's ETD clears in a few days others it seems (according to my research) to last for months or even years. So stay on top of your dr, don't take too many unnecessary AB's, and try to see an ear nose and throat dr if your pcp can't figure things out. That's what I had to do and so far after 2 loooooong months I'm finally starting to get some answers. Good luck.
Jen
[QUOTE=jford72;4942425]Thanks for your reply...you poor thing that sounds horrible, why would the Doctor only put you on antibiotics?, After I was on ear drops for a week (that didn't work at all) I was put on Amoxicllin and a nasal spray, I know it has only been 3 days but there hasn't been any change and my left ear is still blocked up and it sounds like everything is underwater when I speak, the only time I feel normal again is when my left ear is covered by a pillow.

It's honestly one of the most awful things I have had to endure which I know that you can relate to.

My Doc told me that I have an infection of the tympanic membrane and that is only temporary, I'd love to know how temporary because it does drive me insane and I have to return to work tomorrow, which I am dreading.

Good luck to you as well.[/QUOTE]
I will say a prayer for you that things resolve for you......its just plain awful...and ive had to go to work with this feeling for the past few weeks and i feel like im talking in a vacume...(i work in an office and have to answer phones alot ugh!) do u notice if u clench your jaw alot? i KNOW i do..and i've been reading alot that TMJ can cause radiating pain, and the symptoms we have...sometimes i have to shut the computer off cuz i read so much and get myself so scared and worried i have to quit reading!!!! LIke i said in my other post, im going to TRY to find an ENT that actually cares..the one i went to was very gruff and indifferent to how i was feeling...dont ya just wana take a pin and pop your eardrum?? LOL not that i would ever do that but wow it seems as tho it would be relief..keep me posted on ur progress........
Hi guys,
The typanogram is different from the hearing test because it measures the pressure inside your middle ear. They put this little device in your ear that kinda suctions a bit on your eardrum and will check the pressure that way. So if they did that then you did have one done. The tone/speech test is called an audiogram. That's where you push a button everytime you hear a sound in the ear buds or whatever they put in. Have you asked your dr what the cause of this is if it's not an infection? Has he given you any answer? My first ENT told me that it was all anxiety once he couldn't give me an answer. The second one found my sinusitis and eustachian tube dysfunction. Im still thinking you may have that based on your symptoms and a normal hearing test. It's possible that your tubes got swollen and irritated after the ear infection and haven't gotten back to normal yet. That's what I'm thinking happened to me. And still is happening. I'd love to have one whole day of non- stodginess in my ears. I dont know if you have tried this yet but I will sometimes take some ibuprofen when I feel really stuffy in there to see if it will help take some of the swelling down. It sometimes works. Also I have tried just closing my eyes for a while and breathing in and out and letting my mind drift, kinda like meditation. I hear you on the husband not getting it. I'm pretty sure mine has had enough. My symptoms have been going on since January as well. I have a lot of anger over this because I feel like it's making my life hell and I just want to be done with it. My suggestion to you is to see another ENT but get the records of any tests from the previous one so nothing had to be repeated. It was helpful for me. It's nice to have someone to talk to when your feeling icky who kinda understands your misery. Keep me updated on your progress. For me it's off to allergy testing on Tuesday. I doubted allergies before but woke up with terribly itchy e-tubes this morning I literally wanted to scratch them out. And sometimes I do want to poke thru my eardrums with a needle too to just alleviate something if I can!
Jen
Hey Buffalonygal,
How r u feeling today? My nite was not too bad tho I did get some weird shocks of pain in my left ear. I will be mentioning that to my ENT tomorrow. I'm not having much pain today, just some itchiness in my e-tube it's pretty annoying. Kinda sick of taking motrin tho. Trying out a heating pad to see if that makes the itch go away. I'm sooooo tired of feeling like an invalid and not wanting to leave the house unless I have to. Im trying to stay positive today because hopefully I will get more info tomorrow at my allergy test. I hope you are feeling somewhat better. I can't wait till my husband gets home from work so that I can talk to him about all this. Hopefully he will listen to me. His perspective is that it's not killing me so why worry. Ugh! We need some hope here! Someone to say that no matter what things will turn out ok! I think I will start another novena to St. Jude tonite. If u haven't heard of it look it up. He is the patron saint of desperate causes and hopeless situations. He has always gotten me thru my tough times. This time not yet, but I will continue to pray. I saw my priest the other day (I'm catholic) for done spiritual counseling and he told me that God is with us even when we r struggling and when I am having a hard time to call out to Him and ask Him to help me thru whatever it is. I do this a lot lately and it seems to at least temporarily help. Maybe give it a try? I really hope that I can start to have some answers tomorrow with the allergy test. If not allergies then I don't know what's next for me. Please pray for me and I will pray for you.
Jen
hey Jen how are u feeling? today i noticed that my left ear has actual swelling in the ear canal..its almost swollen shut........i cant wait to get to the ENT next monday...alot of itching and crackling today.........ughhhhhhh!!!!!!!! praying we both get some answers..how did the allergy testing go???
thanks for the update...did the ent say if u had fluid behind the retracted eardrum?? when do u start allergy shots and how often do u have to go for them? Today mine is really full, im counting the days til i go monday......praying for some answers.....u wana hear something really strange? one of my co-workers has the EXACT same issues with her right ear..we got to talking today and when she told me how shes been feeling for the the last couple of months i was like O my goodness it sounded like i was talking about myself.....she says pressure and fullness is driving her nuts........i almost wonder if its something in our office that we are allergic to? sounds odd but its even more odd we have the exact same symptoms......shes gona see how i like the ent and if i do she is gona make an appt.......so the slit made no difference in relieving the pressure or fullness at all????????? i was hoping it would do that.........i will opt for tubes if it means i can fly without severe pain.....did he say if u kept it in that it would have felt better after some time or did it feel uncomfortable enuf that u knew u wanted it out asap? so sorry for all the ?'s !! did the ent think the swelling in the etube is from allergies?? it seems odd that we never experienced allergys before our most recent headcolds.......let me know how u r feeling tomorrow........saying a prayer every nite for us to feel better soon!!!!!!
thanks for the update...did the ent say if u had fluid behind the retracted eardrum?? when do u start allergy shots and how often do u have to go for them? Today mine is really full, im counting the days til i go monday......praying for some answers.....u wana hear something really strange? one of my co-workers has the EXACT same issues with her right ear..we got to talking today and when she told me how shes been feeling for the the last couple of months i was like O my goodness it sounded like i was talking about myself.....she says pressure and fullness is driving her nuts........i almost wonder if its something in our office that we are allergic to? sounds odd but its even more odd we have the exact same symptoms......shes gona see how i like the ent and if i do she is gona make an appt.......so the slit made no difference in relieving the pressure or fullness at all????????? i was hoping it would do that.........i will opt for tubes if it means i can fly without severe pain.....did he say if u kept it in that it would have felt better after some time or did it feel uncomfortable enuf that u knew u wanted it out asap? so sorry for all the ?'s !! did the ent think the swelling in the etube is from allergies?? it seems odd that we never experienced allergys before our most recent headcolds.......let me know how u r feeling tomorrow........saying a prayer every nite for us to feel better soon!!!!!! did he suggest any decongestants or antihistimines to help with the etube swelling??
hi jen..i know what you mean bout being a ball of anxiety...i find it is ALL i think about, seriously i wonder if stress/anxiety plays a part in this feeling cuz all day my ears didnt feel too bad (i took today tomorrow and monday off from work cuz im a huge march madness bball fan) and so i get a call from another girl at work and got some very stressful news from her about another coworker who does NOTHING but stir up trouble at work and this time it involved me and so i hear all this stuff and i can feel myself getting all upset and stressed over it and immediatly my ears felt worse, the swollen sensation became 10x worse....i m going to post on the anxiety board about anyone having this problem......right now my head feels like it is gona explode from pressure....but how do we NOT think about it when its such a horrible feeling to have????? my left ear canal is about swollen shut...so i duno what is causing the swelling...i pray the ENT has some answers.......keep my posted on how ur are doing..
hey jen i was just thinking about you be4 i got on here and wondering how you were feeling.....Im sooo sorry you're still having a horrible time, both ears are really bad still? Mine is mainly my left ear....totally blocked this morning and shooting pains come and go...left side of nose is stuffy today too..my right ear seems to "pop" when i swallow but then feels a bit stuffy right afterwards.........both ITCH like crazy......yesterday, my kids were over and we were outside...my son and his buddies played street hockey and told me to give it a shot...being i had no clue what i was doing i tried it and for those few moments when i wasnt thinking about my ear, i enjoyed having some fun but of course, the minute i was done and came inside, its all i thought about...i yawn so much to pop it i cant imagine how stupid i must look, constantly yawning...i go to the new ENT tomorrow at 10:30 i kno u will say a prayer..i have been praying for you i was hoping the slit in the ear drum would at least help the stuffiness....i feel like theres a balloon in my ear that keeps blowing up bigger and bigger...i just wish the darn thing would pop .... ahhhh i can totaly sympathize with you..i mentioned how blocked my left ear felt to my hubby this morn when i got up..he didnt even reply..i know hes tired of listening to me but he has NO IDEA how frustrating this is..........we are going to church at 930 i will say a prayer for us............im always so tense...24/7 even now as i type this i have to make a conscience effort to relax my shoulders..they are tensed upwards towards my ears...i dont think our stress and tension is helping...and im tryig relaxed breathing etc...with not much help..................keep me posted i will update u when i get home tomorow...take care..
HI Jen!!!!!!!!! Just got back from ENT appt........come to find out, i have a bad fungal infection in both ears (the left one MUCH worse than the right one)...she suctioned out such grose stuff, and immediately the right ear felt 100% back to normal.....the left ear, unfortunately, wasnt quite as easy to get the stuff out..she got all but one little spot but it became tooo painful for her to continue suctioning the eardrum............she said the left eardrum looked red and has some fluid behind it.....hence the reason im probably still not hearing real well out of the left ear...but the Dr didnt want to poke it or drain it today..said we gota get the fungus under control, and then, when i go back next wed, depending on how it looks she may need to drain any fluid out of there....i will say the pressure in the left ear is GREATLY reduced, but the fullness still remains i think becuz of the fluid........i have drops to put in the ears......and i go for rechk next wed. she mentioned nothing of Etube dysfunction...she said the fugus that had adheared to the eardrum was causing me the pain and pressure.......so hopefully the drops will help with the remaining spot and then, in turn, the redness of the eardrum will subside and it will go away. she did say fungus in the ear can be tricky to treat and hard to get rid of but she seems to really have her act together and knows what shes doing. she said an overuse of antibiotics can trigger a fungal infection. I have been praying u r feeling better........keep me posted and i will do the same!
Hey jen how did you make out at the ENT today?? i was thinking about you.....my left ear is still very painful today.....the right ear seems to be ok but the left one woke me with a dull throbbing pain at 3am.......i didnt sleep well at all......still very stuffy feeling.....the drops have seemed to help with the itchiness but the left one still feels very plugged...im just mentally exhausted from alll of this.........as i put the drops in my ears just now i said please god make this go away........for both of us.........im popping motrin every 6 hrs...and if this pain continues im not gona wait til next wed to go back to the ENT......im thinking the membrane is just irritated from the suctioning but i just wish it would pop......keep me posted on how ur doing!!!!!!!
ahhhhh Jen, i know how u feel.......i try not to cry cuz that makes things worse but i try not to scare myself into thinking im going deaf........im gona call the ENT tomorrow..then im thinking well what if the ear also has a bacterial infection and if i go on antibiotics will that flare up the fungal infection again?? i know how u feel, my 2 yr old granddaughter was over yesterday and she wanted to romp around outside and i just sat there...i dont wana do anything...my daughter asked me when the grandbaby could spend the nite so she and her hubby could go out for dinner and i said i just cant keep her overnite..she tends to wake up alot when she sleeps here and i dont have the energy to keep up with her...so i duno how u do it feeling like this with 2 little ones.......im really praying for both of us to feel better cuz this just flat out sucks big time...im trying to remember what it felt like to actually hear normally...and i honestly cant remember....i hate it..i dont sleep well at nite, i wake up and immediately start thinking about my ears and then i get so worked up about it i cant fall back to sleep..last nite the pain woke me up...i m taking xanax for the anxiety but it really doesnt help much and im still dreading flying in may if i feel like this....i was on here earlier at work and read a post from oct 2011 i think it was..about a girl who had the tubes put in for ETD and i guess the first few weeks were bad but then her hearing improved alot..its on page 5 or 6 i think...maybe u should reconsider the tubes?? well keep me posted..........know that im thinking about you and praying for both of us..........
hi! not sure if anyone is still following this thread but i have been having the same problem. i have a clogged/pressure like feeling in my left ear and it won't go away (it's going on 2 months).

it all started with a pain in my neck that turned out to be a lymph node infection and my dr. put me on antibiotics. i had a bad reaction to the antibiotics after a few days so i went back to the dr. they then looked inside my ear and said it looked like a fungal infection. basically my eardrum has a white spot on it. so i got a steroid/antibiotic eardrop used to treat swimmers ear. however, the following weeks resulted in me getting sick TWICE (which never happens to me). i'm not recovered but i still have the feeling in my ear (if anything, worse than before). not a ton of pain but more like discomfort with occassional sharp pains. luckily i am going to the ENT specialist tomorrow so if anyone's interested i'll provide an update on what happens. i really hope i don't have to get what others on this thread have (slit on eardrum or tubes). yikes!! i am more scared than ever.
Hi meow,
Welcome to the I Hate My Ears club! I personally have taken a posting break because my anxiety due to all these issues was way way too up there. As my member name says I am a mom of 2 very active little girls (4&2). Caring for them on a daily basis while my husband was at work was becoming almost impossible. I don't have an ear fungus issue though(I don't think). I got my ear issues in January after a regular old cold. Thought my blocked eat was an ear infection at first, went to the dr n no infection at all. Apparently since that time (and a sinus infection later) my eustachian tubes (especially the left) stopped regulating pressure in my middle eat properly. I was feeling like I shouldn't be able to hear outta that ear but I could! I had a retracted (sucked in) eardrum and everything! It was madness. Then I saw ENT #1 who told me I was nuts. Literally. That it was a physical symptom caused by my anxiety disorder( which was completely under control at that point, no panic attacks for over a year). So I never went back. I saw ENT#2 who did note the awful retracted eardrums as a sign of eustachian tube dysfunction. He looked at ct scans that I'd had done n said 'chronic sinusitis'. Surgery needed. Only alternative is allergy testing to see if there's an underlying cause to the sinusitis. Had allergy testing, found 22 of 37 possible allergens. Awesome. Started allergy immunotherapy. Ears still were awful. I was barely functioning. Took a LOA from work cuz I work in a noisy well known lingerie store, n couldn't take the sound level cuz it caused me physical pain. Desperate, I decided to give the ear tubes that the ENT kept offering me a try. It was awful. He did only 1 ear thankfully, the horrible left one. When he made the slit it was no problem, I felt no different. When he put the tube in I thought I'd gone deaf. No joke. I told him to take it out. Now. Right now. I spent the next couple of weeks literally feeling deaf in that ear. Thankfully the hole healed completely n with no scar. It seems that maybe that hole got rid of SOME of the pressure problem in that ear, though I can't be certain. I was given the anxiety talk by that ENT then too n I wasn't going to deal with that nonsense. By pure chance I got the info for another ENT who came highly recommended. I decided one more attempt was ok cuz I know in my heart that this just isn't anxiety! This ENT looked at my ct scans (same ones the other guys saw) n said he didn't think surgery was necessary n thought a steroid shot might help the swelling ( I've had on/off nasal swelling since the awful sinus infection). He also said it might help my ears because it would control inflammation all over. I did get the shot n it helped the nasal swelling tremendously. I could breathe. As for the ears, no. At least not yet. The shot is a 3 month shot so I'm hoping it might do something, though that hope is small. Basically this ENT confirmed allergies n eustachian tube dysfunction n told me there's not a lot out there to fix it ( the ears). I try not to get upset but I am. It's hard to deal with. My ear always feels blocked to some degree. I've had several hearing tests and all came back normal, above average even. Which seems like a cruel joke sometimes cuz I feel like I can't hear out of my left ear! But apparently I can not only hear out of it, I can hear better than the average 27 year old out of it. Insert crazy hysterical laughter. So I've Bern really really trying to accept it say it is what it is n get on with my life. I do not want to accept it though. I want to get it fixed. And there are dr's out there who fix this! But here's the problem: my husband lost his FT job and our insurance in November. So we have paid out of pocket for everything! And apparently the only way to fix this closed off eustachian tube is a surgery (not scary) to simply reopen it. But cannot do surgery without insurance. I can't even see one of these amazing dr's cuz I want to wait till I have insurance to back up any procedures they may want to do. I just don't want to settle for this as my life. I guess time will tell what happens. I am going to keep praying for my husband to find a job with insurance and praying for my ear to get better. I feel for every person that goes thru something like this. It's a life ruiner kind of thing. This eustachian tube thing might or might not have anything to do with your ear issue though. There are several things you must investigate:
-what antibiotic/antifungal did you take?
-side effects of that antibiotic (look at all)
-can u pop both of your ears by yawning/ hold your nose and blow
- does popping them provide blocked feeling relief
-what other meds are u on and the side effects
Make a clear list of symptoms to give to the ENT. Do not cry or appear anxious at your appt or you might not have them take you seriously. Maybe you can also request a hearing test to make sure your hearing is ok. What happened to cause the possible fungal infection? Sorry I can't see your post while I type this. Let me know how you r doing.
Jen
Joyce!!!
I've missed u! I am so sorry that ur still feeling yucky. I know what u mean about having faith in God to help us thru. I try to pray every day. I have even gone to see the priest at my church to talk about this. It did seem to help a bit. I guess I am just really angry that I am stuck like this right now. I miss my old self but I try not to focus on that because I know it's not healthy. Just trying to take care of my kids as best as I can. I feel as though I'm grieving for my former self though. It's hard to be around things that remind me of before this happened. I do try though. I was also told I might have some tmj problems! That's interesting that we both were told that! I was rx'd some kind of nerve meds but didn't take it. Scared of the giant list of side effects cuz this drug is usually used for seizure sufferers. I have been taking quercetin lately. It's a natural yet powerful antihistamine and anti inflammatory. Hoping it will halt the allergic reaction in my nose n eustachian tubes n bring down the swelling. But jeez! U would think a steroid shot would be more effective. Guess not. I have also been taking a multi vitamin for immune support because I am on the steroid (lasts 3 mos). And it sounds funny but I started drinking cherry 7Up cuz they added antioxidants to it! Plus it's yummy. I've tried avoiding dairy as much as possible too cuz it can apparently increase mucus production. Jeez I sound like such a weirdo! I wonder though if ur eustachian tubes are acting crazy like mine due to having that fungal infection. Do u get the pressure in ur right ear now too? That's what happened with me- I got the blocked left ear n then the right ear joined the party. I did have a tympanogram done where they measure if middle ear pressure n my right ear was pretty good only -5 and my left ear was -85 (Omg). I guess it's within a normal range though, according to the ENT. I guess negative pressure up to -150 is normal. That's crazy. My eardrums aren't visibly retracted anymore though I think. I can't remember if u said u had this test. It basically tells them how ur middle ear is working. Hopefully this recent one is a sign of improvement? I don't know. I will still keep trying the natural stuff I think because it doesn't have as many side effects. I highly recommend the quercetin. It seemed to help when all else is failing at relieving some of the pressure. I got mine from the Vitamin Shoppe. Ive also been trying olive leaf extract. It's antibacterial antiviral and antifungal. Basically like a natural everything antibiotic. Jury's still out on that though. I definitely noticed more relief from quercetin. I'm not even taking zyrtec anymore, so it really does something. I'm wondering if u could tell me the name of the natural muscle relaxant that ur using. Might want to try that for the tmj possibility. I will also look into the Mg. I've heard it can help with nerve pain. I'm always looking to go natural if I can because all the meds I've had the past few months come with nasty side effects. Plus I don't want to mess with my body while it's in this steroid. It was a 3 month shot. I only got it because it is a synthetic steroid so it doesn't have all the harsher side effects of ones like prednisone and cortisone. Let me know about that muscle relaxant though cuz I'd like to look into it. I'll keep u in my prayers.
Big big hugs,
Jen
HI jen!! i know i missed you too....and like i said, i didnt think anyone was responding to the thread anymore cuz i hadnt gotten email notifications.......Im so sorry ur still suffering...i was hoping you were feeling better and you werent posting cuz u were better....Im not sure if i can name the muscle relaxants on here do a google search for natural muscle relaxants i m sure you will find the ones im using look for "303" when u search (just a hint!)...they dont make me sleepy just relaxed..actually my chiroprator friend suggested i give them a try...i have been getting some adjustments from him weekly..and this past weekend he used this sort of gadget that sent some sort of pulsation to the TMJ joint...he said he definitely deviate to the right when i open my mouth so things are out of whack there..and hes hoping this might help.......and right after he did it, i did notice some relief, however not for long.....i have had the tests done, both ear drums are moderatly retracted but nothing major and i forgot to mention im taking olive leaf extract too! like 4 a day. it gets expensive but im willing to try anything that might help......im gona get the quercetin...also, a good friend of mine who lives in fla, says she sees one of the most prominant TJM drs in the nation, and he recommends standardized tumeric...its a potent inflammatory as well...so i ordered some of those on line. I am SO SORRY to hear about ur hubby losing his job..that just adds to your stress......im praying he finds another, better job than what he previously had......I have to keep telling myself God never closes a door w/o opening another, and i will be praying he gets a new job soon. Yes i agree, the zyrtec does nothing to really help....just dries my sinuses out. i have the pressure (almost like a pulling sensation) in both ears, mainly the left one tho (altho when i really stress over it, both seem terribly bad) the ENT said the tmjd can often mimic ear problems.....becuz its all in such a close area.....do u wake up in the morning with your jaw aching? if u do, it could be you clench w/o even realizing it...i clench so much it will wake me up from a sound sleep..i take an anti anxiety med...and now even a sleep aid to help me get a whopping 5-6 hrs of sleep at nite...and i HATE taking all this med........i'd much rather go natural. Hopefully the tumeric will arrive tomorrow.......and i can start it....my friend says it takes a couple of weeks to work but she has terrible tmj (shes had surgery and everything) and she says it helps.........she says my symptoms sound as tho my muscles are in spasm..which is what the ENT said........also take note when u chew, do u favor one side? I do, and its my left side, the one where the ear is worse.......chiro told me to try to even it out and chew on my rite side........i have to make a conscience effort to do that (who woulda thought something so trival could cause troubles!?) i automatically chew only on my left side...he explained it like, lifting weights but only for one arm..he says i have to balance out my chewing that will in turn help balance out the muscle use in the jaw...Im praying for u and hoping this will soon be over for us.......i too am avoiding dairy as much as possible, in fact im trying to stick to a vegetarian diet.......dairy is tough for me to give up cuz i love cheese.....but im cutting way back...the itching is pretty much gone...that seemed to improve 99% once the fungus was cleared out.....altho they still itch and crackle sometimes........and i got the fungus from an overuse of antibiotic ear drops that were perscribed to treat an ear infection that i probably never even had, the antibiotics just fed the fungus......but that is GONE..the ct showed no evidence of anything...it even said the paranasal sinuses and brain that were visible from the CT were unremarkable..i got a copy of the report and read it for myself..so im convinced my problem really isnt from the ears..the more i read on TMJD the more i wonder if that is what is going on...and if we can get those muscles relaxed our symptoms might improve........Thinking positive thoughts and prayers are with you!!!!!!!!!!! keep in touch!!!!!!!
Morning Jen! Hope u slept well, i actually did...when i first wake up i dont notice the ears feeling quite so bad, but the more the day goes on & the more stressed out i get, i notice its worse...So im gona order some quercetin today. Yes i've heard of dr poe, and I pray neither of us have to go see him!! i heard he has helped alot of people. The formula 303 has seemed to help relax me...all natural herbs AND magneisum in it...plus i take a magnesium supplement...altho sometimes i have to go every other day cuz it can have laxative effects!! or i take a half tablet (50mg) daily. but the 100mg was too much on my digestive system!!!! When ever i plug my nose and blow gently, it makes me ears worse!! so i dont do that..i hear it can push more mucus into the tubes! The Chiro adjusted my ears too...didnt seem to do much at the time, but maybe the more i have it done, it will help......i have alot of neck tension which isnt helping the ears...........altho like i said, alot of tmjd can mimick ear problems so ive been massaging the jaw muscles and make a conscience effort not to clench during the day..altho sometimes i find myself doing it w/o even realizing it.......habit i guess...or i bite the inside of my mouth...out of habit...God always answers prayers...sometimes its not as quickly as we like, but by waiting on his timetable, it helps develop our faith & trust in him....so keep praying and believing..this WILL get better for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xo
Not such a good morning today:( I think I have a cold or the steroid just released a bit more of itself into my system. My body just aches so bad, but it feels like that sick type of ache. Yuck. Ears feeling cloggy today too. I think that's cuz I haven't moved around much at all n didn't take my nose spray or allergy drops or anything yet. I'm going to ask my husband to make me something to eat when he gets home cuz I just did the basics this morning like feeding the kids n making the beds. I've been fighting sleep all morning cuz I can't just sleep n ignore my girls. My husband is on the way home from his PT job so I will have some help soon. I just want to take my meds n sleep. I keep feeling hot then cold so idk maybe it is viral. Glad that u had a good nite. I'm hoping this will pass today. I can't be sick all week. On the bright side though, I found this awesome quote about keeping faith n holding on, so I'll post it here to share with u:
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Love that quote, been reading it all morning. I also keep forgetting to tell u that yes I do chew on one side only a lot. Weird how we have been doing some of the same things. I try to even it out now that u told me. I probably do have a little of the tmj thing going on. I think today is going to be a test of faith type of day. My kids r bored n I have been not wanting to do much since all of this ear stuff happened, so I've been trying to do stuff with them as much as I can. Today I don't know if that will happen unless my husband takes them out cuz I feel so worn out. It really tests my faith when these things happen cuz I think that I'm doing a little better n i wake up the next day 2 steps backwards. It's hard to keep faith in those times. I'm a person who has had some pretty nasty blows dealt to me on my life n I've always found a way thru but this stuff has been some of the hardest stuff I've had to deal with. I feel sometimes like there is no hope of getting thru this. I have tried to combat that by praying n talking to the priest at my church for spiritual counseling. I just don't understand how I could get thru all the other awful things in my life but not this. I pray to God to take this from me but it hasn't happened yet n that discourages me sometimes. My mom used to tell me that God never gives u more than u can handle. But this feels like maybe He did. My kids r suffering n my marriage is suffering because of me. I feel like the seeds of what got me thru all the other times should be within me somewhere, but I can't seem to find them. I have dreams for myself n my family that I feel I won't ever attain because of this. The grief of all of this takes over sometimes. I can't stand to be reminded of myself before this mess. Because I so desperately want to be back there. I'm jealous of the ppl who are normal n don't have to deal with this. I know it's not right, but I am. I am just very discouraged today. Thanks for listening to me. I feel like my faith is being shaken to it's foundations right now. I'm trying to rise above this pain n push forward but it's just so hard! I feel so angry at God right now. Maybe later today I won't be so angry. I don't know yet. But at least thru all of this I have met u and others who inspire me to not give up. U have been such a comfort to me, it helps to know that when others don't get what ur going thru, someone does at least. I hope ur day is going better than mine. Keep me updated.
Hugs,
Jen
I get a throbbing or sharp pain sometimes. Since I had the steroid shot I get some burning occasionally. ENT doesn't think the steroid could cause burning, but according to the pharmacist at my walgreens, it is possible cuz steroids can cause burning sensations at the site of inflammation. I know what u mean about that dang fullness feeling it's sooooo annoying! I sometimes want to get a shop vac n the attachments and thread it up my nose to suck that crud ( or what I think is crud) outta there! If this helps, allergies can attack ur middle ear. I didnt believe that either but I looked it up. Apparently u can have allergies for years that never bother ur ear n then BAM! Ear troubles. I personally don't think mine caused my ETD. I think my cold n sinus infection caused it. I think that my allergies exacerbated it. Maybe. Still not sure. If it's allergies only I thought my zyrtec would help but it didn't. So there's gotta be something more there. I wouldn't tell the ENT anything that he/she could use as an out. They're the dr let them figure it out. I had allergy testing done n it was helpful to see exactly what I was allergic to. Maybe it could help u. Or we could just try the shop vac approach, which is looking more n more like tbest option lately! The only other thing I could think of that could be causing that awful throbbing/fullness feeling is that our eustachian tubes r just irritated n inflamed. I experience throbbing when I have inflammation in other areas of my body. Let us know what happens at the ENT as soon as u can. I'm curious to know if they think allergy plays a role.
Jen
Update: I think that my yucky feeling today were the steroid being released some more in my system. I'm having strange symptoms that correlate with the side effects. My skin feels like it's burning n I'm getting very anxious n jittery. I was having a crying spell a little bit ago because my kids r bored n want to go out n I feel so awful n I hate seeing them sad. I hate feeling like this, it's very disheartening. I know I need to keep faith n pray for God to get me thru, I just don't feel like it right now. Too angry. I just want my life back today. My kids can't take much more of sitting around cuz mommy's sick. I feel very discouraged. Looking for some encouragement guys. I've been seriously stuck in the house feeling horrible all day! :(
Good idea to try to do something. I told my husband that I just cannot sit in the house anymore, so hopefully we will do something after my younger daughter gets up from her nap. I don't like feeling jittery n nervous at all. Plus this burning sensation is getting to me. It definitely feels like nerve pain. Its crazy that I had this shot 2 wks ago n it's still giving me trouble, though the dr did say it was a 3 month shot- the things we do for relief from these symptoms! Ears r really getting to me today too. I can't seem to distract myself from it. I think it's because 3 mos of this is enough! I'm getting poked n prodded with needles, taking steroid shots, anti anxiety meds- it's more meds than I've taken in YEARS. I feel like I'd do just about anything for relief lately! I want an ear transplant!
Meow- did u see the ENT today? What did they say?
Joyce- Help! Don't know what else to say!

What do u guys do when ur symptoms make u super miserable? I usually try to do something distracting but this burning feeling is hard to ignore!
ok, so an update from my appt yesterday!

he said i had a lot of fungus and that the ear drops i used actually helped the fungus grow more because antibiotics can do that. buffalony you were totally right, he suctioned out my ear. it was pretty crazy i got to watch the whole thing happen on a big screen tv! the fungus was really gross looking and it definitely grew since when i saw my pcp and he said it was a white dot. it didn't hurt much when he sucked it out with the vacuum. then he added powder to kill the fungus. he was really poking around in there and when he was done the whole room was spinning but it stopped after a few minutes.

also right when he looked in my nostrils he said i have a deviated septum which is probably why i always have to blow my nose and sneeze now especially since i have allergies - things aren't able to drain correctly and get stuck in my sinuses. he said my nose is crooked but i really don't see it at all (luckily, or else i'm sure i would have a complex now that he pointed it out). he said i can get the surgery if i want but i really don't think i want to go through that. he also mentioned the allergy testing like you said jen. the main thing is he said with the way my nose is i will have to use a neti pot every day to clear it out. i have one but for some reason every time i've used it it seems like my sinuses get even more inflamed. maybe i just need to get used to it.

anyway, after i left, i felt totally fine (ear still stuffy but i'm used to that) so i went to the gym and worked out. about 20 minutes later i started getting EXCRUCIATING pain in my ear...sharp, intense pain radiating to my throat. it was so bad it reminded me of when i got dry sockets when i got my wisdom teeth out. definitely the worst pain i ever felt and i was in tears for hours (as you know, crying makes the situation even worse!). i took 4 motrin and it didn't help at all. my boyfriend called the ENT office to find out what to do. he said it would be sore but to me this wasn't soreness it was just pure pain. anyway, the office was closed so he left a message to get a call back but we never heard back!! that's pretty irritating. i was suffering all night but i couldn't take it anymore so i took tylenol and that was only thing that sort of numbed the pain.

i am not feeling pain today but it's still just as clogged as it was...basically exact same symptoms as before. i know it will take some time for the inflammation to go down. i really hope this will work.
Good thing that they got the fungus out, that does sound kinda painful though. I'm sorry that u had that awful pain later on. I think Joyce (Buffalonygal) mentioned to me b4 that she was popping motrin after the procedure too. I think u will probably have some pain relief in a couple of days. I'd definitely do the allergy testing too but not any scratch test. Make sure it's the intradermal testing that they want to do. It takes a couple of hours. If u have allergies n want to treat them, they'll offer u allergy shots or allergy drops. I do the drops cuz it's something I can do at home 3 times a day. I just hold a drop under my tongue for 30 seconds. The shots u get weekly. Both r based off of what u end up being allergic to. It's called immunotherapy. Its not antihistimines. It's interesting to me that they blame this stuffy ear feeling on allergies, but at least for me, that's not what brought on the ear stuff in the 1st place. I got a cold n then sinusitis. So although their theory does hold water, I just don't know. My ENT told me last time I saw him that I had eustachian tube dysfunction as a result of the cold/sinusitis. Then I got the steroid shot to quell inflammation hopefully to knock out any e tube inflammation. Didn't seem to work. So at the next appt it was all about checking for tmj problems. Then he gave me some anti seizure meds that r supposed to help with nerve pain to see if THAT was the problem. I took 1 look at the mile long list of side effects of that med n said forget it. I know tmj can cause war problems, but I didn't have those issues at the time this started. I firmly believe that we need to look at the timeframe of when our symptoms started to find the cause n hopefully the cure. I sometimes wonder if I have an antibiotic resistant infection somewhere in my sinuses/ears. Or maybe a fungus. Not outside like yours, but deep inside. I have repeatedly asked ENT after ENT to do a culture of my sinuses to see if there's anything left in there. They keep on refusing but why? During my sinusitis I was given 5 different antibiotics to no avail. The swelling n congestion was still there. It took a 2 week course of sudafed/mucinex to finally start getting that mucus out of there. I just can't shake the idea that this may be related. I understand that allergies may cause this in some ppl but I'm not sure about my case. So I'd say to u to do the allergy testing but don't place all ur hopes on it. I have tried antihistimines and been doing my immunotherapy n still see no real difference. Quercetin seems to help some, but not so much that I'm completely symptom free. I think we need to really look into what started all of this for us so we can try to help ourselves find an answer. I applaud u for just dealing with that pressure/stuffy feeling cuz I swear I don't know if I'll ever really get used to it. Just hoping that it will go away and hopefully soon. I even start to feel pressure in my head n get severe headaches because of that pressure, I wonder if any of u guys get that. I feel like if my head were a balloon n I could just pop it, the yucky pressure feelings would go away. Time to get my kids down for a nap so gotta go, hope u feel better soon. I was feeling horribly clogged today so I broke down n took an allegra d 12 hr. Not feeling much of a difference though. Hopefully some of the pressure will go b4 my girls wake up. Talk to ya soon!
Jen
Thanks for the info about barometric changes and effects on the ears. I was pretty sure I wasn't going crazy! Jenni, I read ur thread on dr. Poe and it was quite interesting. I have seen 3 ENTs n not one of them thought to actually check the tubes function right there n then using nasal endoscopy. Wow. I definitely feel cheated out of some money right now. I'm sure that really any ENT would be able to see the function of the tubes if they actually wanted to check. I am only saying this as I can pop both of my ears successfully by yawning, I can even keep them open for a few seconds, but I get no pressure/stuffy relief. I had 2 typanograms in the last couple of mos, 1 said my ear pressure was abnormal, the most recent one said it was within normal range. My left ear was -85dapa n my right one was only -5 dapa. Normal range is apparently to -150 dapa. This tympanogram also produced a graph of my middle ear function, n I was told I had a normal graph type for each ear indicating no fluid, no major eustachian tube problems. My ENT said maybe I'm more sensitive(?) to the pressure difference between the ears n that's what causes me to feel like they r stuffy. I have great hearing in each ear according to their tests. I feel like some of us here need to go on mystery diagnosis or something to figure this out! It seems many many things can occur to cause that pressure feeling in the ear. I mean, 2 ppl on this thread had otitis externa caused by fungus, but even when the fungus is removed there's no improvement in the pressure sensation. That's just so strange to me because the ear drum is there intact protecting the middle ear. So what's going on then? For me, I had sinusitis plus underlying allergies. So etd makes sense for me, but not these people. I've tried looking this issue up n could find nothing major as far as otitis externa n middle ear fullness. It very strange. Seems too like a lot of us have some tmj issues, I was told this by my ENT when he examined my jaw and bite. I didn't show any evidence of grinding, just my jaw goes a bit to the right when I open n close. My chiropractor told me this as well. Im definitely wanting to pursue my ENT checking my e tube function by nasal endoscopy. I think it's possible for him to do. If I can rule anything in this mess out, it would definitely save a lot of worrying n money. I think that's what needs to be done for all of us who don't have definitive answers yet. Start ruling things out if we can. That seems to be the only reliable way of getting to the bottom of this. What do u guys think?
Jen
Joyce- yes I do get crackling and all that fun stuff when I swallow/yawn. But I also do hear a popping sound (right side 1st, then left) so I know my e tubes must be opening at least somewhat. The question u had about the etd showing on a ct scan- no it wouldn't. You need to see an audiologist and have a hearing test and a tympanogram. The tympanogram is this simple test that they use to determine middle ear function. They put this probe like thingie in Ur ear n it feels like a tiny bit of suction, and it produces a graph. The graph will tell the audiologist about ur middle ear n Eustachian tube function. The major point that they look at for etd is the pressure levels (daPa). +50 to -150 daPa is considered normal middle ear pressure. If u look up tympanogram or tympanoptry online u can find out about this test. It might prove useful for u to have this done because it could rule out etd for u. I know ur thinking tmj but if u haven't had the test, who knows right? Also I researched tmj a bit more today n found out that it (the muscle spasms) can actually CAUSE etd. So maybe at least look into that test. My recent tympanogram showed normal middle ear function on both sides but the pressure difference was kinda big. My right ear was only -5 daPa n my left ear ( the crazier one) was -85 daPa. Up to -150 is considered normal, but I don't know -85 seems like a lot to me. ENT says it's normal though, weird. He thinks my stuffy sensation is due to the pressures between the ears being quite different.
The headaches r killer, I feel a bit better that I'm not the only one. Sometimes I can't tell if the pressure is in my ears or head or somewhere in between! Today I took my girls to the park n within an hour I had a migraine type headache. We had to leave. I get the nausea n everything. Wondering if it was allergies. I broke down n took allegra d n felt no major difference in pressure. So I think I'm done with drug antihistimines.
I let my quercetin go this morning in favor of that allegra n ended up taking it later on out of desperation when I started getting a super blocked sensation in my left ear. Lo and behold, maybe 1 hr or so later, my ear started feeling less pressure. I'm starting to think it might be doing more for me than I originally thought. I had pain even, n it seriously went away! I'm going to keep up the quercetin for sure!
I'm trying to get back to work next week after being off for a month n a half. I will be working on a different team ( I work in retail at a place known for their Angels). It's very noisy in the mall n it was giving me migraine type headaches with nausea n dizziness. That's why I took my LOA. Now they offered me a position on the backswing team from 6-10am, so hopefully it will help to work without music blaring n all the noise of regular business.
One last thing that I remembered that's weird is last summer, my husband n I noticed our storage unit was infiltrated by mold. We literally were in there for about 45 min organizing stuff b4 we realized it. We threw everything out n closed the unit. A couple weeks later I started getting migraines. It started with my right eye feeling like it wasn't seeing equally with the left. I got an eye exam n they found nothing. For over a month I couldn't wear my contacts, my eyes were irritated, and I kept getting migraines. The pain would start on the left side n move around the head to the right. Eventually the migraines disappeared. 4 mos later after my cold my ear blocked up. After a few weeks of blockage, the headaches started again. No aura or anything like that. But the nausea came back n the dizziness. The dr thinks it's un related to my mold exposure. I don't know though because my allergy test showed significant mold allergy. I wonder sometimes if these r somehow related to a mold (fungal) sinus infection. I had sinusitis for a month without discharge. The antibiotics couldn't touch it. I ended up self medicating with mucinex/sudafed for 2 weeks until all the mucus started coming out. It was like it was impacted in my sinuses. I still wonder to this day what would happen if they did swab my sinuses n culture them. I wonder about the mold aspect n I also wonder about a lingering infection, like staph, that isn't killed by regular antibiotics. Maybe I will ask my PCP if he can do the swab/culture when I see him next. I just feel like there is something more to this all. I looked up chronic sinusitis symptoms n a lot of mine match. Even the etd. Plus I have severe fatigue almost everyday. Not normal for me as I am usually really active.
I hope that everyone has a good nite n gets a lot of rest- good rest is essential to our bodies healing themselves! Talk to u guys soon!
Jen
Hello all, I just checked back to see if anyone wrote. I went to my stepson's baseball practice today it was nice to be out in the fresh air. I did end up with a headache and ear pressure was quite severe though. I did say a prayer that it would subside, but so far no go. I don't know if u get this too Joyce, but I get terrible nausea when I get the headaches. I hate that throw up feeling so bad! Trying to get some quiet time but with 3 kids under 7 running around, it's kinda hard! I will keep praying for this horrible headache to go away I guess. I know it will go away in time, just wish it'd go a bit faster. Hope everyone is having a good day, or as good of one as possible. I think some fluids and rest will be in order for me tonite!
I did read your post, is it possible that your symptoms are just because one of your grommets is starting to come out? I think ive read about sone people's symptoms of why they got grommets returning when the grommet falls out. I know u did say that your grommet wasn't really out thought. I tried one in my left ear to relieve the pressure/fullness sensation and was not happy because it relieved neither feeling for me and worsened my hearing, which is normal. I had the dr remove it. It's good that your dr is at least testing u for something so maybe u will get an answer there. I feel that we r all looking for answers which is why we post here. I will tell u one thing that ive found while researching my own condition- don't push on your ear canal. Apparently certain types of force to this area can cause sudden hearing loss. Something to do with causing increased pressure on the inner ear where the nerve is. I have no experience with that so I don't know if it's true, but I have read it a few times. I wonder though if u might be right about PET. It sounds like it could be an answer, even if your dr doesn't think so. I am hoping for us to find relief from our annoying/painful symptoms soon.
Jen
Loopyluci-
Oh my gosh! That OCD ear popping thing is me too! I just keep thinking that if I pop them enough the full feeling will go away! I try not to do it so much but it's becoming a nasty habit. I wonder if that's what's been causing my extra pain/ headaches lately. I have read about drug ototoxicity too. The list of potentially ototoxic drugs is so long it's scary. I have tried to avoid these meds at all costs, but broke down today and took the motrin. It feels like a burning maybe nerve related pain, so i did the motrin out of desperation. I don't think it helped much. I feel so bad for complaining about my ear symptoms so much when I hear about you guys who have that nasty tinnitus in addition to your ear symptoms. I just have ear stuffiness (constantly on the left side, intermittent on the right) and the searing burning pain that I get sometimes. It is very disturbing to just deal with those symptoms daily. I will definitely try doing Tylenol for the really nasty pain, and I usually just do heat for the low grade pain. Our drive ended up making me feel a bit better, so I think I will end up doing some heat treatment before bed tonite, and resting in the meantime, though rest is very VERY boring to me. I hope I will be searing pain/headache free by tomorrow, as I have to go back to work this week. The stuffiness I guess I will have to learn to get used to even though I pretty much don't want to. I appreciate the advice and hope u and everyone else here has had a good day and will have a restful night!
Jen
I have heard about the myoclonus spasms, and am wondering if u guys can describe what they feel like exactly and what seems to trigger them. I'm asking because I've noticed in the past few days that when I swallow a little harder than usual, I get this weird feeling in the back of my mouth towards my tonsil area ( I think). It's like a slight twitch maybe, and I think I also feel my e tube on that side opening. I haven't really been having that tube feel as though it opens as much as the right one with swallowing, I usually need to (obsessively) pop it open by yawning. Not sure what it could be, and I know u ladies have been dealing with this stuff a lot longer and know more about because of that. I'm trying to not worry over every body sensation, but I'm hypersensitive to anything related to my ears right now. Also, do u ever feel like something is lodged in ur middle ear/eustachian tube and if u could just move it, the full/pressure feeling would go away? I have tried for the past couple of months to describe as accurately as possible what I feel in my ear to my dr's, but seemed to be failing so far. Till I really thought about what I was feeling in there today cuz it was bothering me so much. I feel a distinct sensation of something stuck in there or maybe pushed up against that area. I will sometimes have a little shock of pain in that ear upon burping or coughing. I did have a tube tried in that ear about a month and a half ago.I know the hole in my ear drum is all healed, but I have wondered if the mobility of the ear drum takes a bit longer to go back to normal, which could explain the little bit of pain? I know I also had this pain after the tube was placed and removed. Any thoughts? Don't want to be always be pestering my ENT.
Jen
Jen,

I may be way off base, but for me the myoclonus is more of a loud pop of the eardrum or much deeper. Not the eustachian tube which would bring welcome relief as we could all relate to.

I am pretty hypersensitive to anything with my ears right now too. I do have Meniere's disease though and I think that adds a unknown layer to this whole mystery.

Our time frame on the PE tube is similar. I had a tube placed and removed a month ago. They took off the paper patch last week and said that it looked like the ear had healed, but that it had a little scab. My hearing has not recovered from the surgery and I would give anything to reverse the decision that I made. Ever since I had the tube placed the ear drum has not been the same with sound at all.

When I talk I get a weird vibration from sound in that ear. It leaves me talking in a whisper to try to avoid that. External sounds really increase the fullness in that ear. I got the shock feeling in that ear too when burping or coughing. Once they removed the paper patch off of the hole that went away completely though.

How long was your tube in for?

Being a mom with ear issues challenging. I have dizziness, nausea, dry heaves, hearing loss, ringing and whatever this crazy thing is going on. I really want to be a good wife and mom to my family.

I am thankful to have found this board as it is a great encouragement. It is nice to be able to bounce questions off of each other.

Several of us have mentioned about other health issues we have in addition to ETD. I am curious if most of us have other ongoing problems as well?
My myoclonus started in the right ear and actually preceded what I consider "the real onset" of my ETD symptoms by about 2 months. I now have myo in both ears, but still rare in the left ear. Actually, I haven't had much myo in either ear since coming back from Boston. A few scattered episodes that have been mercifully brief.

The myo in my right (worse) ear feels like fluttering/tapping on the inner side of eardrum. It is activated by voices -- radio talk shows and certain human voices set off the flutters, which stop when the aggravating sound stops, and restart as soon as the voice starts again. As you can imagine, it make socializing an ordeal when it's acting up. An earplug works (or plugging with a finger), but that looks ridiculous.

The myo in my left ear is much more rare, and consists of a deeper thunk-thunk sound/feeling. The trigger noise for that ear is certain rustling sounds, like brushing my hair off my face or shifting sheets or pillows at night.

LL, I think I know exactly the big POP sound/feeling you describe. After I flew back from Boston, my ears were kind of spastically popping at random, especially the more symptomatic right ear. The first three nights home in a row, it popped so loud and forcibly in the early morning hours that it woke me from a dead sleep! Almost to the point of pain! I decided that it was an e-tube pop. I haven't really had it happen much since.

I do find that taking magnesium supplements seems to help with the more annoying myo symptoms. My myo can go months where it is in remittance, but since it appeared in Oct 2010, it has come and gone. Some people that used to post on here had a surgery to cut the two tiny tendons in the middle ear to stop their myo. One, who went by the name of Lib and was a former Poe patient, said the surgery almost cured all her ear symptoms. (Poe didn't do her surgery.) I wonder if she'a still around and how she is doing today.
Luci,
You and I are the same with the eat drum after tube issue. Sound isn't the same. Period. The ENT says theres no way that that has happened, as I have no scar or even any sign of having had a tube. I had my tube in for about 1 minute, no joke. He did a myringotomy 1st, to see if that relieved the pressure, which it made no difference. He then wanted me to try the tube to see if that did the trick. It made me feel as though I had literally gone deaf in that ear. Now I'm not sure if that feeling would've gone away for me because I didn't want that thing in for another second. I panicked and told him to remove it. I have not really had any hearing problems prior to that instance, so like I said, it could be that my brain just was not liking something in the ear drum.
I still don't know what that darn sound/twitch thing is going on in the back Of my throat near the tonsil/e tube opening is. Maybe the tube does open then, I don't know. I would deem it a true miracle if it really is my left e tube starting to act normal again! I seem to be able to pop that ear with a bit of effort ska jaw wiggling while yawning wide). BUT- my family dr (not ENT) told me that when I do pop this ear, the ear drum isn't moving. He actually observed the ear drum as I popped it. Weird how my ENT never did that, but then they have the tympanogram. So if that eat drum isn't moving when I pop the ear, what does that mean is happening when I pop it? My family dr said that it's etd. When I asked the ENT, he said that my family dr has absolutely no idea what he's looking for and should leave that stuff to the ENTs.
Luci, another question, have they done a tympanogram on you? It's usually done with the hearing test, they put this little probe like thing in your ear and it gives them a middle ear pressure reading. My 1st one in March came back abnormal negative pressure, indicating etd. When I had a second opinion by a different ENT in April, he did the test again and it came back within normal pressure range, though still negative. This time, I actually got to see the little graph that the machine spits out that shows your middle ear function. If you look up tympanogram or tympanography, it will show you the types of curves that can appear on these graphs, and if u have had a tympanogram and have seen the graph, you can compare yours to these and actually see for yourself how they interpret these and what factors go into it. Well my most recent tympanogram came back with -85 pressure in my left (worse) ear, and -5 in my right(usually ok) ear. Apparently up to -150 negative pressure is considered normal, provided other factors are also normal. If your middle eat is functioning normally, you will basically have a bell shaped curve on your graph. Mine was bell shaped, as I actually got to see it this time, and my new ENT actually sat me down and explained it to me. But when I asked him about the feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear, he was not too sure of why I was experiencing that. I have no vertigo, no tinnitus, no reason for him to suspect an inner ear problem. So that is why I am completely frustrated because I think I have etd, but maybe not, and if not, what DO I have?
To answer your question about other health issues- I do have a chronic pain condition called interstitial cystitis. In short, it feels everyday like I have a bladder infection/uti but there is no infection. For some reason yet unknown to urologists, the bladder lining becomes inflamed and irritated and so produces these symptoms. I am fortunate to have not been hit so hard by this, as some people have to have their bladders actually removed due to ulcers that can form as a result of this condition. Mine began with a catheter placement for an ultrasound during my 1st pregnancy that went awry. I peed blood after it was removed and my bladder hasn't been the same since. I sometimes wonder if my body is prone to overreactive inflammatory responses, since inflammation can cause etd. And I feel that I can relate to your misery at getting stuck with yet another chronic health condition in addition to the one you already deal with. It's a crushing blow. Absolutely devastating, no denying it. I've spent the past few months just wailing, hysterically crying over this because I feel like my body can't handle any more health issues. You are right- it's hard to be a mom and have all these issues. It's hard just as a human being. I have read about Meneires disease and I commend you for having it and still standing strong. The courage of all the people whom I've communicated with on this board has been like a life raft to a drowning person for me. I have found hope in times that seem hopeless. My other mainstay is to pray a lot.
I too wish I had never had that darn tube placed in my ear though, and regret it constantly. I hate feeling as though I made the wrong choice out of desperation. I try to believe I did what I had to do to try to resolve this. Ive also taken many meds and sprays and even steroids to try to end this for myself and my family. All these pains are nothing in comparison to the pain I feel when I see my kids suffering over this. That's what keeps me fighting back.
I have had three of those loud gunshot-like pops in the last 12 hours or so. Two happened at night and woke me from a dead sleep. All in my right/worst ear. Everything sounds louder and more clear after the pop, but the pop itself is painful and leaves a burning feeling behind. I think I summoned the pops back by writing about them! I also think there's some fluid built up in that ear because I can plug my nose and blow, and it whistles wetly in that ear (I can blow air through my ears through the pe tubes & that's how I know if they are open or blocked).

Jen, is the twitch/sound thing you are hearing in the back of your throat like a wet click sound? It might be one of your e-tubes is kind of sticky from mucus, allergy, or upper respiratory tract infection. I get a click in my throat from time to time, especially with certain vocal sounds (try saying the word "cookie" and listen for a single clickr or a double click-click...that is kind of the "test" I use to find out if my e-tubes are gunked at the openings or clear).

I swear, before this ear stuff happened, I never thought about ears. I will say that if you've had it for a while, like me, you become more accepting of the various weird symptoms that come and go. You almost HAVE to accept it, or it will break your spirit. I also went through months of a mourning period where I focused on my past healthy self. When I let that go and just focused on being very proactive and exploring every avenue towards recovery, I started getting better. Obviously, I have a ways to go, but I feel like I'm at least 50% to 75% improved from where I was in December 2010. As for the mild lost hearing in my right ear, I am sad that happened, but as long as it stays where it's at I compensate with my left ear. For all I know, that hearing was already gone before ETD and I never missed it.

Some of the stuff my ears do, like the click with certain swallows or with yawning, is a variant of normal, according to my ENT-allergist. He said I probably just never paid it any mind before because I had no reason to zero in on it. Our e-tubes, when functional, do open every few swallows and with yawns. A slight audible click is considered within the range of normal. Painful popping or really loud and distressing sounds are not, though. I also find that if I can just tune out my ears...or just tell myself, "Oh, okay, they're acting up right now but I'm going to ignore them" that sometimes I will pull myself out of a symptomatic upset.

I know it's hard, though. Especially since so many of us have kids or grandkids. I have kids aged 3 and 5 that have gone through over a year of this crud with me. They've seen me scream in anger, they've seen me cry, despite trying to hide my emotions as best I can. My husband has been my lifeline and is patient, but he has been brought to the breaking point more than once out of frustration. This board has been quite valuable because I can come here and unload a little, and then I feel more energy to deal with my family without burdening them as much. So thank you to all of you for that gift.

Tomorrow I go for my long appointment (over 2 hours) at the TMD disorder clinic. I will be fitted for both a day splint and a night version. I will report back how that goes.
Just checking in for the day, thanks for the responses to my questions. Im so glad to be able to get info without having to call the dr all the time. My husband is working late today so my girls and I visited their friend and his mom. We ended up staying for 4 hrs! I haven't felt like doing anything like that in awhile, though this morning I admit my anxiety was at the usual high level. I hate waking up feeling like this, I guess my body still expects to wake up normal too.
Jenni- I appreciate the advice about trying to push forward instead of looking backwards all the time. I'm still feeling a lot of grief, I'm still avoiding reminders of the past, but I'm working on it. I'm trying to accept things as they come, one day at a time. You may think this is stupid of me, but my husband and I had been planning to take out kids to Disney world for my younger girl's first time in December and I can't stop thinking 'how can I go if I'm like this?' I truly can't stand those yucky thoughts! I need to work more on thinking of what I can do versus what I can't or dont even know yet if I can't.
I have as of today experienced 2 real episodes of tmj, no joke. Yesterday and today when I have been talking a lot, I've had my jaw literally become so sore that it hurts to open my mouth to speak, let alone eat. I think that maybe OCD ear popping has consequences. The severe pain in my jaw joints literally scared the bejesus out of me. I took an emergency ibuprofen there and then. Slowly the pain eased up but I still feel like my ears are raw on the inside. I skipped out on lunch because of it. I'm starving now though I dread eating for fear of aggravating it again. Hopefully your tmj appointment and appliances will yield results for you. As far as the weird sound in the back of my throat when swallowing hard, I dont know what the heck it is. Maybe it is my e tubes all sticky and inflamed from my allergies. I do have significant environmental allergies, so who knows? All I do know is that I seem to be able to pop both ears, though the left is much harder to pop. I think I'm going to keep up with the allergy immunotherapy and the tmj and if I'm not getting improvement in the next few months, I will need to look into Dr. Poe or one of the other etd specialists. My husband also agrees that this is the best course of action. He's also been brought to the brink many times like your husband. The one big thing I've learned about chronic disease/pain in the past 6 years is that it doesn't just affect the person who has it- it affects the whole family, even friendships. That's why we fight so hard for a cure because it's not just fighting for our own relief from suffering, but out of our love for all those that we see suffering because of our pain.
I hope everyone else on this thread is doing well today, keep me updated.
Jen
Joyce,
Thanks for the hug! Please send some extra prayers my way as I need to be at work tomorrow at 6am! I'm really nervous hoping I will wake up feeling good cuz the bad part of working with people for 3 years is that they kinda know when you're not yourself. Hopefully getting back though will help boost my morale. I'm glass you're still going on your trip, that's how I was when I decided to start fighting back against my IC. I would do things at 1st just to prove to myself I could do them. Gradually my life came back to me. I think that I need to do that again. Today I visited my kids friend and his mom and we had a great time, stayed for 4 hours. We also stopped at the mall which is one of my biggest dreads because high noise levels for extended time periods seems to aggravate my ears and start the excruciating headaches. I said to myself as we left each place 'see, you can do it, it might not be perfect right now, but you're capable. ' I think you will have a good time on your trip, seems like you have a good plan to keep your eardrums safe. Hope the quercetin works for you. I've run out so I need to get to the store tomorrow after work to buy some more. Also gonna see about buying some magnesium.

Luci- glad to hear you have an appt with Dr. Poe. If he's booking for October, I wonder if I should try to do as you did and make an appt that I can just cancel ifi need to. Will talk to my husband and see what he thinks. Maybe if no one else can, he can shed some light on the weird ear tube experience too. Your ENT seems like a pretty jerky person and also a liar if he is claiming that all of his etd patients are helped by tubes, like you are just some whiny child making it up that it made u feel worse. The ENT who did my ear tube trial told me that it was a 50/50 shot right upfront. Though he dos seem to brush me off when it didn't work. My neighbor just was talking to me about health issues and said something I found both funny and true, he said that doctors are PRACTICING medicine. By the way, I do believe that the 50/50 figure for eat tubes helping adults especially those without fluid behind the ear drum is fairly accurate from my research. At least dr's like Dr. Poe are honest that medicine is continually evolving and what may be true for today may not be true for tomorrow or next year. Who knows, maybe in the future ear tunes will become obsolete because they will find a better way of fixing chronic ear infections, fluid, and etd. Seems like that for etd at least, advances are being made right now. I still am with you on the idea that for some people, ear tubes can really change your ear drum even after it's all healed. Did you get your scab removed ? The ENT removed mine in the office and told me in advance that it would be painful. Painful was a euphemism for you will feel like I'm ripping your eat drum open without anesthesia! It hurt for a couple of days!

Took my nasonex and saline spray and all my arsenal of other stuff to try to keep things as clear as possible for tomorrow. Now must get to bed so I can wake up on time. Will post with how it goes!
Jen
Good morning! Praying all goes well for you at work today Jen...!!!! I do think i will try the moist heat on my ear/jaw area..cuz that is where i feel tighter than a drum.....Luci/jenni where did you get yours? (and yes jenni i agree watching will smith should be tmjd protocol LOL!) Luci my symptoms started out as an ear infection/head cold...the plugged ears never went away so my PCP treated me over and over for ear infections..which, then turned into a fungal ear inf due to overuse of antibiotics-eardrops.....went to an ent, they suctioned the fungus out which we thought would cure the problem...but it didnt i still have stuffy, full ears..had a CT done, perfectly normal...sooooo trying natural remedies now..and praying alot for relief..this has been going on several months. beyond frustrating. Jenni, i feel like your coworker, im CONSTANTLY opening my mouth, moving my jaw around, trying to find a spot that might pop my ears.......i too, think my jaw area is in total spasm.....hence the occasional twitching and swollen tight feeling in that area.I take xanax which seems to help.....im gona ask about the flexeril..thinking if i can get these muscles to relax, it might in turn relieve the pressure and fullness. Luci, earplanes are earplugs specifically designed to help pressure in the ears when you fly. you can google them and read more about them. they were designed by a pilot and have gotten decent reviews...Woke up with a pounding headache.....the weather here has been crazy, this past friday it wa 75, yesterday we had heavy wet snow...very damp and cold today..hope you all have a good day~~~
Found an interesting correlation between viral infections especially by the ones that cause the common cold and flu and eustachian tube problems. There have been lots of studies done that have shown that viruses directly damage the lining of the eustachian tube. That makes me wonder because my blocked ear feelings began during a cold and never resolved. One study introduced the influenza type A virus into the middle ears of chinchillas and there was direct observation of difficulty of the eustachian tubes to equalize pressure. If this is how anyone else's ear issues began, it's worth it to look this topic up. I've never had any of my dr's confirm to me that a cause of etd could be actual damage done to the eustachian tube itself, versus just abnormal functioning. Something to consider. I hope that maybe this means that the body can repair the damage over time.
My darn ear feels super clogged up today arrrgh! I had an appt with my PCP today to give an update on my condition and to give him the records I got from the most recent ENT. He ordered some labs, which I will take tomorrow. He wanted to check for thyroid levels and diabetes because I've had so many steroids lately, apparently there is something called steroid induced diabetes and for some reason he wanted to check on that. So no eating after midnight for me to do the tests. He checked out both my ears as usual, but as usual they look clean and healthy. Sure wish they felt that way! One good thing is that despite the super blocked up feeling today, there was no ear drum retraction. Just wish that swollen feeling would leave. I feel like if I could just get that (possible) swelling down, then my ear would feel normal again. Just need to figure out the cause of the swelling. I have allergies which could be the culprit, but I honestly just don't know. I had a major headache today, even got a little blurred vision going on for a few minutes. It scared me a bit, but thankfully it went away. Now I'm just dealing with cotton ear tonight.

I'd like to add Johnny Depp to the list of good looking men to watch when you feel icky. He's just too attractive for me to handle even though he's 20 yrs older than me!

Joyce- Did u try the quercetin yet? I ran out n need to get more! Will just need to do that tomorrow. I'm really tired tonite. Maybe that's why my ears have been feeling super yucky. I dont know. Have you ever thought about doing a candida cleanse? I know we both have had a lot of antibiotics in the past few months. Is this candida stuff just quackery? I know it was one of the molds I had a severe reaction to on my allergy test. I just wonder if there isn't some darn fungus hanging around in there. Im trying to find some other string natural anti inflammatories that I can take along with the quercetin to help that swollen feeling in my ear. Are you just doing the quercetin and turmeric for inflammation? U also read about fish oil and B vitamins.
Jenni- I'm sorry to have heard about those horrible gunshot sounding pops in your ear. I saw your post about that after I'd already posted, so didn't get a chance to mention it yet. Im sure that you have probably talked about it before but I just can't remember- did Dr Poe think that your problem was not etd anymore, but tmj? I thought I remembered you saying your ear symptoms all began with an ear infection that u had flown with. My question is- if Dr Poe thought that it was tmj only, how did he fit that in with the ear infection? I do remember you posting that he saw your e tubes opening and closing. So if they're doing that, was he thinking your etd is only referred sensations and pain? I don't know if I'm making sense. I'm just asking this because my ear problem started with a virus, but my new ENT was also talking about tmj. So im trying to make sense out of how a problem with a pathogenic source could end up being only a muscular problem. I'm not saying the tmj isn't there, I'm just wondering how it was explained to you. I know we are OCD ear poppers, so is that what he said probably caused your tmj which in turn refers pain to your ears via muscle spasms and shared nerve pathways? Ahhhh! I'm SO confused! I just really want to understand the etiology behind this ETD stuff. I feel like there's so many possible causes and so many explanations, but which is the RIGHT explanation. Knowing that could make all the difference, and save a lot of money too!

Joyce, I also forgot to tell to you that although I didn't get a chance to look into it extensively, I did read a few things today about ear canal trauma possibly inducing etd type symptoms. I don't know if it's something you might like to look into.

I had that jaw pain again today after starting the ear popping again, and didn't much feel like eating. I skipped lunch because of it actually. When the jaw pain subsided, I was starving so I ate and took my daily multivitamin. This was only just about 20 minutes ago. Just as I was finishing this post I noticed the severe ear stuffiness I was talking about earlier had started to subside. I sometimes also wonder if some of the fullness feeling is somehow related to blood sugar levels in some people. Anyone ever experienced their ear fullnes lessening after eating?
Hi fellow ETDers,

Jen, you were asking whether I have ETD or TMJD. I think TMJD is my underlying problem that is contributing to poor e-tube function in my case, and quite possibly my constantly trying to pop my ears is making the TMJD worse and only perpetuating the ETD. It's really starting to seem like this non-stop wicked circle. I am doing that palate flex thing all the time now to try to get my ears to feel "right." I know sometimes my e-tubes are stuck in the closed position, and I'll start feeling this tight, drawing sensation in the eardrum as it's being sucked inward from negative pressure. This is even with the stupid PE tubes in; it's like they get clogged sometimes and don't do the job of adequately ventilating my middle ear. And sometimes I think the pressure I'm feeling is really just a muscle spasm, but since the jaw muscle and ear muscles and nerves share common pathways, it feels pretty much the same as when I'm just having a bout of poor e-tube function.

Unfortunately when I saw Dr. Poe, I was also having a spell of little to no symptoms. So he could only see my e-tubes when they were on their best behavior. That said, all the asymmetries in my jaw joints and muscles that he detected during his exam were completely corrobated by the findings my new neuromuscular dentist made using CT-scan and some other high-tech computer imaging equipment. So I feel confident that TMJD is playing a big role in my particular case.

I will post some more info soon that I found that really breaks down how TMJD can cause or aggravate ETD. This is the best info I've found online that used layperson's terms to help me understand. Sometimes my eyes start glazing over reading abstracts on Pubmed, if you know what I mean.

As for my appointment yesterday, well, it was two hours long, all devoted to custom-fitting a therapeutic splint that I'll be wearing to try to guide the jaw and muscles back into a non-stressed, non-clenching position. I will also have a smaller day version to wear that is unobtrusive enough that it is hard for anyone to detect (like an Invisalign). A large portion of the fitting appointment consisted of a session with a TENS unit. I had never been TENSed before, lol. Kind of made me feel like Frankenstein. Electrodes were attached to each jaw joint, and a mild current passed into the area. It was not a painful procedure, just a weird tapping/snapping sensation every five seconds or so. After about 45 minutes of this, they determined that my jaw had reached its maximum point of relaxation. That will be the target point that they'll try to hit with the splint therapy. They did another cat scan of my jaw in this relaxed state to compare/contrast with my typical, every day spasmed mode. I felt temporarily better from the TENS unit, but it did not last long before I was back to my old self.

I had 2-3 bouts of fluttering myoclonus in my right ear both when the doctor and his nurse spoke to me. I've found that doctors' offices are one of the places where many of these myo-attacks take place; I wonder if I'm feeling stressed and that's why the ear acts up? But I don't feel particularly stressed or anxious during these appointments...at least, not consciously. Anyhow, the flutters are so unpleasant that I want badly to plug the ear with a finger, but then I'm embarrassed and don't want to hurt the speaker's feelings by letting them know that their voice is triggering ear spasms in me! So I just grin and endure the feeling of moths in that ear!

We had rain come back this afternoon, and I'm feeling the typical off and on ear clogginess and other strange sensations. I have had the crawling sensation others describe...best I can tell, it's mucus or fluid moving behind the eardrum or in the e-tube. When I was taking mucinex (which thins mucus so it can move), I noticed more crawly sensations, so I quit taking it.

I've also had 2-3 "gunshot" ear pops happen throughout the day. I feel like my right ear has been having a lot more trouble staying clear/equalized since my trip to Boston, like maybe I came home to all the tree pollen in full swing, all the spring mold, and it's just too much for my ears to handle. I think the gunshot might be my ear suddenly equalizing in a very abrupt manner. If I could understand the mechanism, I feel like it wouldn't upset me as much. After the pop, everything gets really loud/volume goes up SO much! Is my hearing really that muffled? Ugh. I so want all this allergy-TMJD-ear crud to go away so I can stop thinking about it. I even started researching OCD last night, thinking the ear popping habit is starting to cross over into the land of crazy. I mean, what if I'm perpuating this nightmare by popping/clicking my ears all the time? And if so, why can't I stop?
"I am doing that palate flex thing all the time now to try to get my ears to feel "right." I know sometimes my e-tubes are stuck in the closed position, and I'll start feeling this tight, drawing sensation in the eardrum as it's being sucked inward from negative pressure."
Jenni..what is the palate flex thing that you do? I get the EXACT same feeling you do---the tight drawing sensation in the ear..and almost feels like its in the lower jaw area too.....i think mine has alot to do with stress and clenching.....woke myself up last nite i was clenching so bad..how do i stop? took my xanax b4 bed and it relaxes me but apparently not enuf to stop clenching in my sleep.......My CT showed no inf or fluid, yet i get the bubbly crackling sounds in both ears, and the occasional creepy crawler sensation........just soooooooooooooooo tired of all of this..i just want it to go away..you guys are so lucky if u even get your ears to pop for a brief moment, mine never do..ugh! Thanks for your update!!!!!!!!
Hello ladies,

I think it is interesting that we can all relate and have some very similar symptoms. I have had the creepy crawling sensation in the beginning. I actually noticed it too when I was on large amount of Mucinex. At first I kept thinking that was a good thing and that it was getting the fluid out.

I need to try to learn the trick of being able to flex the palate. The only way I get relief is through a jaw movement that is noticeable and the sound is audible to others as well.

I had no idea the e tube is the size of a human hair. No wonder it can cause so much grief!!! My ENT had mentioned that you can have trapped gas in the middle ear. I even tried gas x to see if that would help.

The whole issue of almost constant ear popping this is tough. It is so hard to not clear the ears non stop when that super tight feeling takes over. Especially when it brings a few moments of relief.

No gunshot pops is a good thing. I am having a couple a day, but thankfully they have been quieter.

I am on day two of a much less vibration/ reverberation in my ear that had the tube!!!!!!! It has been 5 weeks of enduring it . I am able to talk at my normal voice and not a whisper. I am so very thankful. I am attributing this to answered prayer because there is not any new medicine or procedures my dr's have done to bring me a small step forward to healing. Still dealing with most of the other symptoms, but very thankful for improvement!!

It is raining here in Tennessee today, but thankfully it has not worsened any of my symptoms. I hope you all have a good day!!
Hi everyone,
Just haven't been feeling too well- I needed to get my kids out today though so we went over to their friends house again today. It was nice to get out and have a little company. It was sunny here today, but chilly. I was trying to avoid the ear popping today but it didn't work. I fortunately haven't gotten any jaw pain today even though I was popping my ears. I did get a pretty severe headache though, and I started seeing spots! Freaky. I just don't even know what could be causing that. I know migraines can do stuff like that to u but I was told that my headaches weren't migraines. So what's going on?!?!
I'm so over this ear stuff like Jenni said. Just fed up. I can't even really say much more guys. I'm just having a hard time thinking I might have to spend a long time like this. Saying prayers constantly. My family has been very difficullt thru all this, my own dad says that I'm a whiner, that his friend who has to wear hearing aids is way worse off than me....my dads friend is also 65. He's also not in my body so he doesn't feel how I feel. It's really disheartening when u have no real family support. I hope my husband doesn't think that way about me.
My dr's office hasn't called about my labs yet. I hope I'll know something before the weekend. I'll let u know what they say.
Jen
Hi all, went visiting again today. Kids had a great time. Got ANOTHER headache again today. I didnt see any spots fortunately. My bloodwork came back, it was all ok but my blood sugar was a little high. Not sure what could have caused that, since I fasted before the test. All they really told me to do was to watch my sugar intake. I actually dont eat that much period so not sure how that level was so high. I don't know if that has anything to do w my ears though. They are just as irritating as usual today. Full, weird noises when I swallow, u guys know how it goes. I seriously think that I actually get a thump sound on my left side upon swallowing lately. Hope it's nothing awful. Had an appt w my psychiatrist today to try to get her to change my anxiety meds. I've had a lot of trouble with ssri's n wanted to try something else. She only wanted to discuss my ear issue, as we have before. She decided that she didn't want to do anything about my meds. She was irritated that I even suggested that the zoloft she gave me might have caused my headaches and dizziness. She said nope, that's an ENT issue or neurologist issue. Not her problem. So no new meds, though I couldnt tolerate the zoloft. She absolutely refused. So I can't get any relief from the anxiety that this ear problem causes. Nor can I get any relief from the actual ear problem. Awesome. Gotta love dr's.
I may have asked u guys before, but do any of u get burning in your ears at all? Like inside the ear, like a nasty ear infection? I swear I get that feeling almost once a day for a few hours. It seems to mask the other symptoms that I have cuz when it comes on, all I want to do is get out the ice pack. I want to inject ice water into my ear! My ears will even turn red and burn on the outside too! Other people can see it! It's really freaky.
Luci- I have heard of the otovent. It's the balloon thingie right? It's probably worth a try, but maybe for a cheaper solution u could try buying a pack of balloons and blowing them up regularly? I know that balloon blowing always seems to make my ears pop. I just don't know how itd work blowing it up w the nose.
Joyce- a massage sounds nice, maybe it will relax Ur ears. I think it's great that u can have a chiro adjustment as needed asap. I wish I could. My cousins are chiro's, but they're also not very nice, so I see my own. I want to possibly try acupuncture, as some ppl swear by it, but it's godawful expensive. On the upside, one of my other cousins has given my name as an intention to pray for at Mass. She told me I now have a whole church full of ppl praying for me! Made me feel good, hopefully all those prayers plus mine will bring about an answer of some sort. I hope all of our prayers will bring us answers before long.
Have to try not to keep thinking about injecting ice water into my ears, I can't stop imagining how good that might feel right now if it wouldn't actually cause any damage! Darn burning feeling!! Arrgh! I wouldn't be surprised if they started smoking. I'm totally serious. Let me know if ur ears get this burning too guys. It's really making me crazy lately.
Jen
Hi ladies!!!! I havent heard of the otovent but leme know how it works..might just go buy some balloons and try blowing them up...been reading alot of online scriptures today and enjoy Joyce meyer website--very positive and encouraging...we took a drive to the country tonite (to get some beef from a local farmer) going up and down the hilly roads made my ears feel worse, then they seemed to pop for a brief second...no matter what i do with my jaw i cant get them to pop...have a headache on the left side today..im exhausted...hopefully i can sleep in a bit tomorow...teeth really ache and sometimes when im sitting really still, its almost a pulsating feeling...just took some natural muscle relaxants...hoping they help...Jenn i dont get the burning inside the ear altho sometimes i geta red hot outer ear..it will get beet red and feel really hot..it lasts a few minutes...i get thumping crackly sounds when i swallow..my ears itch and get the crawly sensation quite a bit...im so sorry your dr wouldnt switch up your meds....its like we KNOW how our body is reacting to a med..why wont these drs listen to us?? Have u thought of possibly getting a 2ns opinion? maybe find a dr that will listen to how ur feeling?? hoping to get another adjustment tomorrow...i just wish i could learn to relax my body..my shoulders are alwaysssss tense...i cant wait for my massage.........wish i could go more often than a couple times a year!!!! well please know that im praying for all of u and i do every day..
Luci, how are u feeling today? I was thinking about you last nite and this morning. I woke up with that crawling sensation in my ear. It still hasn't gone. It feels kinda like my ear is/should be bleeding or something on the inside. I want to rip my ears off sometimes. I hope u feel better than last nite. I know that u have Meneires too, I know it's hard when u have one health problem, and then something else comes along and messes up everything even more. It's raining and cold here today and not much to do. My tricks that I use to deal with the times that I just can't distract myself don't seem to be working at all today. Out of all of us here on this thread, I truly feel like I'm the weakest one sometimes. I want so badly for this to go away that I ache. I'd rather not distract myself or learn to live with it. I try to stay positive but it gets difficult. I hope this icky feeling in my ear will calm down soon. I'm getting ready to call the ENT answering service of this keeps up it's very painful today. I'm worried about getting an actual ear infection. Gonna start pushing fluids to see if that helps any.
Hope everyone is doing well today, hopefully no one else has the eat creepy crawlies.
Jen
Jenni,
I tried to pm you but for some reason it shows that pm are not allowed? I broke down and used some Afrin last night. I had sat outside to try to get a break from my symptoms and was congested from being in the middle of a sea of pollen.

If the gunshot pop relieved pressure and brought about better hearing I think you are right. It has to be the e tube trying to pressurize . Too bad it couldn't do that with a nice, gentle, quiet little pop. An interesting note.... I tried the ear popper again last night..... several times. Had it on the high setting. Both of my ears made a pop sound at the same time. My right ear which was the side I had closed off immediately felt much worse and blocked. The left ear felt unchanged despite the pop. I didn't try it again. However, today I have been able to get that ear to pop and my hearing does get louder. That has not happened yet. I was really blocked and full when I got up, but after a while it started to get better!! I am not sure what to think at this point, but thankful to be able to have some relief from the pressure.

Jenmom,
Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts. It was a comfort last night. Today has been better from the pressure stand point. I just have the ear on fire thing going on today with a spike in the tinnitus and hyperacusis. It is better than the pressure feeling though!! The creepy crawling sensation is a tough one. I usually would grab q tips and start going to town, although that is a really bad idea. I am really trying to break that habit as it is obviously not good. Please don't feel like you are weak. I have a long list of medical issues. I have had a brain tumor removed in 2000. Somehow anything to do with my ears seems to be what sends me into a bad place. Medically I have walked through much more serious issues than this, but this has rocked me hard.

I appreciate all of you and being able to share and ask questions!! I hope you ALL are having a good day.
hi Ladies........just read all your posts...Jenn, i have the creepy crawling sensation right now and i wana jam my finger or a qtip down there but i know thats the worst thing i could do...my jaws feel very tense and tingly......my left side being the worst right now.....please dont feel like u are weak..trust me i feel so down and frustrated with all of this, and i just keep praying for strength...for ALL of us..........right now i would swear there is sumthing in my ear...altho i keep thinking that the CT showed nuthing but it sure feels like there is sumthing in there..my teeth arent as achy today just the whole area feels swollen and u know how your arm or leg feels when it "falls alseep"..that pins/needles feeling? that is how my jaw/ear feels...Luci, you have been thru alot..wow i admire your strength and courage....all of u are in my prayers..i just pray we get relief from this....i know stress plays a major role in all of this.........today my son and his finace came over and wanted to make bbq chicken....so they were in the kitchen cooking up a storm and i got chitchatting with them..and for a few moments that i wasnt obsessing over my ears and how i feel, i felt pretty good but the minute i started thinking about it..i felt crappy......i've been reading alot of online scriptures on strength and healing..that helps alot.....i talk to God and try not to question why these things happen, but when i do find myself doing that im reminded that trials in life build our faith and character...so we must be building alot of faith girls!! So the afrin helped Luci?? i have a bottle of it, and i wil use it when i fly next saturday.....yearrrrs ago i overused nasal sprays and ended up with rebound congestion...so im leary to use it again, but i will use it only as directed......ok i will end with something that hopefully makes u girls smile...FX replays their movies alot..and guess whats on again?? I ROBOT..lol........yes just watched will smith shirtless again.......a brief cure-all.......:-)) i pray u all have a good nite........o and almost forgot...jenn, i googled crawling sensation in the ear, and alot of things said its a sensory thing (nerves) and it eventually goes away......hopfully sooner than later for us !
Luci, do u keep track of what you eat that might contribute to your days feeling worse? I have noticed my 2 biggest cuprets are salt and dairy.......hard to avoid...but i find it makes my symptoms worse........woke up this morning my left is very plugged, i keep swallowing and it feels like it wants to pop but doesnt ughhhhhhghh....i feel ur frustration girls but keep the faith.....I have John Hagee on tv right now..listening to his faith message..very encouraging.......Jenn i know what u mean about googling and reading tooo much.....every time im tempted to search all day long, i force myself not to, and google scriptures on healing instead........yes i do still google ear issues but try not to every day.....it can make u crazy....as far as your blood sugars go, what was your number? I work in an internal med office and i know if its slightly over 100, they just tell you to monitor your diet, carbs, sugars etc.....ask them if you can repeat it in about 6 wks and see where your #'s at...........sugar can be very easliy controlled with diet modification and medications ( i know you dont wana take any more meds!) but usualy can be brought under control with diet modification....and stress reduction!!!!! and avoid snacking after 6pm..........thats what the drs i work for advise our pts........have them reck your levels in a few wks! and dont stress!!!!!!!!!! xoxo have a good day girls!
Thanks Luci, i needed the hug! I'm just tired of the ear fullness so bad! I have hearing at 10db for all ranges but I feel like I can't hear anyway! So crazy. I have looked into the ear popper. Not sure yet about it but I'm getting severely desperate. I know those procedures are more permanent, but I don't want to rule anything out either. I know how u feel about the noise too, I get that a lot, burning without the ringing. It is a horrible feeling. I can't imagine the ringing too, I'm so sorry. I think that they finally did the tympanogram right this time which is why my left ear failed- they had me hold my nose n swallow. That wasn't done last time. Fortunately I have no fluid in my ear. I just don't know what could be prolonging this. I think allergies could maybe play a role, but I'm more concerned that the virus I had did some damage that won't heal on it's own. It hasn't healed in almost 4 months, so I worry about the likelihood of it changing now. This has been some of the hardest months I've had even with my other health issue. I keep praying for strength to keep going. I have to keep going cuz I don't really get a choice. I just hope that a miracle will happen n cure us of this horrible problem. I'm tired of avoiding sound. Tired of avoiding places because I'm not sure how I'll feel. I'm sure u feel the same. Staying positive is getting harder the longer this lasts. I hope that I can find an ENT around here that can help me. I hate thinking I need to drive across the country to get relief. Wish more dr's knew how to do these procedures so that we could go anywhere we need to. I wouldn't even risk flying, so it would be a long drive. I'm terrified of making it worse! Took some ibuprofen for pain n that's thankfully gone, but of course the fullness is not. :( I keep popping my ears again today cuz I'm tired of that feeling. I hope ur doing well today despite the painful situation the other day. It's nice to get out of the house. I try to go out as much as I can in spite of pain. I will talk to u guys soon.
Jen
Joyce, sorry that ur feeling icky too. Hope the cipro will help. Maybe take a provoking w it to make sure Ur good bacteria stay high? Went to the vitamin shoppe tonight n got some turmeric actually it's called curcumin, but it's supposed to be the active anti inflammatory in turmeric they told me. I just took 1 so we will see. I had a check for inflammation in my bloodwork, and it came back negative, but who knows cuz I read about the blood test for inflammation being not super accurate. So I'm going to assume there's still some there. Plus I get relief of that super clogged sensation when I take anti inflammatories so maybe I'm on the right track. I'm hoping that everything will go well this week for u, I'm worried about your flight! I hope the Cipro will just fix u!!!! I have been asked if I want to repeat antibiotics but I have decided not to so far- I think that I've had enough (5). If I get the sinus pressure again, I will definitely think about it though.
Luci- I have definitely gone along your line of thinking about the virus. I wonder if it could be still somehow active too. I will definitely look into vitamin c supplements. What I was taking to see if itches microbial was olive leaf extract. Its supposed to be anti viral, bacterial, and fungal. So I figured it would cover all 3. There is proven research on this supplement. I think Joyce has taken it too. I stopped it cuz I felt kinda yucky on it but recently discovered that it can be a die- off reaction of viruses or fungi. So maybe I will hafta try it again and see. Right now I'm taking quercetin for allergies/ inflammation and my regular daily multi vitamin which has a pro biotic in it. I started the turmeric/curcumin tonight, and will take olive leaf extract as well. I hate taking meds cuz I have seemingly endless side effects. My body is the one that will go right to the the rare side effects n have as many as it can. My guess is as good as yours as to why. I told u that's why I totally freak out over possible ototoxic drugs lately. I worry I'll be the 1 in 10000 to have hearing problems.
I just realized what u said in another post Joyce when u said Calgon take me away! I so turn to a hot shower/bath when I feel really terrible. If nothing else it relaxes the muscles so that theres no other sore spots in the body.

I was told today by my ENT that the crawling sensations that we r feeling is actually usually caused by the eardrum being tensed n untensed by pressure changes in our middle ear when the e tubes are blocked or partially blocked. If he's right, that's creepy. The eardrum is full of sensitive nerves n the crawly feeling can also be related to nerve pain caused by pressure changes on the eardrum. The HOPEFUL news is that if we can still hear out of the 'full' ear, it's most likely only partially blocked. Fully blocked means it would most likely not pop at all and wouldnt be able to hear much out of it.
I will look up that dr Luci, thanks for the tip. But I definitely will start asking b4 I make an appt if the dr has experience with difficult cases of etd. That should prevent me wasting money in the future.
Hmm, knock on wood, but I took that curcumin capsule about an hour ago and I feel a little less pressure/pain in my ear.
Here's to hoping it works for me!
Prayers for both of u tonite, and thanks for your prayers.
Big hugs,
Jen
How was your day ladies? We had a floorset today at work- gotta change everything up for mothers day. Gotta love retail. Especially at 6am. I have some news- I made an appt with an otologist (ear specialist) for 2 wks from now. I called the group up and asked my questions about if they treat complicated etd and what treatments I've already had and the receptionist told me that she was aware that they had other surgical options besides ear tubes. She put me on hold n asked the audiologist who was walking by n told me he said he too believed that the dr's offer other e tube surgery besides tubes. This sounded promising to me, so I decided to make the appt. I hope and pray that they are correct and that this group does offer alternatives besides ear tubes. All those darn things did was make me feel deaf in one ear for 3 wks. Praying and praying that I might not need to travel cross country to try to fix this. My only roadblock anymore is my husbands lack of insurance. I asked him to check with his school to see if they could possibly help him out n get him some coverage, but I don't know if they will be able to since he's only PT there. I hope he will just get something soon but I'm worried. Im ready to start looking myself cuz VS (my job) doesn't have any ft positions available. Plus only managers get benefits n despite my previous retail management experience, I've never gotten promoted with them in 3 yrs! Maybe it really is time to move on n find something else, my ears depend on it!
I actually called an ENT that I used 3 years ago when I was pregnant with my younger daughter- I'd gotten an ear infection n thought I'd had fluid stuck in my ear. It took about 2 months before it went away. I called them to see if they could help me with this issue. The nurse called me back and told me that I'd been mistaken about persistent ear fluid being the cause of my ear issue 3 years ago, that the dr had in fact observed no fluid and in his notes wrote down that I was experiencing a dysfunctional e tube in the left ear! He used an ear popper type device on me not to clear fluid, as I'd thought, but to encourage the tube to function more normally. I was stunned. There was a bit of a language barrier with this dr but I'm astounded that I could have been do wrong about what I thought had been going on! She told me that this dr had also noted that I had a cold/upper respiratory infection at the beginning of treatment, but that towards the end if treatment, he'd noted chronic inflammation in my nose. He had suggested sinus surgery at the time but I blew it off cuz I was all better n honestly didn't see any reason to have a sinus surgery when my ear already was better. She told me that he thought that at present, I'm experiencing these etd problems cuz of the constant sinus troubles. He was thinking the allergy testing/ immunotherapy was a good idea, but that the 'diseased' tissue may need to be removed. Unfortunately, he is retiring in a few months and stopped doing surgeries as of this year. So he was thinking seeing the otologist was a good idea, but wanted me to keep the sinus/allergy problems in mind so I can hopefully get a more complete fix if a fix for my ears is possible. It was an interesting afternoon. Kinda feel stunned that I've had etd before and it just went away. Wonder why not this time? It's a bit depressing actually. Hopefully though I've been led in the right direction today. Maybe this knowledge will help me to find a solution for this time.
Joyce, please look up the user name msMariec. Type in in the search bar on the healthboards site. She posted a thread about an outer ear fungal infection and plugged ears after using the antibiotic ear drops Neomycin. You've just got to read her post because she ended up saying that her ears ended up getting better. I don't know what antibiotics u used but I'd read it anyway.
It really stinks that my 1st paycheck back at work will most likely need to pay for this dr appt but hope and relief are worth more to me than almost anything.
One kinda icky thing that happened today though is that I think I'm getting a cold. Feeling achy and stuffy and have a mildly sore throat. Been pushing fluids and vitamin c and took 2 doses of olive leaf extract today. I also just got this saline nasal spray that also acts as a nasal wash, it's a pressurized saline spray. Made by a baking soda company (A&H). I used it to flush out my sinuses today and got some yellow(yuck) mucus out. Hope it's not the sinus infection returning. Will be frantically using vitamin c and olive leaf today and tomorrow. Weird thing is, my ears don't feel too full or pressurized today, but my head is starting to feel like it's been bashed in. I'm gonna take a nice hot shower soon to help with the body aches.
Let me know how u guys r doing!
Jen
Luci, I'm not 100% sure but I think background noise definitely increases my fullness feeling. My ENT said it's normal due to the tensed ear drum due to pressure changing/ not changing in the middle ear. I find very loud noises annoying at the very least, painful at most. I took my kids out for lunch today n the noise of the place was making my ears feel full of...something. I can still hear but I feel like I can't because of the fullness. I dont have tinnitus though, I can't imagine how upsetting that must be for u! And when I've been exposed to loud sounds for awhile n get the crazy fullness, it literally takes a couple hours to subside once I get to a quieter place. Didnt u mention once that u have hyperacusis? I think in my researching fullness in the ears I've read about hyperacusis due to my own sound sensitivity lately. Some ppl have mentioned fullness in their ears after exposure to loud sounds. Maybe its just that? I would hope that your dr would listen to u as far as your concerns, and not just blame it on ur Meneires. Is he saying it's just that, a Meneires symptom, and not etd? Cuz I would definitely ask to review your tympanogram results at that point. I looked at mine. If there's any negative middle eat pressure at all it's still negative ear pressure. Better yet, do u remember if they had u pinch your nose and swallow while they had the probe in your ear? Apparently this is the correct way to perform the test, which is why I passed the test before, they didn't have me do this. If they didn't have u do the tympanogram properly, ask them to repeat it. I mean, how can u know how to treat 'it' if u don't know what 'it' is? If all is still good, only then would I start to think maybe it could be the Meneires. I'm not u though, and I dont think I have Meneires, but I do think that u know ur body better than anyone and u shouldn't ignore ur instincts.
The fullness thing with excessive noise happens to me too though, is my major point.
Jen
HI Jen & Luci!!!!!!!!! i had such a hectic day and it was one of those self pity days cuz i felt so crappy i cried...so i just now had a chance to get on here and briefly read all your recent posts...so far cipro isnt helping.......i think ive got myself a nervous wreck about flying this saturday and the anxiety from it is making my symptoms worse...almost to the point where i dont wana even go...but luci my daughter said exactly what u said...that maybe the flight will actually HELP my problem...so with that in mind, and my afrin, sudefed and earplanes i pray all will be ok...thanks for ur prayers too..they mean alot...i take Olive leaf, grapefruit seed extract, tumeric quercerin, and a probotic....and a multi..gona add some vit c to the mix!!!!!!! Jen, interesting thing your ent told u about the crawling sensation...i guess it makes sense when ya think of all the nerves in that area...today it got so bad i did a BIG NO-NO i put a qtip in there.....now its very painful and more full than normal...i just tried to relieve that feeling...i kno it was a bad idea...took some advil.......seems to have helped a little...i take so many supplements its hard to say what might be helping..o and luci, yes my symptoms are always worse at nite...and no, mine dont pop EVER..its like sometimes i swallow and feel a BRIEF little pop but then fills right back up.......Jen i will look up that post on fugual ear infections..thanks for letting me know about it!! but i will do it tomorrow..im so tired right now im gona head to bed......today was so stressful at work! Jen, seriously call your local social services..there are alot of programs out there to help ppl w/no ins..or underinsured, i know here in NY we have alot so explore all your options...sounds like u found a dr. that might help you...praying for you and luci daily...i will write more tomorow cuz i wana re-read your posts when im more awake!!!!! thanks for being such a great support system......its gota get better girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! prayers for all xox
Good morning!! Feeling more rested after a semi-good nites sleep.....like i said in the above post, 1st thing in the morn my ears are full..but there isnt the intense pressure/tingling sensation as i get later thru the day...teeth arent as achy as they were last nite so maybe the cipro is helping if there is indeed a sinus inf.....praying it helps these ears too...Luci, i dont get much tinnitus...rarely if at all, and only in left ear when it does happen. Loud sounds get to me...last nite before i came home and cried, i was at the grocery store, and between ppl taking, the background music and a baby crying i felt like i was in a whirlwind.....it all sort of blends intogether....i feel better this morning and have to put myself in a postive frame of mind......im gona look up msMarieC's posts now..for all of us, this did start with a simple headcold...and ya don wonder if the virus is still playing havoc on our ears?????? I do have faith we will all recover from this..praying sooner than later........jen, please keep me posted on what this new dr youre seeing in a couple of weeks has to say.....i will be anxious to hear his options..i cant remember if i've asked this or not but do you guys get that tingly numb sensation around the outside of the ear, and in the jaw area? I do quite often and cant help but wonder if its the tmj and nerve endings responding to my constant clenching?? I also will get the hot ear..yesterday both my ears were BEET RED and very hot to the touch.......in fact sometimes that warmth spreads over my body......a "hotflash" feeling i guess it would be...and i always find i get those when im stressing badly about how im feeling...anyhow Hoping an praying today is a good day for all of us...........
Hey girl,
Hope ur feeling better by the time that u read this. I know the poking sensation your describing oh so well- I get it too. It's your ear drum retracting. Getting sucked slightly in by the negative pressure in your middle ear. Oh goodness, what will we do guys?! Joyce, I recommend at least trying plain old sudafed when that happens. It might help calm the swelling of your e tubes down enough to let your eardrum get into a more normal position. I've been trying to avoid meds but when I get that poking feeling, I know I need to try to get that darn tube open asap. Ugh. We all did have a virus it seems. What ive read about viruses and the e tubes is that they can damage the lining of your e tubes. Studies have proved this. I doubt the virus is still active, but who knows? Anything is possible. I woke up yesterday with a cold with horrible head pressure that seemed to tone down the ear pressure. Today I have taken sudafed and ibuprofen with no relief in sight! Still can't breathe outta my nose! I've also been doing saline rinses every few hours to try to clear out that mucus. It's a nasty yellow color. My whole body hurts but the head pressure today is sooooooooo unbearable. I feel like someone is blowing up a balloon inside my head! My point is that maybe you're right, maybe there's a resilient virus still stuck in our bodies causing this nightmare. Maybe load up on the olive leaf? It's supposed to be antiviral.
As far as the dr I'm seeing next week, I hope that they will give me some kind of answers. Otherwise I'm going to do whatever it takes to see Dr Poe or Dr Weeks. I read dlt48's posts n Dr Weeks in san Diego got rid of her chronic sinusitis and her etd. I called his office today actually to find out about his waiting list. It's only 4 wks out! I will do whatever it takes. As far as the dr out here, he's an otologist/neurotologist. The group is called Chicago Ear Institute. I don't even know what procedures they may have besides tubes to help this. I only talked to their receptionist who was almost positive that they had procedures other than tubes. I hope that she's right. I actually emailed them today to inquire about. Hopefully they will be able to let me know soon.
Im trying to hopefully get rid of this nasty cold or whatever it us that I have. I'm worried I have another sinus infection. I don't really want to go to the dr again...let me know how u are.
Jen
Hi ladies!!
I am so sorry that you both are having such a rough time. Joyce, I don't ever have the poking feeling. I agree that maybe TMJ might be a possibility. The hot ear thing I def. get too. That is such a weird thing and it burns like crazy. I sure hope that the Cipro kicks in and eases some of the symptoms.
Jenn,
I am really anxious to hear about your upcoming dr appointment. I had called Dr. Weeks office too and was quite pleased to learn that his wait time was quite short compared to dr poe. If there are other drs who are doing this i am i very interested in learning who they are. I sure am sorry that on top of this you have gotten a nasty cold. That has to be miserable!! You mentioned that you are in retail at VS. I have worked in retail for quite a few years, but am not working at this time. I worked for Lucky Brand Jeans. I joked that I worked for the discount so I could buy clothes. :)

Joyce you mentioned in an earlier post about the possibility of hormones playing a role in this. I am def. at the age that could be a issue for me. I plan on having mine checked to see what might be going on.

Jenn,
You mentioned that your dr used a ear popper on you a few years back. That would be the same thing that I bought . The have a clinical version and a home version. I wonder if you might get relief from being able to use one of those on a daily basis?

I think that addressing the viral component in this is something that I really want to go after. What is the olive leaf supplement that you have mentioned?

I am praying for both of you ladies!!

Joyce, I tried to do the pm like you had said, but the message that I got said that the moderator had turned off pms.

I appreciate the support of you all so much!!
HI Jen & Luci.....SO GLAD TO HEAR THE GOOD NEWS LUCI!! anything, no matter how tiny..is progress! YAY!!!!!! Well the cipro has seemed to help the sinus pressure but not the ear pressure......when i first woke it wasnt too bad but as the day goes on the worse the itchy crawly sensation gets & also the tightening/tingling feeling..thanks for the info Jen about why i feel that way..it makes sense..i just pray this goes away for all of us..it truly has been a nightmare! i have a bad headache today too...Jen, i'd think about a round of antibiotics if you continue to feel like u do..u may have a sinus inf in addition to all the other stuff going on! Funny thing is, i dont blow much outa my nose but i have HORRIBLE post nasal drip.......gaggg! Hope u feel better soon! Luci, i do think hormones play a role in all this stuff too.....i get the hotflashes bad and notice the throbbing in my head/face when i get them.....not fun..i hate it.....had a talk with God earlier and asked him to please lighten all our burdens...I prolly wont b on here much thru out the weekend..my friend is coming to visit me from tx...and im looking forward to it just hoping i feel good enuf to entertain!!!! You guys are in my prayers every day...take care!!!!!!!!!!! ttys!!
Luci- Happy to hear you're doing better with your tinnitus! Like Joyce said, any improvement is good to hear. What is the purpose of your new medication? Is it for your Meneires? I can understand the lack of appetite. I have days that I feel so miserable I don't want to touch a thing. Right now I feel like I dont want to eat much cuz of this stupid cold or whatever it is. I had to force myself today so that my blood sugar doesn't start acting crazy. Dont want to pass out!
Joyce- You have absolutely no idea how much of a comfort you are to me! You rarely let this stuff hold you back. I aspire to be that way though I tend to fail miserably. I need to try harder. Thanks for letting God know that we'd like to have a little lighter of a burden to bear. I ask for that for us constantly. I have been having a crisis of faith lately because I just want answers for us and we don't seem to have gotten many. Till Luci had a success with her tinnitus that is. Your support is truly a gift, and it's appreciated even more because I know that you're suffering too.

Well guys I've been trying to ignore my misery with this cold or whatever it is all day long but it's really starting to get to me. I'm getting that balloon blown up in your head feeling again tonight. Pain in the bones of my skull! My nose has also been squeaking when I breathe! Disgusting. Getting worried that I might have another sinus infection on my hands. Really don't want to see the dr again for this cuz I hate taking antibiotics. I feel like if I could just pop my head like a balloon I'd feel instant relief. I wish I was feeling a bit better. I'm starting to worry that this is something worse than just etd again. My google finger is itching...
Hope you guys still feel ok.
Jen
thanks for your message Jen cuz right now my left ear is so tight and plugged it literally feels like my face is being squeezed from the inside.....im trying so hard to keep the faith...i keep quoting the scripture, God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power and a sound mind..i try to replace my fear with faith and its hard especially feeling the way i do now.....trying not to fear flying on saturday..picking my friend tomorrow nite at the airport then we fly to NYC for the weekend...please pray that all goes well..i just get the feeling that someday we are just gona swallow and feel that blessed relief of a popped ear.......i keep thinking how great that will feel......mine is definitly worse as the day goes on...i know my stress doesnt help..i try NOT to think about how i feel..but its tough...........Jen if you dont feel better in a couple of days, u may have to get an antibiotic..i will say its helped the pressure in my sinus and the teeth ache - but as of yet hasnt done a thing for the ears..:-( I'm so glad to have found u girls on here, not that im glad that ur going thru this junk, but glad we have a good support system for one another...prayers being said for u ... xo
Joyce,
Please know that I will be covering you in prayer as you fly on Saturday!! Praying you to have a wonderful weekend that will hopefully be a blessing to you!! One of my favorite blogs online is by Ann Voskamp. If you google her you will find it. Very encouraging.

Jenn,
I wonder too if you have a sinus infection. I would def call before the weekend if you stay feeling even yuckier than normal. It is so hard to stay well when you have little ones. I admire your strength at being able to keep up with your babies while dealing with this.

I have 3 kiddos. 24, 20 and 9. Yes, that is correct and not a typo. We raised the first two and then adopted a little girl that we call our " Haitian Sensation". She is such a joy to our family. She has been home with us for two years now.

Hope you ladies rest well tonight!! It has been such a pleasure to get to know you!!
Thanks for the info about Dr Poe, Jenni. I definitely have been trying to rule out other causes for this etd issue. Doing allergy drops (similar to shots), did get checked out for tmjd. Honestly I think that the virus I had is what caused the etd. I'm like u, I honestly couldn't believe it when they told me I had no fluid in my ear. I had a ct scan done of the head, sinuses, and both ear canals a couple months ago which indicated sinusitis to my dr. He suggested that surgery might be helpful, but told me not to expect my ears to get much better, then offered allergy testing/immunotherapy. I don't believe that they told me that I have any structural issue besides a deviated septum. I mentioned other dr's because I read about dr weeks in san Diego doing the eustachian tube dilation, and Luci told us that the Shea ear clinic in Tennessee is doing eustachian tuboplasty, a slightly different procedure. I have not gotten relief yet from even placing a tube in my ear, so as u can imagine, I'm getting a bit desperate. I recently had yet another pressure test at my ENTs office which showed as usual, no change in the persistent negative MEP in my left ear. Basically I was told to just live with it. I came down with another sinus problem just 2 days ago, which has made this go from pretty yucky to pretty unbearable. Sudafed, ibuprofen, allegra, nothing has touched the pain which isn't even much in my sinuses, but in my head and ears. The pressure built up so severely today that I broke down and visited my PCP because the ENT only wants to do sinus surgery. My PCP promptly put me on more prednisone. Didnt know what else to do I guess. I will definitely be trying to stick it out for a bit longer, but I'm feeling very ready to talk to someone who can give me some real answers besides to just live with it.

I hope you are doing well today Luci and Joyce. Im getting concerned about taking all these steroids, but it seems to be the only way I can get any relief when my sinuses go crazy. I hope this flare up will go away before it messes me up even more. I'm experiencing burning in my ear and nose right now, but I can't start the steroid pack until tomorrow. My PCP says it's a virus or allergies or both. So I've been treating it both ways. I hope it will get a little better by this evening. I usually get relief in the evening. Wondering if this isnt a fungal sinus infection or a super resistant bacterial sinus infection. Wish I could convince a dr to culture my sinuses.

Let me know how u guys are doing, gonna try to lie down now this head/ear pressure is getting unbearable ugh!
Jen
Hello ladies,

Good to hear from you again Jenni!!

I am not sure why when I have such a good day symptom wise that it surprises me when I crash back down, but it does. That mountain top to the valley thing again. Ears are YELLING at me tonight. Started even earlier than usual. I was so excited when the tinnitus lasts night at 6 pm was not too bad. It picked up later in the evening. Today it has really taken off. The HIGH pitch shrill sound, kind of like the old emergency broadcast system warning. UGH!! I am going to start writing everything down. Weather, barometric pressure numbers, foods eaten and what meds I take for the day. Maybe that way some dots might just connect.

Jenni, it sounds like the gunshot pops have become more frequent for you? That isn't good. I have always been very affected by weather fronts moving in with Menieres. I am starting to think that it doesn't really matter what name you give some of our inner ear issues, we experience the same symptoms and triggers. Yes, I have heard and read some on TTS. I have done some reading on the Hyperacusis network, due to being so sensitive to sound. I had to stop reading on that site because so much of it seems so hopeless. Not wanting to go there. I am looking forward to hearing how it goes with your new splints. Did you dentist give you any idea on how long before you might notice some results?

An interesting recent finding in my own TMJ symptoms. The past few nights i have sat in the floor in front of our couch. My husband has applied gentle circular rubbing motions to the joint. My left ear is the ear I struggle to clear and it is also the ear that I can hear the "clunk" sound in when opening and closing my mouth. After a few minutes of rubbing while I am looking up at the ceiling I can start to get my ear a bit clearer. Not sure if it is head position, the rubbing or a combination of the two, but I will take any improvement over that super tight blocked feeling.

Jen,
I sure hope that the steroids can kick in and give you some relief!! I have done two rounds this time. I hate taking them, but I know that they really can help many people. It is so interesting that your symptoms are much less at night. I am just the opposite. Can you tell if there are any other factors that are there during the day that aren't a factor at night? I think you mentioned the other day that your ears do pop, but that it is the fullness that doesn't go away? When do you see your new ENT?

Jenni,
I am thinking about Dr.Poe only doing the balloon surgery if there is something structural blocking the e tube . Since I am able to clear the tube completely at times I would bet that I don't have a structural blockage. I am concerned about waiting all of these months to see him, only to be told that he can't offer any relief to this. I don't want to be hasty or foolish though in my quest to find a dr who might be able to offer relief from this.

I am wondering what kind of testing Dr. Weeks does to visualize the e tubes and determine if they are functioning etc. I know that DLT is very happy with the results. Having said all of that the last thing I would want to end up with is PET. I think that would be worse than what we are dealing with.

Well, tomorrow I am off for a MRI of the brain, c spine and lumbar spine. Being that I have Neurofibromatosis on top of all of this they are wanting to make sure it isn't tumors on my balance nerves or something else that we are missing. I am really hoping that maybe this will shed some light on what is going on. I normally have a annual MRi, but since our little girl came home two years ago I have been a bit busy.......

Joyce hope you have an amazing, symptom free weekend with your friend!!! Nothing like girl time to make you forget your issues!!
Hi Luci!
I'm anxiously awaiting the start of my medrol dose pack tomorrow. I just want to be able to breathe out of my nose again, I'm totally a mouthbreather right now. Hopefully the pred will at least knock out some of the swelling. As far as my symptoms decreasing at night, I've sometimes wondered about that too. The only thing I can really think of is that maybe I'm not so tense since I know everything is done for the day? The other thing that helps me is darkness for some weird reason. I was thinking maybe the etd is causing migraines like we talked about. My head/ear pressure escalated to a near intolerable level today because of my sinus pressure and all of a sudden I started getting that numb feeling on the left side of my head/face. My husband was home, so while he and my girls watched a kid movie, I shut off the lights and laid on the couch and just closed my eyes and tried to relax. The quiet and darkness seemed to help- I didn't fall asleep but after an hour or so my head pressure let up and my numbness went away. Ear was still pressurized, sinuses still swollen beyond belief, so I did what all sensible people with severely inflamed sinuses and etd do- I OD'd on my flonase! I took an extra desperate dose and it seemed to help calm the ears and sinuses a bit more till I can take that pred. Do I feel bad for OD'ing on the flonase- nope! I can breathe a little better and my ears dont feel like they're in a pressure cooker ready to explode so I'm feeling a bit better. As far as peaks and valleys, I know the feeling. I just need to learn not to get so depressed over it. I think we all feel a bit down when that happens. It's normal human emotion, I try so hard not to suppress my feelings because as my psych dr says, it just builds them up over time till u have a meltdown. So I make sure that I tell myself it's ok to be upset/sad/angry etc.
I think Dr Weeks might be a little less rigid than Dr Poe as far as his criteria for the ET dilation. I read DLT's earlier posts and it seems she had sinus problems from a rare (for sinuses) bacteria. Im not saying that's me, I'm just saying she said he cured her sinus issue and etd. So I don't know. Id hate to waste my time as you said, going to see Dr Poe only to be told he can't do anything. I'm trying to stick this out, it's just getting really hard...
As far as my ears, I THINK I'm getting both to pop, but I'm not sure, I'm not doing it the valsalva way, I need to yawn widely to do it. The left tube seems to pop but I can't be certain. I'm pretty sure I probably have swollen e tube openings in my nasopharynx due to the inflammation in my sinuses. I dont know if that qualifies as obstruction, but that's my theory. It seems hard really tell though because I'm not a dr. Hopefully it's popping, I mean, my ear drum isn't obviously retracted to most dr's who see it, so even though there's negative pressure on there, it has to be getting relieved in some way. Perhaps my tubes just don't open as frequently as they should? I don't know. It's a real puzzle. I'm hearing at 10db across the board, but I can't seem to actually hear - it's the other mystery of my life. Darn etd!!!!
Hope you are doing well Luci, hopefully it'll be a peak day tomorrow!
Looking forward to hearing from Jenni and Joyce as well!
Jen
I actually woke up feeling like I definitely had something going on in my sinuses, so off to the dr (ENT). Again. Seriously. He looked up my nose and in my throat and ears. Said sinus infection. Jeez. Augmentin and something for pain, as my throat looked severely inflamed to him. Said he saw pus(?) leaking down my throat and in my nose. I haven't seen much colored stuff today though, just clear. So that's strange, but he's the dr. So basically he doesn't want me to do the steroid yet. Just antibiotics. Ears feel like theyre on an airplane today, mostly just the left.
Luci, I hope your MRI will yield some answers for you. I'm exhausted from feeling so sick, so I'm going to try to rest now if I can. Oh and about valsalva- it doesn't seem to do much for me. I feel like big yawns might help me more. I don't know if my left ear even pops, but it seems like it does. Maybe everyone is just different regarding the best way to pop their ears.
Ok these steroids are making me really sick! Plus it's storming out here, so both of my ears are going nuts! I had to go to urgent care today due to waking up feeling like I was drowning in gunk. Turns out I have bronchitis in addition to the sinus infection. I'm really weak and tired and it's annoying me cuz I hate feeling like that. I've been holding down the couch for a couple days now, in and out of sleep. Worried that this is causing more problems for the etd. I'm trying not to panic though it's getting pretty hard. I feel horrible head pressure right now, its very scary as it feels like my head might explode sometimes cuz of the pressure. Both ears feel quite clogged though I've been trying hard to pop them both every so often.

I'm also starting to rethink the ear tubes, I really am. Tired of the pressure, the annoying hollow feeling in my left ear. The right ear feels pretty normal most of the time. I'm just so frustrated and miserable over this horrible condition! Today I was trying valsalva and the right ear will go but not the left. I've tried all day to get that left one. Im so determined I really am past the point of caring whether or not I blow my ear drum in the process. I just want to get that darn tube open!

Ready to have a breakdown today- trying not to. I'm so over etd, i just wish it was over me!

Anxiously awaiting the results of Joyce's flight.

Jen
Ok these steroids are making me really sick! Plus it's storming out here, so both of my ears are going nuts! I had to go to urgent care today due to waking up feeling like I was drowning in gunk. Turns out I have bronchitis in addition to the sinus infection. I'm really weak and tired and it's annoying me cuz I hate feeling like that. I've been holding down the couch for a couple days now, in and out of sleep. Worried that this is causing more problems for the etd. I'm trying not to panic though it's getting pretty hard. I feel horrible head pressure right now, its very scary as it feels like my head might explode sometimes cuz of the pressure. Both ears feel quite clogged though I've been trying hard to pop them both every so often.

I'm also starting to rethink the ear tubes, I really am. Tired of the pressure, the annoying hollow feeling in my left ear. The right ear feels pretty normal most of the time. I'm just so frustrated and miserable over this horrible condition! Today I was trying valsalva and the right ear will go but not the left. I've tried all day to get that left one. Im so determined I really am past the point of caring whether or not I blow my ear drum in the process. I just want to get that darn tube open!

Ready to have a breakdown today- trying not to. I'm so over etd, i just wish it was over me!

Anxiously awaiting the results of Joyce's flight.

Jen
Jen,
Wow! I don't know what to say, but I am sorry you are suffering so much. I think any of us would be concerned about having both a sinus infection and bronchitis and possibly making the ETD worse. Surely the steroids will kick in soon and bring both of those things under control.

Have you tried Afrin? It does have to be used with caution, but it might help open up your e tubes so that when you try to Valsalva that you can get some relief. I am still using my moist heat bag that I heat in the microwave. At times that will help to get some crackling going on that will lead to being able to clear the ear for a bit.

I sure was hoping that when you posted you were going to tell us that you were feeling better. I will pray for you to get some relief soon!!

Try to hang in there!!
Is it sad that I chewed up a tablet of Gas-X to a pulp without swallowing, then laid down and let it sort of coat the back of my throat for a good twenty minutes? (Do not attempt this at home, folks...it didn't hurt me, but I can't say it fixed me.)

Anyhow, just to let you know, Jen -- you're so not alone in this madness. I have reached many new levels of despair myself along the way. I've had a lifetime of assorted health issues, but this ETD ear cr*p is by far the worst thing I've ever experienced. My husband had a blocked ear for about 24 hours after a recent flight, and within hours he was frantic to get it back open. He was googling, he was calling me for all my tips and tricks. After he was better, I told him to try to imagine having this problem, on and off, for upwards of 16 months...and then maybe he could have a little more sympathy/empathy for my sad plight. I'm not saying he's not sympathetic; he's been more than good in his actions, like buying the Ear Popper in Canada and bringing it back, and also researching acupuncture for me (which I'm trying for the first time on Weds). Anyhow, it's more that he gets tired of my ear talk...I can tell when his eyes glaze over or he just becomes grumpy because nothing seems to have worked so far. Nobody -- nobody at all -- in the world "gets" ETD unless they have had a long-standing case of it. And then they understand why it's absolutely unacceptable to go through life in this manner when there must be some way back to normal. It's not like we were born with dysfunctional ears, or that we hurt ourselves in a fire or a car crash...something has secretly changed recently with each of us, and there must be a way to change it back.

One thing that somebody on one of these boards wrote that I have held onto like a precious gem is this: our bodies will always try to heal themselves, as long as we live. I think that's important. Our bodies are doing the best they can; we just need to find the keys to how to support the body's role in healing. Maybe it's to stick it through the allergy shot route until we build up enough immunity to kick these symptoms (1-5 years!). Maybe it's to work on muscular issues and get that calmed down.

As for me, apparently the gunshot popping meant something, because last night I started having some stabbing pain in the eardrum area and then my right ear explosively popped and all this foul-smelling thin, yellowish liquid started pouring into my ear through the pe tube! (Sorry for the image.) Drainage like this is a first for me. I cleaned up and fell back to sleep. In the morning more fluid was in my ear canal; it had dried into a crust and the e-tube felt plugged. I took ibuprofen and a 12 hour sudafed, and it finally got the ear back feeling open. Called my ent-allergist and am waiting for some advice. I know kids get antibiotic drops when they have active ear infections...the drops go through the tubes and into the middle ear. Hate taking more meds but I can't have my ear leaking foul crud onto my pillow...

Coincidentally, I felt better in January/February when it was constantly cold here (30s/40s) and, thus, there wasn't as much mold or pollen in the air. Do I need to move to a desert, back to California, to Boston? I'm glad I moved up here 7 years ago and met my husband, had our two beautiful children, and it's certainly visually stunning country here, but it's become tarnished for me due to this health problem......... Like Jen said, I'm SO OVER THIS!

--Jenni
HI Ladies!!!!!! Ok so my friend is on her way back to her home...finally have time to get on here...so the flight was Fine..i did the afrin, sudefed, and earplanes and honestly for a brief time when i swallowed in the air, even tho i had the ear planes in, i could feel my ears pop..they honestly felt better when we landed...but soon afterwards....plugged right back up......i was hopeful for a brief moment, the flying had acutally helped, but it was VERY short lived..i was SO petrified of flying that i almost didnt go......we had a great time but ears are still a mess.........i broked down and cried when my friend was here..i told her im so SICK of feeling like this.......trying to stay positive but its hard...Ive tried the xyilotol gum...even tried the xyilotl nasal spray, sadly not much help.........Jenn i hope ur feeling better............i know what u mean about the breakdown point......Luci, any results on the MRI???? Jenni, i might try the gas-x !!! Just SOOOO TIRED of all this.....I got a ton of laundry to do, and its back to work tomorrow....I will ck in later..but wanted to give u the flying report asap!!!! Forgot to mention also, that i have been hearing alot of crackly popping sounds in my ear.....followed by the Squeeeeezing sensation that gives me a throbbing headache.........i seriously think mine is tmj related the popping/crackling sounds like its in my neck too..when i lift my head up and down, i hear horrible crackling sounds.........ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i agree girls I AM SO OVER THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Joyce,
Please dont worry, it sounds like u got a hair stuck in there honestly. I mean, yeah it could be a fungus, but it sounds like a strange presentation of one. Usually they're clumps or dots or patches. Get that right ear cleaned out too, maybe that's why it's stuffy on that side. I seriously hate when dr's tell u ur ear has a lot of wax in it. Then do nothing. Annoying beyond annoying. I'm sure she probably couldn't remove it but ur ENT or PCP should be able to. And they should use an instrument not high pressure washing.
I'm sure your thyroid will turn out ok. Maybe u just have hypo or hyper thyroidism and need meds to control it. It could contribute to ur stuffy ears, seriously, look up thyroid and ears. Maybe u will finally get an answer! Look at it that way. The worst is when they say nothing is wrong, goodbye, deal with it. So at least it's something, and don't think cancer cuz I really don't think it is. Just my gut talking.
I'm hoping your bloodwork comes out with some answers for you. I think it will help. I know how miserably tired of this u are I am just tired of it too. I was actually reading about chronic illness and grief. There's a guy who wrote an article that I liked. He said some people go to the extreme of just wallowing in self pity and misery, and some take the 'pollyanna' approach and try to act like nothing is changed or wrong. Both of these approaches are wrong. We shouldn't wallow or act like Suzy sunshine either. The middle ground is better he says. Finding a place in your life for the illness and allowing yourself to grieve the loss of your former self, while finding your new normal self. I try to take that to heart. I keep telling u guys that I do this, but it slowly seems to be helping- I allow myself to feel what I need to feel and tell myself that it's ok. Ok to be sad mad worried helpless. We have to let those negative emotions and feelings wash over us sometimes. Otherwise how can we get better? If we hide those feelings inside too long, they will eventually come out much louder than if we take them as they come. So Joyce, you are not wrong for crying or whining even though it may seem that way. Don't be so hard on yourself. You're going through something life changing and difficult and upsetting. You have every right to have a pity party for yourself. It doesn't make you weak. Plus, I find crying cathartic. I always feel at least a bit better after a good cry. And I'm sure your friend loves you and didn't mind one bit that you broke down. Its hard to feel the way we feel, like Jenni said. The fact that we are still fighting after all this time says something about our characters. We are not weak, even when we cry. I know how hard this has been for all of us. A funny thing I keep forgetting to tell u girls is that I am totally being stalked by that Kelly clarkson what doesn't kill u makes you stronger song. Everywhere its on, everytime I get in my car or anyone else's it comes on. Especially, no joke, when I'm feeling really down about this. Maybe it's God trying to send me a message?

I'll leave you guys with a quote I like alot, which I think we all need to hear right now:
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'†
You must do the thing you think you cannot do. "
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I repeat that last line whenever I'm in a tough spot,and I tell myself that every morning as well- you must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Jen
Joyce, I agree...it could totally be a hair in there...I've read about this before. Sometimes a hair trapped against the ear drum causes all kinds of funny feelings. I can't believe your doctor didn't try to retrieve it! And yes, I HATE when they say you have a lot of wax and then send you on your merry way. I've mostly broken my Q-tip habit, but I still have the urge. What is aggravating me today is a feeling like bubbles of liquid clogging up my right ear pe tube, the side that had the Niagara Falls gush of fluid last night. There is DEFINITELY fluid in there still, because I can blow through that tube by valsalva and actually hear it bubbling and squeaking.

Oh! And my doctor's advise nurse never called me back today, so I never got an answer about what I'm supposed to do about this new fluid building up in my ear!

I have some more thoughts to share with you ladies, but I gotta get my two kiddos in bed. Mondays are very long days for me since the kids are home all day (no school on Mondays or Thursdays) and my husband has an event he attends Monday nights. So that means I am sole caretaker for all but about 2 hours between my husband getting home from work and then leaving again. Today was sunny and hot, so I took my kids to the park, then took them swimming, and now am completely beat. This is exhausting under the best of circumstances...I think us chronic illness moms deserve a medal sometimes.

I was thinking more today about the virus connection and wondering if this is the result of some new superbug that hits the ears and screws them up? Because in my extensive googling, it seems like there has been a HUGE uptick in people having this problem, all within the last 3-5 years.

I'll keep all of you in my thoughts tonight and think positive, healing thoughts, even though it's hard to stay positive since we're all going through so much crud. I'm also going to force myself to stay off my phone because it inevitably leads to googling and getting caught up in that.

--Jenni
Hi ladies, just a quickie -- I'm down with a blocked right ear and fluid in the ear. This is the first time it's totally blocked since my initial 48 day blockage back in Dec/Jan 2010/2011. I'm feeling really down about it...I forgot how awful 24-7 blockage is. Even the Ear Popper is having trouble blasting that side open, and it closes immediately. My hearing is way down on that side. My ent-allergist here prescribed some drops to try to keep it from turning into an acute infection.

But that's nothing...I've been thru it before, I know it will eventually open. Luci, I'm worried sick over you, though. Do know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I'll try to figure the pm thing out; I know it works because someone sent me one today.

I'll try to write more soon. Thinking about you all and keeping fingers crossed we are all going to get better and find the answers we need.
Hi girls,
Just was able to come on and read everyones new posts. Glad to hear that your ear is better Jenni. It does sound like you definitely took that blocked eat down with military style precision! I have some questions for you guys today! These are questions I hope each of you will answer, as it will help me better understand some things.

1.) When you say your ear is stuffy/blocked, what EXACTLY does it feel like? Does it feel as though you can hear perfectly, but there's just inflammation? Or is it actually blocked, with some actual hearing loss? Or does it feel like something else entirely?

2.) Is the blocked feeling 24/7 or does it go away sometimes and your ears feel completely normal?

3.) If it is 24/7 blockage, does it wax and wane? Can you identify anything that makes it worse/better?


For me, my blocked feeling feels as though my ears are swollen up on the inside and I can hear pretty much perfectly. The only trouble I have is in crowded noisy places. Then I feel like I'm hard of hearing, though the test results claim that I hear at 5-10db across the board. My feelings of blockage/swelling are 24/7, but they wax and wane. I don't really know what makes it better or worse.

Luci, glad to hear you're doing well. I hope everything will continue that way for you, and you still have my prayers everyday.

Joyce, glad to hear you're still fighting against this etd nightmare. You are, like I said before, truly an inspiration to me. You got blindsided with this as well, but yet you have not given up hope. Your hope brings me hope. I totally know how you feel about crowded noisy places though, it feels like you just can hear. As my previous ENT told me though, it's just an illusion, you can really hear just fine, it's only distorted cuz our eardrums are not able to vibrate optimally because the e tubes aren't equalizing our middle ear pressure. That what I try to remind myself in times of panic in noisy places. It does help sometimes.

Jenni, so glad you brought up your cranky husband! Mine gets sick of hearing about my ears too! He calls it 'that d*mn ear!' he says it's ruining his life cuz it's all he ends up hearing about when we talk at night. I've also been pestering him about Dr Weeks/Dr Poe, so he's stressed out about all of that, confused about what ET dilation is, and just wants to watch the White Sox play! It's not only hard to talk to husbands, it's hard to really talk to anybody who hasn't dealt with this. That's why this board is a blessing for people who have health conditions, because it's a way to connect with peopl who DO get it. And btw, I totally support your theory off why etd happened to us 'this' time as opposed to before. Let's call it what you started to- the Perfect Storm theory. I believe that you are 100% correct.

Ladies I realized I forgot one other question, and to me this might be the most annoying thing right now, but have you noticed that when your ears are blocked, you're voice sounds obnoxiously weird to you? I feel like I sound so nasally or something. It's definitely not autophony though. It's almost so darn obnoxious sometimes that I hate speaking cuz I hate the way I sound out loud to myself. Again, I don't experience autophony. Soooo, does anyone here deal with this? Hate singing too (ie Mass) cuz it sounds all off key. So annoying! I swear, when my kids bring me long books to read I cringe cuz I don't want to hear my weird droning voice that long!

How else is this ETD monster going to freak me out? I can't sing, don't want to speak, and avoid noisy crowded places for fear of feeling, well, deaf. What next?!

I did meet someone today with the same darn problems as us. He too got it after a virus! I'm telling you, the virus connection needs to be better researched by the ENT field. Yes, it might cause damage to e tubes, but what exact damage? If we know what kind of damage it is, maybe that will be the key to fixing us up!

Time for my cheesy inspirational quote of the day:

"Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. "
~ Rabindranath Tagore

As always, you are all in my thoughts and prayers!
Jen
good morning!! Jen, to answer your questions, 1. mine feel swollen and blocked but i can still hear ok...muffled but ok, feels like somthing is swollen inside the ear..that sometimes crackles and itches (and i get the crawly sensation alot in both ears, and the snapping of the rubber band noise). Always feels better when im asleep (when i wake up in the middle of the night its not nearly as intense) and its not as bad first thing in the morning...always tends to get worse as the day goes on..the perfect way to describe it, is like how we all started with a cold, well thats how this started, and usually with a headcold i'g get stuffed ears..but usually after a few days i'd start feeling better, and then ears would unplug and id feel fine...ahhh for those good ole days..this feels like my ears never unplugged from that cold..so i too believe there is a viral connection here. mine NEVER have unplugged 100% since the last bad headcold..i MAY get an occasional little "pop" but its shortlived, the ear always fills back up in minutes..so yes i have it 24/7 except at nite when im laying down, it doesnt seem as bad...i also notice alot of tension in the ear/jaw area..which im sure is cuz i clench my jaw so much. I notice that on damp days its even worse, bright sunny days, not quite as bad but still always there. I did see our area has a very high pollen count this time of year so im sure that isnt helping..altho ive never had allergies i notice this time of year every year i get the itchy eyes and sneeze more often, even tho its not been official by testing me for allergies i think the pollen makes me react in such a way...my symptoms started back in sept 2011..and its been a battle ever since..Jen, im so glad i help encourage you..you and Luci & Jenni are a great encouragment for me and i thank you all for listening to me vent. I know our hubbies are tired of listening to us......glad we have each other..its hard to relate when you dont know how awful this feels...keep forgetting to ask all of you do you ever get the crackling sound in your neck (sounds like gravel in there) when you move your head up and down or side to side????i get that alot and my chiro explained to me what it is, nothing serious but very annoying...i notice its better after an adjustment, but within a couple days its back...i tried to get in to my ENT but shes on vacation til the 21st...so im gona see her the 23rd to see if she sees the "Black line onmy eardrum"like my gyn said she saw......i got so desperate the other nite i mixed some hydrogen peroxide and a bit of alchol and dropped a couple drops in each ear...My ent did tht be4 she suctioned out the fungus...when she did it, it bubbled like crazy, but when i did it, it barely bubbled..so i drained it right out..it was more like a rinse in the ear..to possibly disloge any hair that mighta been in there...nothing came out, and ears still plugged...so then i took the blowdryer on low and moved it over my ear to dry the canal out..the ent said if i ever tried the hydrogen peroxide at home, be sure to dry the ear canal out so i dont create a nice moist enviroment for the fungus to grow...i also use ear plugs when i shower to prevent any water from getting in my ears! such a Pain this all is, but we will get thru it..i love your quote Jen....sooo very true..will remember that today~~happy mothers day to you all.........lets pray for a great day tomorow that we all will enjoy xo
Thanks for your response Joyce. I'm trying to make sure I'm not just crazy! I have the same feeling as you with the swollen feeling in your ears. Mine don't make rubberband noises, but I do feel like when I pop them, there's a horrible sticky noise, like thick gross mucus is stuck in there or something. The drs don't see any fluid, I wonder if maybe it's just mucus kinda stuck there that they aren't able to really see. I've tried mucinex, but it seems to upset my stomach.
Joyce, do you also hear your voice differently with clogged ears? I don't have autophony or anything, but I feel like my voice sounds more nasally. I'm response to your question, I don't think I get the gravelly sounds in my neck. But I do get a lot of neck pain on the back of my neck.

I told you guys the other day, I met a guy who actually has the same problems as us! He got it after a cold in November. I was so shocked. I've never met anyone in person with this problem. It was strangely comforting. He has a lot of the same tricks for dealing with it as us, in fact, hasn't even seen a dr about it yet.

So I'm getting really frustrated today with all my ear cracklies. It's not as bad as gunshot pops, but it's severely annoying. I was thinking about taking some more mucinex to see if it's mucus. Also took some ibuprofen to tame a sinus headache I was having. I'll check back later to see who else has updated.
Jen
HI Jen..its probably very surprising how many ppl suffer from this but suffer in silence for fear people will think they are crazy..but we arent...the symptoms are REAL and beyond annoying...all day today my ears felt pretty good, still blocked but not such a tightening sensation like i get towards evening..i duno why mine always feels worse at nite and laying down, i feel slightly better than when im standing or sitting..i cant even get mine to pop..i tried to get an appt with the ENT but shes on vacation til the 21st so i made an appt for the 23rd just hoping i can get out of work to go...i want her to double chek for fungus again....altho i dont really think its back, but when i asked my gyn to look in my ears..she saw the "black line" in the left ear and said she could barely see the rt ear cuz there was wax in it....and jen, yes my voice sounds very different to myself..my sounds like im talking thru a tin can..very rattly and crackly...thats the best way to describe it..i do know what u mean about the sticky feeling my ear canals always feel they are wet, even tho i use earplugs when i shower...do yours feel the same way? We went to church tonite, and i said a prayer for all of us on here...are u still using the olive leaf? i am, even tho i havent noticed much help from it...also using the quercerin along with several other supplements..Well, Jen, Jenni & Luci, enjoy your mother's day tomorrow...im really gona try to concentrate on enjoying my kids and granddaughter and not think about my ears all day...!
Happy Mother's Day to all of you!!!

It rained here overnight and I woke up to very blocked ears. Used my Afrin and can get cleared for a bit.

I can agree with the voice thing. When I am blocked my voice seems way too loud. Even eating seems way too loud, like things are amplified .

As far as the hearing loss, I already have hearing loss from the Meniere's. However, when my tubes are blocked it causes substantial more loss. When I get my ears cleared, then my hearing is much better.

I too get the swollen from the inside feeling. At other times it is intense negative pressure that feels like someone is pushing in on both of my ears with 100 pounds of force. During our drive to Alabama the pressure was incredible. I have found though that when the pressure reaches that extreme level that is usually when my ears will pop and clear for a bit.

I truly hope all of you have a great day with your families, children, and grand babies ( Joyce).

Btw, Jen I enjoy your quotes!! Keep them coming!! : )
Hi ETD Family! :) It sounds like most of us had a pretty good Mother's Day, bad ears notwithstanding. My day was good...very lazy (I slept in) and then had a mani-pedi with my 5 year-old daughter (her first; she loved it). Then my husband grilled and served us dinner.

Friday night, we had driven to the beach, and my right ear relapsed almost as soon as we started our drive! It plugged right back up, and I spent all of Friday evening and all of Saturday at the beach frantically dosing myself with medicine, valsalva-ing, etc., etc. Finally on the drive BACK, crossing the coastal range, my ear gave a very crackly pop, and by morning I was back to being semi-okay again. SO WEIRD. I was wondering if taking the drive exposed my ear both to the allergens it dislikes (all the trees blooming by the river) and the pressure changes of crossing mountains.

Oh, and there's still fluid in there because when I valsalva, the pe tube on that side squeals, bubbles, and squeaks like a bird chirping or a balloon letting air out slowly through a pinched neck. It's bizarre...the unblocked left side doesn't make any sound but a hiss of escaping air, but the right side is this crazy symphony of noise. Anyhow, my family kept saying, "MOM, stop making that noise!" because I was doing it every half hour or so. Again, nobody GETS it unless they GET it...

Jen, here are some answers to your questions...

1.) When you say your ear is stuffy/blocked, what EXACTLY does it feel like? Does it feel as though you can hear perfectly, but there's just inflammation? Or is it actually blocked, with some actual hearing loss? Or does it feel like something else entirely?

A: I've had different sensations of blockage. Sometimes it just feels like a hot heaviness in there, sometimes it feels swollen, and sometimes it feels like a wet cave with liquid sloshing around that I can actually feel move when I tilt my head certain ways. The weirdest thing is that there are actually LEVELS of blocking...mild, moderate, severe, and oh-please-make-it-stop. When my ear is at the most severe level, it actually muffles my hearing, like a temporary conductive hearing loss. I also feel like sometimes it's a blockage in the middle ear cavity and sometimes it's just in the e-tube.

2.) Is the blocked feeling 24/7 or does it go away sometimes and your ears feel completely normal?

When I first had this, it was 24-7 for 48 days straight. Then it was intermittent, but with bothersome symptoms happening at some point every day...usually beginning in the late afternoon or evening. Then, about a year into it, I started getting a few clear days followed by symptoms; much more bearable, though not as ideal as being cured, of course. THEN I had this last relapse thing after my flight home from Boston, which gave me the 24-7 blocked ear again. I feel like this time it's not sticking around as long because I had that arsenal of weapons stockpiled, lol...but still very disheartening that it would happen again at all.

3.) If it is 24/7 blockage, does it wax and wane? Can you identify anything that makes it worse/better?

Things that seem to make it worse: low pressure systems (sky clouding up, rain coming), high salt load, MSG (makes my tinnitus go crazy!), playing outside in grass or pulling weeds or being outside on high pollen days. Things that seem to help make it better or break up a blockage: ibuprofen taken like clockwork (I do 800 mg every four hours!), 12-hr sudafed (the 4 hr stuff doesn't work as well for me), Mucinex every four hours, Afrin (used sparingly, and it doesn't always do anything helpful), Ear Popper device. Klonapin and/or Flexeril help tone down tinnitus, loosen muscle spasms, and also knock me out! So I can't really take those during the day.

OH! And I think I know EXACTLY what you ladies are talking about with the weird voice thing. I get that from time to time, and it's not quite autophony, or at least it doesn't seem to match what I've read about autophony. But my voice will sound loud, nasal, and muffled, all at once, like it's coming from deep in my head. And I find it is often worse outside, for some reason! I had a spell of it today hanging out in the cul de sac watching my kids play. I was hating the sound of my voice. I'm not sure why I get this or what it means, as it's not all the time. Dr. Poe seemed to think it might be a kind of intermittent autophony from my e-tubes being in spasm caught in the "open" position. So heck, maybe it is autophony? Whatever it is, I hate it when it happens and yes, it makes me not want to speak aloud!

PS Last thing...I feel like I may have made a minor breakthrough today. I may have mentioned that I have a pretty OCD-ish Q-tip habit. Well, I got busted by Dr. Poe for having a strand of cotton caught up next to my eardrum; it was plainly visible on the video monitor for me and my husband to see. He told me nevernevernever put anything in the ears. The wax is a natural antimicrobial/antibacterial agent. So I've been trying to stop using Q-tips. Well, I've been still using them just on the outer edge of the ear canal (baby steps to try to break a habit spanning decades, lol). And I've noticed that sometimes my ears will temporarily worsen after messing with them with cotton swabs. And today I thought -- well, heck, one of the things I tested positive to on my recent allergy testing was COTTON LINT. And here I'm not only swabbing my ears with cotton, but I'm doing it compulsively and aggressively enough to leave particles of cotton behind in the ear. So I'm literally applying a known allergen directly to the part of my body that seems to be suffering most from allergies. And then I'm surprised when I get a reaction? Really smart, right? I think I've now decided to stop the cotton swab madness once and for all, and see if that improves matters........ Wouldn't it be a kick in the head if it cured me? (I doubt it, but it would be a crazy irony, wouldn't it?)
UGH Jenni!!

Not what I wanted to read from the veteran among us on solving ETD issues. Do you think it is infection that is causing so much blockage again? I sure hope you can kick that blockage to the curb and are feeling better today!!

I felt like I hit the wall as of yesterday as well. It is amazing how you forget how far you have come when it is baby steps. I have been struggling with BOTH sides having the super tight 100 pounds of pressure thing along with feeling like someone has just poured hot lava down my ear canals.

I am hoping to try to get some insight from the gang. We have shared and compared notes of our ETD journey. I am hoping that maybe you guys can give your thoughts on some of the issues that I have along with my symptoms.

My life as of right now is pretty much homebound. I HATE it, as this is not like me at all. I have terrible hyperacusis in my right ear. When I hear normal everyday life sounds it causes pain/ burning/ vertigo and nausea to the point of literally becoming ill. By normal sounds this includes water running, dishes being put on the table, music, some peoples voices and so on. Even the sound of the microwave running hurts and causes me trouble. When I do go out I have grocery sacks in my purse out of fear of getting sick.

I think our drive to Alabama stirred things back up to a significant level again.

My tinnitus by the end of the day is loud, and the hearing goes way down as a result of not being able to hear over the ringing. It feels like a catch 22.

Just the sound of my own voice can bring on strong vertigo. Reading out loud to my little one can be a real challenge.

I am still having the snapping of the eardrum as I am falling asleep, but also my soft palate in my mouth has been making the same snapping sound as well.

I have a appointment with my ENT this week and really want to make the most of the visit. He straddles the fence between ETD and Meniere's causing the symptoms. My push back on the Meniere's is that for the past 15 years it has never caused symptoms like this.

I am open to any thoughts and suggestions that you guys might have. I want to be able to go in to my appointment with some more options to try.

I know that I have not suffered nearly as long as you ladies have. I have great respect for all of you and your strength through this. Today is 10 weeks for me. I am more than ready to get back in the swing of things again.

Thank you in advance!!

Joyce and Jenn, I hope you have had a good day!!
HI Ladies...looks like this hasnt been a good day for any of us.........my left ear is so blocked i just now tried a hydrogen peroxide/alcohol rinse to see if it would help clear it.....today its very humid here..i duno if that might be making it worse but the crackling and pressure is unbearable......Luci, i have the horrible pressure, and slight veritgo but i dont get the burning sensation or vomit....i cant stand to hear myself talk loud cuz its like this echo in my head makes me crazy. My ears itch alot too...i know we are all so sick and tired of feeling like this.....wish i had some answers....today was a very stressful day at work, and somehow i know my stress levels contribute to how my ears feel...then i constantly obsess about my ears, then that raises my stress levels..thus creating a vicious cycle........i will b anxious to hear what your ENT has to say...i found myself clenching my teeth alot today..i have to make a conscience effort NOT to do it cuz i think that puts my muscles in the ear/jaw area into spasm.....i just pray we all get relief SOON. Luci, i get the "snapping" of the eardrum at times..moreso at nite..like someone is flicking a rubberband inside my ear canal..its beyond annoying
Jen, I tried the klonopin..i hated the way it made me feel..so i went back to xanax.....it seems to take the edge off my anxiety.
Well girls I'm praying we all have a better day tomorrow...i hate not wanting to go anywhere or do anything cuz i feel so crappy. Prayers to all of my ETD family xo
Yeah Jenni and Luci, I'm totally feeling your pain today. Its a lovely day here but I'm miserable. I took my kids to the park for 2 hrs and it was nice but my head started feeling like it would explode with pressure. Ears and all. My family dr got my referral letter all ready for next month when I go to uic to see their ENTs. I'm worried I won't last another month with all this pain n pressure. I'm starting to rethink ear tubes. I don't know if they'd help over time but I'm getting to the end of my rope. The pressure is so aggravating. And sometimes it's no pressure, just feels like my head is ducked underwater. Luci, I haven't had this very long either. I hit my 4 month mark on mothers day. Jenni's story gives me hope that there can be more good days in the future.

I can totally relate to ur housebound situation. I feel that way sometimes too because of the muffled feeling when I get into certain noisy environments. I know the voice thing well too, in fact, all day today my voice sounded so weird I just wanted to tape my mouth so I couldn't possibly speak and hear it. My kids were acting up at the dr and I thought I'd lose my mind if I had to raise my voice to them one more time.

Jenni, your ordeal has lasted over a year- what do u think turned it around from the way it was in the beginning? Do u feel like the tubes really helped aside from making air travel easier? I had a temporary hearing loss when I tried the tube, it made me feel like my ear was hollow and I didn't feel any other major changes, which was why I had it removed. I figured I'd at least like my full hearing if the other symptoms weren't going to be relieved. I had such hope that it'd be my magic answer. Any tips besides the usual arsenal of OTC meds and ear popper? I think I may need to get me one of those asap.

I will be trying singulair now, as my dr wrote me a script for it. He figured it could also help my exercise induced asthma as well. It basically blocks mast cells from causing haywire in your nose. I don't hold too much hope for it, but will keep trying whatever they give me within reason.

Luci and Joyce, have u guys ever done allergy testing? Cuz it's seriously enlightening. I'm hoping when I go next month to uic that they can do some food allergy testing as well.

My referral letter literally says chronic sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, eustachian tube dysfunction, (oh my!) lol. Never thought I'd be this sick in the head ;)

Quote of the day:
"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!"
-Dory the fish (Finding Nemo)

Jen
Hi Ladies,

Jenni, are you better today? I sure hope so!!

Joyce, yes that snapping sound does indeed sound like a rubber band. It doesn't hurt at all, just annoying. I am thankful that it is not chronic or constant as I have read some people can have. You mention the crackling sounds. Usually when that starts happening that is when my e tubes will loosen up and clear for a bit. Does the pressure change for you at all when that happens? I hate not wanting to be on the go too. It just isn't our style at all. Hope you had a less stressful day at work. I think you had mentioned that you work in a doctors office? Do they have any insight to offer you?

Jenn,
I totally understand how waiting a month for your appointment seems like an eternity!!

I had the same experience as you with the PE tube. This was actually the second time I tried it with the same results. For whatever reason I can't tolerate them. It pretty much left me deaf as well. Having normal conversation was not possible. Having a little one at home it was difficult to hear anything she said at all. It was frustrating for both of us. However, I can certainly understand you wanting to give it another shot.

My doctor actually just wrote me a script for Singulair too. I have tried it for a few days, but then started getting a bad headache. I will probably wait a couple of days and try it again. Let us know how it works for you. I didn't ask my dr how soon I would know if it was helping.

I have had allergy testing done in 2005 and have been on shots since then. I am allergic to most trees, grasses, dust and the usual kind of stuff. It didn't show any food allergies, but I am thinking about asking at my appointment tomorrow if they can retest for those again. I know gluten can be a big trigger for some people.

Jenn, LOVE the quote!! That made me smile!! I may have to find our Nemo movie and watch it tonight.

There have been quite a few threads on this forum on ETD. It would sure be nice to hear from those who have been down this road and how long or how they found relief. I assume they are feeling better and aren't as active on the board.

Hoping all of you have had a good day!! Know that I am praying for all of us!!
Oh. My. God. I want to go Van Gogh on my ears today! I took my kids to the zoo today. Good that they had fun. Bad that I couldn't really enjoy it much cuz of these stinking ears! Then we went over to this fishing lake by our house n I let the kids dip their toes in n splash a bit, it's not a swimming lake, but they liked it. We had a nice time, but I'll be honest, the whole time I kept thinking it could be better without the ear stuff. I just want this gone! My good news is that my appt w/uic got moved up to June 6th and they will still call me again if I can get in sooner. So I'm really happy about that.

Some more symptoms to discuss with u girls. I've been having increasing episodes of migraines and the feeling that my head is underwater. I pop my ears, and I think ( THINK) I can feel the e tubes opening, but no relief from this underwater feeling. I can literally have no pain or discernible ear fullness, but feel like my head is underwater. I have no idea what this is. I'm worried that I may have an inner ear problem. I'm thankful that I am seeing an ENT/otologist next month, so hopefully I can get this sorted out. So, anyone have the 'head underwater' feeling? I swear nothing budges it! I took allergy meds today n everything, did the saline rinse, used flonase, used afrin, took ibuprofen- I still feel underwater, yet can pop (i think) my ears and feel like I've done nothing! The migraines are definitely migraines I'd say, and they cause visual disturbances as well, like spots before the eyes. I then get so nauseous I feel as though I will throw up. My ears feel even more yucky during the migraine. I can't figure this out! I don't have vertigo, and this is the only way I find migraine and ear symptoms related- vestibular migraine. Plus I had the cold first, not the migraine.

Joyce, stop sticking stuff in your ear! Stop it! Have you noticed any congestion at all? Try the saline rinse when u have the stuffiness, even if there's no congestion. It sometimes helps my pressure. I just use arm n hammer saline spray, it's in an aerosol can n u can just hold the button down for a continuous spray that will rinse ur nasal passages out. If there any allergens/ microbials stuck up there, it'll rinse them out.

Luci, thanks for bumping up my new thread. I wanted to try to hear from as many ppl as we can so many we can get some more ideas going here. I'm glad that my quote yesterday made u smile. It makes me smile too! I wanted to ask u if u have ever seen an otologist, since u have the Meneires and all. I'm wondering what to expect from an ear specialist. I'm a bit nervous.

I have found, ladies, that a heating pad over the face/ears can work wonders when the pressure is too much. It keep constant heat to the area, so unless ur trying to loosen congestion, maybe try it. I literally sometimes feel like a balloon is deflating in my head when I do it, and I've never burned myself, it really doesn't get hot enough for that.

I'll let check in again tomorrow guys.

"Allow yourself a moment of grief when life's misfortunes visit you. †However, do not spend your days building a monument in honor of them."
†~Dodinsky

Jen
Hi ladies! I'll be posting on Jenn's new thread when I get more than five minutes time to myself, ugh! Just wanted to quickly update...

The dinner last night was fun, but I had trouble hearing in the loud atmosphere AND my voice was bothering me from time to time (sounding weird/hollow/muffled)...I am wondering if sometimes I just tune back into the way things sound different with bilateral pe tubes, if I RE-notice what my mind has learned to mostly tune out? My friends were nice enough to ask about the ear stuff, but I am too scared people will think I'm one of those "always sick" people to really open up about it, so I stammered a few sentences and moved the conversation onto other stuff. It's hard when people ask the simple question, "How are you?" because I really can't honestly say I'm doing great, kwim? That would be lying! So I usually say, "Hanging in there" or something along those lines.

The second thing is...today I had a check-up type appointment with my TMJD doctor. He did some cranio-sacral therapy on me that was very relaxing. Like chiro, but just your head, and very gentle and no loud cracks or pops like you get with chiro. Anyhow, he probably worked on me for about 20 minutes. And when I sat up, my right ear, which had blocked to about 50% due to the drive, popped open! I wanted to say thanks, but was afraid to jinx it by even mentioning it, lol. But the doctor had kind of this twinkle in his eyes, as though he sensed the change in my condition. Interesting! It's been quite a bit better today...don't know if it's the cranio-sacral stuff, or just the ear infection starting to clear. I know there's still liquid in there because I can valsalva and hear the wet sputter in that ear. But maybe I'm turning the corner again. Meanwhile I'm trying not to pop or mess with that ear as I don't want to re-pressurize it. It's so touch-and-go.

We have bad weather moving in by this upcoming Monday, so we'll see how I handle it. Low pressure systems usually equal tinnitus and clogging. :-/

Jenn, prayers and fingers crossed for you. Don't tell us until you're ready to, but I can't wait to hear, all the same. You're doing a great job with your kids, still getting them out to enjoy the great outdoors, when I know you really aren't feeling up to it. I know the feeling...I started crying the other night because it occurred to me (not for the first time) that my 3-year-old son doesn't remember when I was ever healthy. All he knows is a mom with bum ears. I'm sure my 5-year-old doesn't remember, either. :( But at least they do know and can sense how much we love them, despite not feeling well. I really believe that.

All my best to all of you,
--Jenni
Hi Girls!!!

Jenni, you may have just given us all something new to look into. How amazing that your ear popped open after being worked on!!! Sign me up for that program please!! : )

Jenn,
Love the story of the shoe floating down the lake. You totally did the mommy thing by going in to retrieve that shoe. I have to mirror what Jenni said about your willingness to carry on with your " littles" while being sick. Still love the quotes, and I love Switchfoot. If you listen to contemporary Christian music check out the song by Kari Jobe called Healer. It is great.

Today was my visit with my local ENT. Next stop for me is a CT scan. My MRI shows disease of the Sphenoid Sinus. One of our initial concerns of my MRI reports was that there was a tumor in the Sphenoid due to my Neurofibromatosis. My NF is not the kind that causes skin tumors, but rather goes after the nerves of the brain/ spinal cord. We see the local neurologist in the morning to discuss the rest of the findings of my MRI. My neck/ spine is where the most serious issues seem to be at. I am progressing in my disease. We have not heard back from my Neurosurgeon in Boston yet.

Of course I have googled and am not really liking what I am reading on this. My ENT is proposing balloon sinus surgery if the CT scan is consistent with the MRI. He said it is possible that the ETD is caused by the sphenoid. However, my worst ear is my left and it is my right side sphenoid that is affected. He said he can't make any guarantees and there there is a small chance that I could be made worse.

So, since I know we have all done a ton of research on this what comes to your minds as you read this? I would sure appreciate any thoughts that you guys might have. Between all of us there is no telling how much research we have done!!

I appreciate your prayers and am praying for all of you. Again, feeling thankful for this support system.
well today, i seriously feel like something is poking my left eardrum.....its the oddest sensation...my right ear isnt feeling to bad today..........Jenn i know u mentioned you get the poking sensation in your ears...and my neck hurts today too......jenn, try to find that page, its brand new but i think you will feel at home there!!!!! Enjoy your day girls, its a gorgeous one here bright sunshine, and low humidity.......I took my dog for a long walk and thanked God for such a gorgeous day.....just wish my left ear didnt feel so icky. Talk to you all soon





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