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Ear, Nose & Throat Message Board

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Hi ladies and fellow ETDers,

I think I figured out the pm thing. I think you have to be a member for a certain amount of time before it will "unlock" that feature. Buffalo and I can pm b/c we've been on here a while. Frustrating, I know. Maybe a mod can let us know the rules?

Well, I got my right ear most of the way back open. I've been taking 12 hr sudafed, ibuprofen every 4 hours, mucinex, and Ear Popper 3-4 times a day. Also prescription antibiotic drops in the ear 2X a day. I'm not sure what has got the ear back open...I feel like the Ear Popper helped because after I treated myself this morning, like maybe a half hour later, I swallowed and felt a rush of warm liquid go down the back of my throat. It's SUPER disgusting to think this may have been the fluid in the ears...maybe it was just all the antibiotic drops sitting in my middle ear space. (My husband could actually smell the infection in my ear, it's that bad!)

It does worry me that this infection coincides with my starting the night split and then the day splint. But I also think it may have been beginning ever since my flight home from Boston, since I was having those weird gunshot pops all the time. I haven't had a gunshot SINCE the infection set in. My ear was so blocked at first that I couldn't get air into it using the Ear Popper. Then I could tell it was starting to break up because I could blow air in and the sound was like letting ear out of a balloon through its opening know, how you can make that squeaky sound. So I took that to mean the tube was only partially blocked at that point. Then on my last treatment, the air blowing sounded much more clear. And the pressure is toned way down. It's still there, but I don't feel deaf and like I have a huge, swollen, dead ear. *sigh* I was really depressed when this happened because it took me right back to how I felt in Jan 2011 with the original ear infection.

I feel like even though my tubes are functional some of the time, there are a lot of predisposing factors leading to them becoming periodically blocked. I know it's my tubes blocking -- nothing else would give me an infection like that, a blocked, deaf ear. I don't have meniere's, and besides, meniere's doesn't produce visible clear yellow fluid dripping out of my ear. That's classic otitis media with effusion. Maybe SOME of the sensations I get in my ear are from TMJD, but I think MOST of the sensations are simply the tubes getting blocked up. Maybe the TMJD spasms are clamping down on the tubes. Maybe it's the fact that I'm allergic to all the crap in the air here and the tubes are swelling shut.

I wish I could have had video nasal endoscopy when I was in the acute, symptomatic phase of my disease. Otherwise, it's going to be hard to get a clear clinical picture. It's going to be a lot of detective work. I'm not blaming anyone...sometimes I feel normal for short periods of time, sometimes I'm blocked. I badly need a local ENT with the means to examine me when I'm highly symptomatic. Not that anyone is able to get me in fast enough to see me when I'm at my worst. It's frustrating!

SOMETHING has changed with my ears in the past couple of years. I never had ears blocking with colds, allergies, or flights. The only thing that makes sense to me is that I had a virus that damaged my tubes, that I've developed bad allergies (proven), or that I have TMJD (also proven through extensive testing and tomography). It's like a perfect storm...many factors coming together to create a real problem. Or I'm totally off track. It's SO frustrating...I was getting so upset at my ear the other day that it made my husband angry at me, and we got into it. He said he was sick of hearing about ears all the time. You can't blame him...but other than you guys, I have no outlet for this pain.

Luci, Buffalo, Jen...Do know I've been holding all of you in my thoughts and hoping and praying for the best.

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