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Hearing Disorders Message Board


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I had ETD - eustachian tube dysfunction in my left ear for about 2 years. It just randomly happened one day, like it seems to happen to a lot of people. I had sinus congestion along with it, but even when I would get rid of the sinus congestion of course the popping and ear pressure was still there.
From what I have read, the reason for this is the tubes swelling and your ear filling with water, which most articles say take anywhere from weeks to months to drain out. Let me just skip the long story and get to the possible answer.
I finally found a product called Sinucleanse - you can get it at Walgreens in the nasal spray isle that I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with.
Basically you fill up a little plastic teapot with water and their powder made of salt and baking soda solution, then pour it through each nose while bending over a sink. It's pretty interesting, you pour in one nose and it comes out the other nose. In any event, this helped my problem almost completely.
If you decide to try this please note that you MUST use Distilled water. Go buy a gallon of DISTILLED - not 'spring water'. Don't use tap water or bottled spring water, the chlorine and dirty water will irritate your sinus and ear even more.
Also pickup a bottle of Sinofresh. Sinofresh is a non-medicated nasal spray, it is new on the market. It is a 'nasal antiseptic'. It should be right next to the Sinucleanse boxes. Follow the instructions on the Sinucleanse for the first two days, after that we will modify the plan as mentioned below.
Here is the shopping list: Sinucleanse, Sinofresh, 1 gallon distilled bottled water, Robitussin PE. Robitussin PE contains only 2 ingredients, Guaifenesin and Pseudoephedrine. Buy it, because it serves a purpose and if you want to follow my instructions you need it.
Sinucleanse is the biggest helper, but Sinofresh is the the finishing touch. Use two sprays of Sinofresh in each nostril AT BEDTIME, and then when you wake up AFTER your shower and after using Sinucleanse. Basically you want Sinofresh in your nose as long as possible and you don't want it washing out.
The first time you use Sinofresh, just use one spray in each nostril. Some people say it irritates their nose. It does have menthol and some other things in it, so it's possible. It's going to sting a little but that should go away. If the burning doesn't go away or you have some other side effects from it then don't try the part i'm about to mention below.
Once you have done that for a day or two and you feel pretty brave, you will need to measure about 1 milli-liter of Sinofresh and pour it into your Sinucleanse neti pot and mix it in really good. A milliliter is a very small amount, not even enough to put into a thimble, and certainly not the size of a teaspoon. You can also get a medicine dropper at Walgreens if you need to help measure the very small amount of sinofresh.
If you did not tolerate the sinofresh sprays into the nose very well, do not use the sinofresh in the sinucleanse nasal solution. If you are unable to use the sinofresh, you could try increasing the sinucleanse solution strength by opening a second packet and adding a small amount of a second packet to the neti pot to increase the solution strength. If you can't use the sinofresh solution, then Once you are following the normal sinucleanse directions of pouring from one nose to the other, and also using the tiny amount of sinofresh in your sinucleanse solution, you can move on to the next step.
The next step after you have done the above for a day or two, and you feel comfortable with the whole process, is to pour the solution deeper into the back of your nose, and down the back of your throat. Why? The opening to the eustachian tube is back there, and that is part of the whole point.
The normal instructions are to pour the solution through one nostril and it comes out the other and that is fabulous for cleaning your nose during the day.
My instructions are to pour the solution in the lower nostril of the two nostrils (the bottom one depending on which way your head is tilted), so that it comes out the back of your throat and washes the opening of the eustachian tube.
To make a long story short, the Sinucleanse powder contains sodium and baking soda - which is necessary and kills bacteria somewhat on their own, but the Sinofresh contains several antibacterials and it's main ingredient is an antibacterial/antifungal that is still used as the main ingredient in some mouthwashes and has been used for a long time without side effects.
Once you have done this, switching sides, spitting out the solution (please don't swallow any - not that it harms you but it doesn't taste good anyways) that runs into your throat, you will need to repeat it again with a second full neti pot with the tiny bit of sinofresh added.
It's not very pleasant, but it's very effective.
Take your time pouring the solution through, and take your time with the whole process. Stop after you have poured some in both noses and blow your nose, then start again. The whole idea is to clean everything out and allow the antiseptic to kill anything thats left over.
Once you are finally done with all that, drink 2 teaspoons of the Robitussin PE.
An hour later take 2 more teaspoons 5ml (NOT tablespoons) and have some food. Don't take Robitussin PE on an empty stomache.
Last pieces of advice:
1. Never close one nose to blow out the other when one is congested - this is a NO NO. When you blow your nose do NOT touch either nostril, you are helping create a pressure that blows dirty mucus into the blocked ear and sinuses. It's a hard habit to break.
2. Drink 8 cups of water a day, ALL DAY. The whole point is to spread it out over the entire day. Without the water, the Robitussin can't work properly.
3. Stop using the Robitussin after 4 days. It's addictive to your body and it will generate the opposite effect if you continue to take it everyday for a week or more. Same goes for those nasal sprays. If you need the nasal sprays, you need to find a way to stop using them!
4. Don't use Sinofresh more than twice a day. It will irritate your nose. What actually irritates your nose is the menthol and other ingredients that are in it.
5. Do not use more than the tiny bit of Sinofresh that I have suggested. First of all it's EXPENSIVE. Second of all, it's just going to burn and irritate your nose and won't accomplish any more. A tiny bit works fine.
6. Blow your nose after using the nasal washes. Don't keep snorting the moisture back in like you have a cold, let it come out by blowing your nose gently. The nose and sinuses need to dry out.

Lastly, if the tip of your nose burns, just wash it off with water. The saltwater solution and rubbing your nose while blowing it will irritate the tip of your nose a little - just rinse it off. It's basically the salt that causes the skin to burn a little.

Oh before I forget. I am an otherwise healthy person, with no prior surgeries, and I am not on any medication except Prilosec OTC.
If you have had sinus surgery or you have other medical problems, you might want to ask your doctor about whether you can use the Sinucleanse to wash your nose and whether or not you can take Robitussin PE.

One last note: Do not do the nasal wash before going to sleep. Do it at least two hours before you go to sleep. Your nose and nasal passageways need to drain before you lie down, otherwise that will just be more moisture that may end up clogging the eustachian tubes.

Exercise also helps the tubes open up and drain. If you don't exercise, sign up at the YMCA and walk on the treadmill for 20 mins every other day or something at the very least. Exercising immediately after the nasal wash is a great idea.

Please let me know if you try this and what your results or comments are.
It worked for me and i'll be happy to reply.





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