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Hearing Disorders Message Board


Hearing Disorders Board Index


Untill January 12th, 2001, I had a healthy life which I did not fully appreciate. Then, life as I knew it ended. My left ear was injured, resulting in a perforated ear drum, swollen auditory canal and infected middle ear. Instead of taking two to six weeks to heal, this developed into eustachian tube dysfunction. The last six months of my life have been a real life hell that nobody understands. I lost a great job, appartment and car because I am in too much misery to work or go to school. Essentially, the pain and discomfort torments me every waking hour, minute and second. Usually, my ear feels very plugged and uncomfortable with hideous crackling and snapping sounds sometimes when I swallow. On top of all this misery, I sometimes get a very unbearable twitching and thumping sensation in my ear. At the very worst, my eustachian tube goes from being plugged shut to abnormally open. I hear myself breathing. Then it slams shut, popping the ear drum. This last symptom has caused me to have numerous nervous breakdowns as it feels like it will go on forever. Had I had a gun, I would have blown my brains out by now. On a few rare occasions, I had false hope, feeling like it was less plugged and finally healing. Instead, it worsens again. If this does not go away in another six months, I have no choice but to commit self euthanasia. I am a man who lives life on my own terms. Living at home, dependant on my family and feeling like a sick dog is no way to live. People die in car accidents and plane crashes all the time. If I can't get my life back, I must terminate this deplorable existence. Let this be a warning to anybody who is viewing this out of sole curiosity. Protect your eyes and ears. One sole mistake and your life will be flushed down the toilet like mine. Goodbye.
Please don't do something stupid Nathan. I too suffer from severe Eustachean Tube Dysfunction from an infection I got in 1993. I have had awful problems ever since. My left ear is far worse than my right and I experience the same crackling and annoying popping that you do. At times I want to just scream. It took years for the popping and crackling to subside. Once it did, I was still plagued with it whenever there is a pressure change outside. I cannot fly on airplanes or go into high elevations. Last year I went to Vancouver and suffered so badly on the airplane, that I lived on decongestants, etc. the entire time in Vancouver. Upon return to my home, I went to the doctor. It took months again for my ears to feel somewhat better.

I went to ENT specialists and the one told me he would never consider putting tubes in my ears. I went for a second opionin and this doctor said that would be a solution to my problems. I had the surgery last week and guess what - all of the crackling and popping is now back. I am furious and fit to be tied. I thought this operation was going to help me and not make things worse. I am going to see the specialist next week so he can check the tube in my left ear. It feels like there are worms crawling around inside my ear and it drives me absolutely crazy. No matter what I do, I cannot get rid of the popping. I must find out if the tube has moved or is falling out. There are no guarantees that the tubes will stay in for any specific amount of time. I am concerned that I am back to square one and that this operation is not going to help, but make things worse. If I have to, I'll have the tubes removed and live with what I had before.

I have learned to live with it the best I can. I am not going to let it affect me where I lose my job and want to end my life. Nothing is that bad. Please know that you are not the only one who suffers from this condition. Plese check into having tubes put into your ears.
Thank you very much for your sympathy. I am so sorry to hear about your condition Karen. It is so difficult trying to cope with a condition that bothers me almost every waking hour of my life. What you told me about the crackling, popping returning after the PET tube was placed in your ear does sound like a good warning. My initial injury consisted of a perforated ear drum and the popping and crackling was 20x worse back then. The ENT I am now seeing suggests trying a PET tube, but I believe that can only help the clogged, congested feeling my ear gets. The popping and crackling will probably stay the same or get worse. Besides, it has been only six months since the injury. My GP told me to wait a few more months before considering it. I do admit that the popping episodes occur far less and last shorter than they did three months ago. That annoying twitching and thumping in my ear has almost disappeared over the last two weeks. I know that it can return again, since it has been dormant before. I read a message board where one guy wrote how he had a catheter inserted into his ET that was then plugged up to bypass his patulous eustachian tube. He then had a permanent PET tube inserted to replace the eustachian tube. My question is if this last resort treatment really works or if it is still being done? I heard that in the old days, doctors would insert a catheter to unplug a eustachian tube. That resulted in hearing one's voice and breathing constantly. Please don't ever be resigned to living with this for the rest of your life. There are new treatments cooming out, one being laser surgery. Keep after the specialists about any treatment that may be out there. You sound like someone who has a very strong will to live. I admit that I have always had a problem tolerating stress and hardships. That is why now I am crumbling under this first real problem in my life.
Hi Nathan:
I am also upset about some of the ENT doctors in my area. The first one I went to said I was fine and that I should never plan to go anywhere in an airplane or go into higher. He might as well have put me in prison. I know that permanent tubes wont be my answer because when I went for the tubes last week, the doctor had a very hard time getting them into my tiny ear canals. He had to push and prod and I think that is why my own Eustachean tubes are now irritated once again. The crackling drives me insane like you, but I don't really let anything stand in my way of living. I have had so many stresses and problems over the years from outside sources, that I am used to handling things. It has made me a very stron-willed determined individual. I also have a lot of faith in God as well. I won't be permanently disabled - I just won't let it get the best of me. I'll let you know the outcome of my followup visit next week. I may have the tubes removed and let my ear canals heal and hope that the popping and crackling subsides somewhat. My ears also feel full like a lot of pressure is inside there, but the hearing tests are normal. I am getting on an airplance on Sept. 8 and it really scares me becuase how I feel after. There is something called Ear Planes on the market now that I may have to try if the tubes don't work out. Keep in touch.
Wow, I can't believe that I am reading all of this!! I have been suffering for about 5 or 6 months now with what many of you are descibing. It all began for me when I took a plan trip for work and suffered a great deal of pressure in my left ear on decent. I experienced a popped ear drum several years ago in college also while flying on a plane.

When I first went to the doctor, my primary care, she said that I had a good bit of fluid on my ears and put me on Nasonex for a while. When that did not solve the crackling and poping, I asked to go to an ENT. After a full exam with the ENT he told me that there was nothing else that he could do for me that everything looked normal. I was not happy with this response!

I then returned to my primary care doctor who prescribed Nasicort. Both medicines helped the pressure but did not get rid of the crackling and popping. I then asked my primary to set up an appointment with a different ENT in a bigger city near my home. This appointment is scheduled for 08/29. I am hoping for at least some straight answers regarding what I may have. The previous ENT doctor did not even mention any ETD or other possibilities.

Regardless, I am glad for the support of this group and will not give up until someone gives me some answers that I can LIVE!!! with.
[QUOTE=davejinpa]Wow, I can't believe that I am reading all of this!! I have been suffering for about 5 or 6 months now with what many of you are descibing. It all began for me when I took a plan trip for work and suffered a great deal of pressure in my left ear on decent. I experienced a popped ear drum several years ago in college also while flying on a plane.

When I first went to the doctor, my primary care, she said that I had a good bit of fluid on my ears and put me on Nasonex for a while. When that did not solve the crackling and poping, I asked to go to an ENT. After a full exam with the ENT he told me that there was nothing else that he could do for me that everything looked normal. I was not happy with this response!

I then returned to my primary care doctor who prescribed Nasicort. Both medicines helped the pressure but did not get rid of the crackling and popping. I then asked my primary to set up an appointment with a different ENT in a bigger city near my home. This appointment is scheduled for 08/29. I am hoping for at least some straight answers regarding what I may have. The previous ENT doctor did not even mention any ETD or other possibilities.

Regardless, I am glad for the support of this group and will not give up until someone gives me some answers that I can LIVE!!! with.[/QUOTE]

there are a lot of ys out there like this, what triggers the crackling and popping? this is a big clue!
lib
I have had this same ear crackling for nearly 2 years now. I was diagnosed with Chronic Sinusitis. I've tried Everything!!! Antibiotics (Amoxicillan, Avelox, Omnicef), Flonase, Nasonex, Afrin. Neilmed (Nasal Rinse). I'm even on Ambien for sleep because I haven't had normal rest in the last two years due to this!!! Finally I ditched my prior ENT who in my mind was usless. I went and got tested for allergies last month and they came back negative. My allergist then took a camera and looked up my nose. He said I had a nasal polyp. He did a much better job in one visit then my fricken ENT did in an entire year!!! I then brought him copies of my CT scan (I've had 3 in the past year) and he said I definately look like I have polyps. He referred me to a different ENT who took a hearing test that showed no hearing loss. I also went to a neurologist to test for nerve damage. All tests came back negative. The ENT now has me on Prednisone (Oral Steriod - with many side effects) for about a week only because it has severe side effects. I'm also continuing the Singulair because it's supposed to block lukotrienes which normally cause the swelling in both allergic and non-allergic people. Anyhow, I will begin the predinsone treatments tomorrow. Hopefully the swelling will go down and the crackling go away. If it doesn't he's recommending endoscopic sinus surgery. I have been completely miserable from this. I'm 35 single and have no children. I can't even date because I feel so uncomfortable all the time. One thing I've notice that helps is a lot of exercise. Running, lifting weights, Yoga and a balanced diet with lots of water have helped me a great deal with the stress of this. Good luck to you all.





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