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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Hello, I am new here and would like to introduce myself. I am 15, and live in Boston, Massachusetts. I am aware that all of us here are suffering to some degree, and would greatly appreciate help from fellow sufferers.

Before I get started about my symptoms and when they came, it it probably important to mention that I suspect that I have depression. From what I read, this my cause or contribute to hyperacusis (an increased sensitivity to noises that don't bother other people). It is probably also important to note that I had dizziness last year, but only in summer. Once the summer ended, the dizziness did too.

Symptoms I experience:

Ringing in the ears, which is a high pitched tone. At first, it was in both ears, then just in the right one, then just in the left one, and now mostly in the left one, and a little bit in the right one. The ringing started after I came back from South America, which leads me to believe that it was not noise-induced,

Sensitivity to loud noises. High pitched noises bother me more than low-pitched noises, but even someone talking loudly is too loud for me.

More recently, an increased sensitivity to light, and "floaters" which are small dots that float in my vision and move with my eyes. I also noticed small, bright, specks that move around in my vision. I especially notice these on a bright, plain background such as the sky.

An increased difficulty when swallowing. Also, when I relax my throat, I can't breathe. It seems that I have to push the moving part of my throat down just to be able to breathe. One doctor looked in my nose and said it was swollen. She prescribed Flonase, which I have been using with no result. It has gotten worse.

Headaches all over my head. On the left side, on the right side. Sometimes even going as far as my neck. Tylenol helps, but only for about 2 hours.

Pain in my right elbow, wrist, and muscle in between. I don't know if this is related or not.

Pain in and around eyes that comes and goes, usually with pain on that side of the head.

This just started today, but pain in the jaw, more pain in left side than right. I noticed that if it's quiet, and I chew something the ringing in my ears gets worse until I stop chewing. If I push my jaw back, my right ear rings loudly and more high-pitched. If I push my jaw forward, the ringing in my left ear gets louder, and is full for about a minute.

I woke up this morning with a lot of fullness in my right ear. I cannot hear clearly from that ear. Is this permanent? My left ear is also full, but only sometimes. Fullness comes and goes in my left ear, but has been the same in my right ears for 12 hours now.

Dizziness that is a lot worse than the lightheadedness that I experienced last summer. This dizziness is not a spinning sensation, but more like the dizziness you get when when you have a fever, except a lot worse.

Sleepiness. This sleepiness has been going on for every day for about a year. But now it's a lot worse.

Teeth sensitivity and pain. It seems that all of my back teeth are sensitive to cold. Whenever I get a headache, my teeth also hurt on that side of the head.

Increased nasal congestion. I have always had nasal congestion problems, but now they are worse.

Occasional jaw clicking on left side.

The first time I noticed any symptom of TMJ or Meniere's was when I went to a school event with loud music on June 3, 2004. I noticed that the music was unbearably loud, but no one else seemed to think so. I never thought much of it. The higher pitches were worse, but the loudness of any pitch seemed unbearable.

I came home after that and didn't think twice about it.

Exactly one month later on July 3, 2004, I went on vacation to South America to visit my family. On July 10, I went to a pool place (like an arcade, except for pool only) that played loud music. It seemed that my sensitivity was worse and I could not bear the music.

For the whole 3 weeks I was in South America, I was very stressed out. I was worrying about many things. Maybe I was clenching my teeth when I slept? Could this have made the hyperacusis worse?

After the 3 weeks were over and I came back home, I still had more things to be stressed about. A few days later, I noticed ringing in my ears. I had a high-pitched tone of the same volume in both ears.

My parents became worried when, one day, I became very dizzy. They took me to the Emergency Room, where I was given two big full bags of IV fluid (saline solution) intravenously. The doctors gave me the IV fluid because they saw that I had orthostatic hypotension, and that my mucous membranes were dry, which indicates dehydration. For a full 30 hours after getting the IV fluid, the dizziness was gone. And, for the first time in a long time, I was finally relaxing, because I thought I found the solution to my problem. I was following the doctor's orders and drinking lots of water, and some Gatorade.

Since school had ended, I noticed that I would always wake up early in the morning (3 or 4 AM) and couldn't go back to sleep. First the first time in a long time, I was able to sleep deeply and wake up late. When I woke up, the hyperacusis was less, and I didn't have the anxiety that I became used to.

That night, not more than 30 hours after recieving the IV fluid, the dizziness came back. Every day, the dizziness would get worse.

I went to see an ENT about 3 weeks ago, who said that I may have Meniere's disease. I took a hearing test, which showed I had some low-frequency loss, but was still in the normal range. My ears were full that day, and were ringing loudly. I had read a lot about the disease, and feared that I had it. It is a horrible disease, and it was my biggest fear that the doctor would say I have it. After the visit, I was extremely depressed and anxious. Whenever I get depressed, I lose my appetite. This time, I went for more than 24 hours without eating and still felt nauseous. I felt like my life was over.

About 3 days after that, my mother wanted a second opinion, so she took me to another ENT in a different hospital. The doctors there weren't very sure what I had. I had another hearing test, which one doctor described as "pristine". After the uncertainty among the doctors, they brought in a doctor who seemed to be an expert on Meniere's disease, autoimmune inner ear disease, and peripheral vestibular disorders. He walked in, and asked me what I knew about Meniere's disease. Again, I felt like my life was over. After about 10 minutes, I told him all that I knew. He asked me about treatments for the disease, medication, etc. Since he asked me about it, I thought he thought I had it. He said that he didn't believe I had it, and that there was no indication of it. He said he was asking me about it to see how much I knew.

He also said that I buy a Nightguard, and to wear it at night, as clenching of the teeth may be the problem. So I went to Walgreens, bought one, did the boiling procedure, and wore it that night. I had slow improvement of the ringing and fullness. Last night when I put in my Nightguard, my jaw muscles seemed to be stressed, and wanted to close. I figured that if my jaw muscles were stressed to be closed, then I would sleep without my Nightguard. Today, I have had the worst ear fullness I have ever had, my throat issues are also the worst they have been. What should I do?

The strange thing is that now, my left ear rings more, but my right ear hurts more. The right side of my head also hurts more than the left side of my head. I also experience a kind of low frequency humming in my right ear, especially when there is sound.

So what is this? TMJ or Meniere's?

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