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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board


TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index


Hello Fellow TMJ Sufferers,

For those with ear problems, can you tell me what it feels like? I have a lot more than just ear pain going on and it worries me. My left ear is my worse ear and it always feels like there's something in it. It feels like it's half plugged when I swallow or yawn until I pinch my nose and gently blow. Doing that will help equalize the pressure in both ears, but it never lasts more than a few minutes and then I have to do it again. The ear often feels like its going to burst from all the building pressure. My left ear and left side of my face always feel like someone just hit me on that side.
My right ear does the opposite and has negative pressure and feels like someone is trying to suck it out. It's a strong drawing or pulling feeling. Both ears crackle and pop constantly. I used to have a quiet, high pitched tinitus in both ears when I would lie down at night, but that has gone away. Its more like a rumbling or vibrating sensation now mostly in the right ear--like the ear drum is having a spasm or something. My hearing has been uneffected but at times, I do have a muffled sensation in both ears. I don't notice it until I pop my ears and then I can hear better. Is this typical of TMJ ear problems? I do have burning and stabbing ear pain at times too, but pressure and popping symptoms are my main ones that are with me all the time. If you do have ear problems from your TMJ, I would appreciate you sharing what it feels like. It will help me to know that this is all very normal for TMJ ear problems. Many thanks,

Rachael
I had the stuffed ear feeling and it turned out to be the medial pterygoid muscle. That's one of your internal jaw chewing muscles. When it's tight the muscle blocks the eustachian tube from opening properly. To get relief I had to find a special kind of massage therapist trained to do massage inside the mouth while wearing a latex glove. Only three treatments were needed to solve my problem but I did have to drive an hour about 45 miles to find a clinic where they specialized in that kind of work.

The popping, cracking sounds and the pain can come from other tmj muscles like the lateral pterygoid, masseter and temporalis.
I agree with the other posters.

My TMJ diagnosis came after I'd been to my PCP, ENT and a couple Audiologists because my ear wasn't popping and I had some really intense ear pain. They couldn't find anything wrong physically. After tons of frustration, I finally self-diagnosed based on internet research. Testing with my TMJ specialist confirmed the TMJ.

My right ear hasn't fully popped since May 2009. My right ear also had intense pain and ringing. It felt like a really deep bad neverending ear infection, but it wasn't. Turns out when my TMJ discs slipped it caused my lower jaw to be pushed back into my ear. My muscles were in constant spasm because of this. I felt it as ear pain though.

Ironically, my testing shows that my left TMJ is actually much worse. Go figure.

I'm currently in splint therapy. The thing that helps most is seeing my PT who does the orofacial releases, neck work and body alignment. Just wish more visits were covered by insurance. My ear still hasn't fully popped, but my muscle spasms got tons better. The pain has been coming back the last couple weeks though. At least it is a new year so I can have a few more PT visits approved.

I can't sleep much when the ear pain is at its most intense. My ENT will prescribe an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer to help some. I will also apply heat. At least it helps me get to sleep. For some reason, ear pain always feels worst at night and the ringing much louder. I guess it is because there is nothing else to take your mind off things.
Hi Jenni,

Thanks so much for your post. After crying all last night because I was so overwhelmed by anxiety and this humming in my ear, it was good to see your comments. The ENT's told me that I have e-tube disfunction from the TMJ, but they never prescribed anything for it. I have constant popping in both ears and can never seem to equalize the pressure. My left ear used to be the worse one, but I find that my ears are taking turns being the more problematic ear. I read that estachian tube disfunction can cause the popping and pressure and also a low grade fever. It's strange because I've been running at about 100 for months now. Did you have a temp at all?
I have to believe that this will go away. I can't live with this and the anxiety is soo bad right now. I'm just so afraid that it will get so loud that I won't be able to hear over the humming or that I'm losing my hearing.
I will look up your old posts to see what they prescribed for your treatment. I can't believe my doctors didn't offer me anything. It's like they said , "yeah , you have TMJ and your ears are fine" and sent me on my way.
Thanks again, Jenni, you made me feel a lot better this morning.
[QUOTE=rlat45;4678732]Hi Jenni,

Thanks so much for your post. After crying all last night because I was so overwhelmed by anxiety and this humming in my ear, it was good to see your comments. The ENT's told me that I have e-tube disfunction from the TMJ, but they never prescribed anything for it. I have constant popping in both ears and can never seem to equalize the pressure. My left ear used to be the worse one, but I find that my ears are taking turns being the more problematic ear. I read that estachian tube disfunction can cause the popping and pressure and also a low grade fever. It's strange because I've been running at about 100 for months now. Did you have a temp at all?
I have to believe that this will go away. I can't live with this and the anxiety is soo bad right now. I'm just so afraid that it will get so loud that I won't be able to hear over the humming or that I'm losing my hearing.
I will look up your old posts to see what they prescribed for your treatment. I can't believe my doctors didn't offer me anything. It's like they said , "yeah , you have TMJ and your ears are fine" and sent me on my way.
Thanks again, Jenni, you made me feel a lot better this morning.[/QUOTE]

Ah, I feel for you so much...the crying spells, the terrible anxiety. :(

My humming is focused on one ear, as well, but like yours the popping/clogging/pressure is sometimes in both ears, sometimes only in one, totally switching back and forth at random. What I was told is that this is normal during the recovery process, which I was told could take a very long time. My ears initially plugged on Dec 17th, but the humming started farther back, sometime in October 2010, so yeah. It's a long, stubborn health condition that I'm only now starting to beat.

At one point during this whole thing, I was running a low-grade temp like you...100 or so. I had lots of pressure but very little pain. It turned out that I had a middle ear infection on both sides. So there's a chance you might also have an active infection? If so, you need antibiotics like amoxicillin. It won't get rid of ETD, but it will help some of the symptoms.

Also, I was prescribed a small dose of ativan specifically for ETD. Critical emotional breaking points worsen the problem because a) anxiety makes the tinnitus louder and b) crying makes your sinuses swollen, which contributes to the plugging/pressure/blocking.

When you see your doctor, take in a list with everything you have told us and just be adamant...they are supposed to provide best practices care to you, their patient, or they aren't doing their job. First ENT I saw wanted to write this off as an inner ear condition and gave me a low sodium diet and a total brush-off, which put me on the wrong track and led to countless hours of research and freak-out on my part. Low sodium did not do anything but help me lose a few pounds, lol.

I can't believe you were told you had ETD and TMJ and were just shrugged off! There are definitely many things you can do to treat both conditions and feel better and heal.

I'm going to research my own potential TMJ/e-tube connection more. My MRI was looking at the head/ears for acoustic neuroma which I don't have.





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