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HELP!! Anyone Solve Eustachian Tube Problems?

muscle96ss

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Ok, I will try to make a long story short. About 4 weeks ago I started getting/fighting off this damn cold virus that is going around. Around 3 weeks ago it was full blown with fever, cough, nose congestion, ear congestion. A little over 2 weeks ago it was not getting better and for fear of turning into infection I started Cipro. I was most concerned about the ear as it had been plugged solid on the left side only for over a week. Some quick background info, I have been doing sinus irrigation for around 4 years with the Grossan Pulsatile sinus irrigator(like a water pik for the sinuses). I have also been doing rinses for 2 years with a Gentamicin solution from a compounding pharmacy to prevent recurrent sinus infections and have not had a sinus infection since starting. Anyways, all my symptoms were subsiding except the ear was virtually unchanged. 1 week ago I started a Medrol dose pack(methylpred) which gave me about 25% relief and on tuesday I saw an ear specialist who said basically that there was no fluid behind the ears and that it should clear up on its own. Things were getting better through yesterday where I was able to plug my nose and pop my ear and have my eustachian tube open for short durations before it would close back up. Then last night while sleeping, my ear started aching from extreme pressure and we are back at square one where I am extremely plugged up only in my left ear(sinuses and right ear clear now) and when I pop my ear I can still feel a wall behind it and get marginal temporary pressure relief and no hearing relief. Now hear is the wierd part, when I pop the ear if I continue pushing pressure trying to pop it more, I get a whistling sound that is loud as hell at my eardrum and people in the room can hear it as well as say that is sounds like a bird. Now my guess is that the eustachian tube is so inflamed that the air is barley making it through causing a whistling noise but am not sure. Lastly, I use Bipap due to severe sleep apnea and am fearful that the pressure from the CPAP is continuing to irritate an inflamed eustachian tube and not allowing it to heal. However, I need the CPAP or the consequences could be fatal. Anyways, looking for people that have had similar experiences and some guidance on how to solve the problem.

I apologize for the long read but felt there was a lot of pertinent info and this is a very serious situation for me. After what I have been through in my life I would never think that a plugged ear could be so traumatic, but I honestly am at wits end and cannot take this much longer. I can't explain to you how traumatic it really is. I have a great life, everything I could ever ask for but for the past 3 weeks I truly hate life; I have no idea how I have made it thru each day(please don't worry about me doing any harm to myself as I have a 2 y/o and 6 y/o and would suffer through tons more for them). I am starting to fear that this is going to be a long term problem and hope that others experiences can not only guide me to a solution but also give me a little more positive attitude to help me get thru this.
 

kid1dakota

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Wow,maybe try some more unconventional therapies to get things healing faster.As a chiro you know what I would suggest.I have seen adjustments do some amazing things.
I had some major complications from a wisdom teeth extraction and acupuncture(which I had never really bought into) helped get the healing going after some major complications and anti biotics and all that didn't .

good luck just relax the best you can as with everything else in life this too shall pass somehow.
 
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Mack

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I had a very similar problem with my ears a few months ago. I went to see a good ENT and he diagnosed me with a deviated septum. After getting it surgically corrected most of the pressure / noise went away.

You need to see a good ear nose and throat doctor. Don’t panic, it most likely can be fixed, popping your ears can damage to your Eustachian Tubes
 

sodzl

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Ok, I will try to make a long story short. About 4 weeks ago I started getting/fighting off this damn cold virus that is going around. Around 3 weeks ago it was full blown with fever, cough, nose congestion, ear congestion. A little over 2 weeks ago it was not getting better and for fear of turning into infection I started Cipro. I was most concerned about the ear as it had been plugged solid on the left side only for over a week. Some quick background info, I have been doing sinus irrigation for around 4 years with the Grossan Pulsatile sinus irrigator(like a water pik for the sinuses). I have also been doing rinses for 2 years with a Gentamicin solution from a compounding pharmacy to prevent recurrent sinus infections and have not had a sinus infection since starting. Anyways, all my symptoms were subsiding except the ear was virtually unchanged. 1 week ago I started a Medrol dose pack(methylpred) which gave me about 25% relief and on tuesday I saw an ear specialist who said basically that there was no fluid behind the ears and that it should clear up on its own. Things were getting better through yesterday where I was able to plug my nose and pop my ear and have my eustachian tube open for short durations before it would close back up. Then last night while sleeping, my ear started aching from extreme pressure and we are back at square one where I am extremely plugged up only in my left ear(sinuses and right ear clear now) and when I pop my ear I can still feel a wall behind it and get marginal temporary pressure relief and no hearing relief. Now hear is the wierd part, when I pop the ear if I continue pushing pressure trying to pop it more, I get a whistling sound that is loud as hell at my eardrum and people in the room can hear it as well as say that is sounds like a bird. Now my guess is that the eustachian tube is so inflamed that the air is barley making it through causing a whistling noise but am not sure. Lastly, I use Bipap due to severe sleep apnea and am fearful that the pressure from the CPAP is continuing to irritate an inflamed eustachian tube and not allowing it to heal. However, I need the CPAP or the consequences could be fatal. Anyways, looking for people that have had similar experiences and some guidance on how to solve the problem.

I apologize for the long read but felt there was a lot of pertinent info and this is a very serious situation for me. After what I have been through in my life I would never think that a plugged ear could be so traumatic, but I honestly am at wits end and cannot take this much longer. I can't explain to you how traumatic it really is. I have a great life, everything I could ever ask for but for the past 3 weeks I truly hate life; I have no idea how I have made it thru each day(please don't worry about me doing any harm to myself as I have a 2 y/o and 6 y/o and would suffer through tons more for them). I am starting to fear that this is going to be a long term problem and hope that others experiences can not only guide me to a solution but also give me a little more positive attitude to help me get thru this.
With the exception of sleep apnea your story sounds identical to mine. 4 weeks ago got a sinus infection a week later clogged ears. Both my ears were clogged for 2 weeks but he right cleared but the left is still fubar. It's gotten to the point that i can pop my ear momentarily just by flexing my jaw muscles. Nasal rinse, sudafd, nasal spray, eardrops, Endo Nasal and nothing has worked. I've read on line that the tubes are so narrow it can take months to drain. I have no insurance so i'm screwed.

Do you ever scratch your ear and hear a noise similar to a potato chip bag?
 

massmonster32

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wouldnt some type of diuretic such as lasix maybe control some of the fluid build up. Also you might try some anti-inflamitory such as motrin 800mg and sleeping with your head up a little on a pillow to keep the pressure off the head.

Maybe a sauna hot shower on your head while trying to minimize the water in the ears. Good luck sounds aggrevating maybe a humidifer in the room with some vicks in warm water compartment.

Maybe some vicks on the lips as well. I am a medic in the army just trying to think of anything else that I would recomend. Good luck to you. Keep us posted if anything works for you . MM
 

muscle96ss

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With the exception of sleep apnea your story sounds identical to mine. 4 weeks ago got a sinus infection a week later clogged ears. Both my ears were clogged for 2 weeks but he right cleared but the left is still fubar. It's gotten to the point that i can pop my ear momentarily just by flexing my jaw muscles. Nasal rinse, sudafd, nasal spray, eardrops, Endo Nasal and nothing has worked. I've read on line that the tubes are so narrow it can take months to drain. I have no insurance so i'm screwed.

Do you ever scratch your ear and hear a noise similar to a potato chip bag?
Nope, no noises like potato chip bags. However, now the pressure is pushing mucus and fluid through the hole in my tympanic membrane and into the external ear(the ENT put a 1mm hole in the tympanic membrane on tuesday to see if it would help vent the pressure). Hope yours clears up quickly, I feel like going into hiding until I can function normally again.
 

maldorf

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Nope, no noises like potato chip bags. However, now the pressure is pushing mucus and fluid through the hole in my tympanic membrane and into the external ear(the ENT put a 1mm hole in the tympanic membrane on tuesday to see if it would help vent the pressure). Hope yours clears up quickly, I feel like going into hiding until I can function normally again.
I was going to guess that sound that people in the room can hear was a hole in your tympanic membrane(ear drum). The way youre talking though, people could hear that sound before he put the hole in there? If thats the case, maybe you already had a small hole in there?

I knew a guy once that blew out his eardrum going off the high dive. He landed sideways in the pool and it blew it out bad. He could actually blow his nose through his ear and tons of snot would blow out, he was the life of all the partys!

I know in kids sometimes they put tubes in there. I wonder if that would be at most a temporary answer for you?
 

brutale

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Agree with Mack

Get an ENT doc whom you like and who can answer your questions. This sounds like a complicated situation given the apnea, infection and inflammation.

You mentioned having used gentamicin solution for 2 years. I wonder what the implications are in terms of selecting for a gentamicin-resistant population of nasal / sinus bacteria.

Not sure where you are located, but you are likely to get good care at university hospital or from a "top doctor" listed in Castle-Connolly.

Hope you feel better ...
 

muscle96ss

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I was going to guess that sound that people in the room can hear was a hole in your tympanic membrane(ear drum). The way youre talking though, people could hear that sound before he put the hole in there? If thats the case, maybe you already had a small hole in there?

I knew a guy once that blew out his eardrum going off the high dive. He landed sideways in the pool and it blew it out bad. He could actually blow his nose through his ear and tons of snot would blow out, he was the life of all the partys!

I know in kids sometimes they put tubes in there. I wonder if that would be at most a temporary answer for you?

No, the sound just came about yesterday, scared the shit out of me the first time I did it as it is loud as hell and right in my head.

Yeah, putting a tube in may be the answer. I just got off the phone with a friend who is an ER doc out here and he was able to help me understand things a little better. The tube would equalize the pressure and allow the fluid to drain. I guess the tympanic membrane heals very quickly and the hole probably is almost closed which is why I gotten a sudden increase in pressure saturday morning and then the whistling noise is the air forcing through the minute space that is left.
 

muscle96ss

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You mentioned having used gentamicin solution for 2 years. I wonder what the implications are in terms of selecting for a gentamicin-resistant population of nasal / sinus bacteria.
I am not sure I understand what you are saying; could you elaborate?
 

maldorf

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No, the sound just came about yesterday, scared the shit out of me the first time I did it as it is loud as hell and right in my head.

Yeah, putting a tube in may be the answer. I just got off the phone with a friend who is an ER doc out here and he was able to help me understand things a little better. The tube would equalize the pressure and allow the fluid to drain. I guess the tympanic membrane heals very quickly and the hole probably is almost closed which is why I gotten a sudden increase in pressure saturday morning and then the whistling noise is the air forcing through the minute space that is left.
Yeah, surprisingly it heals real fast. That guy I knew on the diving team that blew his out only had his talent for a short time.
 

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