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Author Topic: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read  (Read 13566 times)

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Offline clockwise

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So for about a week and a half, I have had a blocked right ear.  I can still hear out of it, it's just muffled and feels like there's a bit of pressure there with the tiniest bit of a dull ache.  I saw my doctor twice to make sure it wasn't an infection, and she said it was eustachian tube dysfunction.  How long can this last?

I am extremely sensitive to any odd bodily sensations, particularly when it comes to my ears.  They are constantly the root of my health anxiety...I went through a period for a few months a few years ago where I was getting tinnitus symptoms and had some hearing loss in my right ear.  Eventually it came back, but not after agonizing anxiety.  Then earlier this year, in my same ear, I got a pretty nasty infection which sparked my anxiety again and I was off work for six weeks.  I hate it.  Hate it hate it.  My doctor and therapist tell me that it can't hurt me, my hearing will come back to normal, and that I have to keep busy and either try to ignore it (GP) or get used to it so it's not so frightening to me (therapist). 

The problem is that I can't ignore it. I don't want to accept it.  I just want it to go away.  I keep thinking in my head why me, what did I do, when will this end, please go away, I can't deal with this, nobody understands.  I know it's just a blocked ear, and there are millions of people with actual diseases so much worse than this but I just can't relax about it.  I can't function properly.  For a stupid blocked ear.  Which of course makes me feel even more the freak I already feel I am. 

Is there anyone who has felt this?  Had ETD which has actually gone away?  Any thoughts at all?  In tears right now...
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Offline clockwise

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Re: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2011, 04:00:44 PM »
Sorry to bump up my own post...but anyone?  The google monster hit me and I am scared it's never going to go away... 
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Offline sayfay73

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Re: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2011, 04:15:15 PM »
I had an issue with my left ear last year.  I got an ear infection and it was clogged and after a couple rounds of antibiotics, it was still clogged.  I also had a hearing test and my hearing was reduced in that ear. My ENT could see some fluid, so he ended up putting a tube in there, which drained the fluid BUT it was still clogged and my hearing test was still reduced on that side.

I ended up having a CT scan of my ear and they discovered something called a cholosteotoma - basically it is an accumulation of dead skin cells that can accumulate.  After discovering that, my doctor presribed oral meds and steroid drops for my ear and it did finally go away.  No problems since.
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Offline sixpack

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Re: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2011, 06:01:40 PM »
my right ear is continually blocked up to varying degree for atleast 7yrs.  lol.  it is probably the dysfunction thing.  I try and keep up with clairitin everyday and sudafed if gets bad.  I"ve been doing this for 3 months and I don't hear the cracking so much.  IDK I pretty much know what it is so I don't worry about it.  I had a mild cold in July. My left eardrum likely burst and it was a bad infection.  Oh the tinny sounds and my echo-ing talk for most of the duration of the anti-b.  (the nurse pract told me I'd probably hurt right up unitl the end of my anti-bs).  That was tons worse than my plugged up ear.  I"ve been having more issues with colds going south on me this last year.  The NP told me that if it happens, off to an ENT...
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MOST anxiety occurs on a subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state

Offline Jeannddp

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Re: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2011, 06:40:15 PM »
Hey...

My son from birth to the age of 5 had earaches on a continuous basis. It seemed like every other week we were going to the ped and he was being put on anti-b's. May I make a suggestion to you?  Behind your ear at the base of your ear you have little pressure points that when massaged, will help the eustation drain. It's a form of accupressure. I am good friends with a chiro and she worked on my son when he was little and she taught me how to do it.

Feel better.

Jeanne
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Offline Slangevar

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Re: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2011, 08:44:02 PM »
I'm like Sixpack... I have terrible eustacian tubes (always have). I've found it improves significantly when I exercise and remember to drink a lot of water. When it gets really bad, I take Sudafed (the kind with pseudoephedrine in it).

Sixpack - watch out for Claritin... my husband and I were taking it quite a bit last year and wound up getting sick a lot. Our doc told us it can lower your WBCs. We both feel MUCH better since switching to the occasional dose of Sudafed.
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Offline sixpack

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Re: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2011, 06:53:25 AM »
I'm like Sixpack... I have terrible eustacian tubes (always have). I've found it improves significantly when I exercise and remember to drink a lot of water. When it gets really bad, I take Sudafed (the kind with pseudoephedrine in it).

Sixpack - watch out for Claritin... my husband and I were taking it quite a bit last year and wound up getting sick a lot. Our doc told us it can lower your WBCs. We both feel MUCH better since switching to the occasional dose of Sudafed.

interesting.
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MOST anxiety occurs on a subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state

Offline clockwise

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Re: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2011, 12:16:16 PM »
Thanks so much for the answers!  I'm a bit calmer today which is good.  I have a few questions about some of your replies but I have to leave soon and don't have time right now...I'll try to post later on.

Thanks again, you guys are all wonderful  :yes:
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Offline colcpm

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Re: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2012, 03:32:09 PM »
More than a year later but Clockwise I hope your E.T did clear eventually. I did feel for you as I've had a cold for week and yesterday was a deeply depressing day. Thankfully my E.T is clearing and hearing is far better today, but it's a very "serious" condition for a persons mental state during its occurance even if it does eventually clear.

From my own experience, I would really advise anyone to stay well clear of anything with Pseudoephedrine in it. If you're beside yourself with your hearing problem anyway, the side effects of this drug will only exacerbate that anxiety and can also make you feel totally spaced out which is not what you need at all. I've also decided to move on to de-caffeinated coffee. After a visit to the doctor I'm now on the second day of antihistamine which seems to have made a dramatic difference.

Unless it's a new type of cold virus, since before 2003 I never had these sorts of issues during a cold, but maybe it's getting older.  Personally I think it's worth perhaps investigating certain foods that may cause excess mucus and just keeping an eye on the diet generally. 

I know it's an old post to reply to,  but hopefully sharing experiences will help others.
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Offline JunoX

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Re: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 04:14:50 PM »
A tube dysfunction can last for months. I have had problems with my left ear, in and off, for about three months now. My ear feels full, pressured and it snaps and cracks all of the time. My doctor told me it was fluid. Ive tried everything. Swimmers ear drops, homeopathic ear ache drops, hydrogen peroxide drops, saline nasal spray, leaning my head back and yawning, steam, suctioning it with the palm of my hand, heat, etc. Nothing has helped except one thing, patience. It seems to clear up on its own. Three months later and it feels 99% back to normal.
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The woods are lovely, dark and deep. 
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Offline DC111

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Re: eustachian tube dysfunction - how long? sorry it's long but please read
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 08:25:51 PM »
For the last couple years, my ears have seemed much more sensitive to loud noise and sometimes I feel like my eardrums 'twitch' or something in irritation. I also feel like my ears get plugged easier and feel the need to 'blow' while plugging my nose to open my eustachian tubes.

Recently I've had some crazy, rushing-sounding tinnitus in my left ear that I've NEVER heard anything like before. It often aligns with my pulse but not always, and I can practically feel it, just like you 'feel' certain sounds hit your ear if they're loud enough or the right pitch. It's like someone is blowing softly in my ear and it's filtering through my heartbeat. But, for however alarming that sounds, or however alarming your tinnitus or hearing loss seems to you, most causes of tinnitus are truly not serious. I have a hard time settling for "Oh, it's not serious, don't worry and find a way to deal with it," as most people do, but at least it's good to know it probably won't cause any further problems. Have you had an MRI? If not, you might try to have one done - it will probably ease your mind if you're worried about the cause, and might even help them pinpoint a cause that they can possibly do something about.

Tinnitus can be caused or worsened by hearing loss, stress, anxiety, prolonged tiredness, fluid in the ear, too much loud noise, caffeine, and salt. Try to drink a lot of water, have less caffeine and salt, get good sleep, and listen to music without headphones or through headphones that don't go directly inside your ear (or, if you absolutely have to use those, keep them at whatever you feel is a safe amount of sound - about half volume on my mp3, might be different on yours - even if it seems quiet to you, if you give it a couple weeks or even days, you'll get used to it).

Oh, and tinnitus (if it's pulsatile, like mine) can also be worsened by anything that makes your heart work harder, most of which are also not a big deal so try not to worry about it. I am anemic and found out that could be part of the reason for my tinnitus, so I'm probably going to be told to go on iron supplements again and it might help.
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