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Anyone ever have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction?

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by mpumilia, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    (Just to preface- I have always had a post nasal drip- kind of like my normal state- but it never bothered me and I was always able to breathe just fine and so forth. Use a netti pot monthly as well.)

    Back in Sept. my left ear began to feel like there was fluid in it. I assumed maybe it was wax and proceeded to use ear wax remover for a while to see if it would clear.

    No improvement.

    Then I woke up one day in October and as soon as I rose out of bed I started to sneeze uncontrollably and my eyes watered up and I thought I must have a cold (which I never get) so I started to take decongestants -Sudafed- which seemed to help and also tried antihistamines which helped a little less, but at least no more sneezing, stuffy nose or watery eyes.

    And then I stopped with the medicine after it seemed I was a bit better, but the ear began to have a slight ache. I thought possibly I had an infection. So I tried hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar drops a few times. Again- no help. Seemed to be a little worse when I laid down to try to sleep.

    So- two weeks ago I decided time to go to the doctor and the NP there said my ears were totally clear. She did a water flush anyway just in case there was a small hair or something, but she diagnosed it as eustachian tube dysfunction and prescribed a once per day nasal spray. She said if that didn't clear it up to see an ENT specialist, but she thought it would. I have several renewals on the nasal spray prescription as well if I would need more.

    Well, the nasal spray helps, but does not cure the problem. I have also used my netti pot which also helps, but this darn thing will not go away. I get slight, subtle headaches and sometimes I can also feel it in my other ear. And some pressure on my eyes, especially the left one.

    It basically feels like there is fluid in the ear, or even bugs sometimes as it has bouts of itchiness and sometimes the slight ache.

    I looked it up on line and people who have had this said ENT's could do nothing for them. One guy even had a 3 hour surgery which ended up making it worse. Just wondering if anyone else has ever experienced this and if so, if they were able to get rid of it and how.
     
  2. Phydeaux

    Phydeaux TUG Member

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    Bolded - herein is the problem with people seeking medical advice on an internet forum. In your case, you're willing to dismiss the advice given to you by a medical professional to see an ENT, based on what you read on an internet forum, and instead seek advice from anonymous strangers on another internet forum? :shrug:
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  3. Panina

    Panina TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Go to a specialist, multiple if you have to, to make sure you have a correct diagnoses or to find the correct one. Doctors make mistakes. I hope you get better sooner rather then later.
     
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  4. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I get it. I actually work in the health care field. I also get that, although I have a lot of respect for doctors, a lot of time and money can be wasted going to doctors. I am a pretty healthy person and I always try self care first. Then I cautiously seek professional medical advice.

    I have had my doctor say to go to a rheumatologist based on a single blood test. I went to the specialist and he tells me there is nothing at all wrong.

    When I had vertigo years ago the doctor told me nothing could be done for it and it would go away on it's own.

    My husband's doctor - a different one from mine- and also in a totally different medical group- has told him to go to a urologist based on prostate blood work. He goes to the urologist and he tells him he doesn't know why he was even sent to him.

    These are just a few examples. So since I have high deductible health insurance and very limited time, I try to work on things myself and get some tips from others first. If things don't get better- then I will go to an ENT.
     
  5. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I had this last year. Long story shortened, ENT doc prescribed nasal spray. Fluticasone Propionate- it's a steriod that shrinks the tissues. It doesn't fix it overnight. I started noticing less of the feeling of 'water in the ear' after 2-3 months, and totally clear after maybe 6 months steady 2X/day dose. You can get it OTC, (FloNase) but if you have a drug plan, the 'script is cheaper.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  6. Phydeaux

    Phydeaux TUG Member

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    In addition to the points above, many/most? patients do not ask enough questions, nor research the qualifications of their physicians. When unhappy or dissatisfied, most patients will complain, but do nothing else. If they were as unhappy with their hairdresser, they'd fire them & go elsewhere in a flash. People spend more energy talking with strangers or researching their next appliance purchase than their medical needs. Not suggesting this is you in particular, but I witnessed this first hand countless times throughout my career, and continue to witness it outside of my professional career. Yes, seems to be one of my hot buttons.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  7. VacationForever

    VacationForever TUG Member

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    I also did have to look it up as to what this is. Since this has gone on for quite a while and it is still not resolved, I would go in to see an ENT specialist. Make sure you find a good one who will spend time listening to you for all that you have done, how you feel etc. I had a horrible specialist recently which I just fired, who spends no more than 30 sec in the room with me and would not spend time to understand my concerns, and he sends a bill of $300+ for each visit to the insurance.

    All the best...
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  8. Phydeaux

    Phydeaux TUG Member

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    Bravo!!! :clap: Well done! Would like to hear this more often.

    Just think, somewhere is the world's worst doctor. A statistical fact. And people have appointments to see them today........
     
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  9. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    And... Do you know what this person is called? Also, what do you call the person who graduated last in medical school?






    Wait for it...........







    Doctor.
     
  10. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Hi Mary Ann,

    Ok, it's time for you to stop self-diagnosing yourself and make an appointment to see an ENT physician who has an Audiologist on staff that can do
    a hearing test and Tympanometry and Acoustic Reflex Measurements. Tympanometry will tell very quickly if you have fluid in the middle ear. An Audiologic evaluation will also tell if you have a mild conductive hearing loss secondary to otitis media.

    The sooner you get this done, the sooner you can be on the road to recovery.

    Best wishes,

    Richard
     
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  11. Phydeaux

    Phydeaux TUG Member

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    Richard, are you a M.D. and have you examined this woman?

    If the answer is 'no', I'd advise not to start playing forum physician.

    I would refer back to the advice given to her originally by her medical specialist. It was "see an ENT specialist". Let's leave it at that. Agreed?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  12. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Rich, in my opinion gave some excellent advice/suggestions . I agree the person needs see to an ENT. There is something wrong With the OP and the internet is not helping their problem.

    Rich in his first sentence suggestive that the OP should see an ENT Specialist.

    What is wrong with that suggestion.

    The OP stated that they went to a doctor. What kind of doctor? The OP, also stated that they still have the problem. What is the OP next step?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  13. Phydeaux

    Phydeaux TUG Member

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    My point was Richard was correct in that the op should simply follow the advice given her by her medical provider - see an ENT. However, he went on to recommend specific procedures. That was his error. Back up and reread the op’s posts, and you’ll see that she is in her dilemma for one simple reason: following ill advised ‘advice’ from internet strangers.
     
  14. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    OP's doctor gave her a prescription (with refills) and said if it didn't work then she should go see an ENT. OP asked if anyone else on the board had had a similar condition. In post #5, Jim indicated that he had the same issue last year and gave some real life experience saying that it took awhile before the medicine took care of the issue. In my reading of this thread, this is what she was looking for - someone else who could share their experience of having this condition. She said that if things don't get better, she would go to an ENT as suggested by her doctor.

    Sometimes you just want to see what others have gone through and get some real life feedback. Sometime doctors don't give you quite enough information, or they do explain things but you miss one important detail. Or you think of a question that you forgot to ask during the appointment. They are in and out quickly (most times) and you can't write everything down while they are talking to you. So you may ask a friend what their experience was, knowing that you aren't getting medical advice. The OP is under the care of her doctor (who did a physical examination and made a diagnosis) and is following the treatment plan. I didn't get the sense that she was looking for a diagnosis through the TUG board. Just some real life feedback.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  15. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thanks, Jim. This is what I was looking for. I also came upon some information that verifies exactly what you said- that it could take a month or months before it clears up. I guess being an impatient person I thought it should have cleared up in 2 weeks! LOL!

    I actually found some more information and it seems that I have possibly been using this nasal spray the wrong way. I should have been bending my head forward and then spraying upwards into my nose and then immediately popping my ears. And then continue popping them every hour.

    I was just spraying directly into my nostrils with my head held straight. Good for sinuses- but not helping the Eustachian tube.

    I have noticed some improvement in just the past two days! Who knew? I at least feel a bit more hopeful now (hopefully not prematurely) that I will not have a chronic problem. The medicine is making me a bit woozy and some other minor side affects, so I hope it clears up soon. I do a lot of driving for work and this time of year I have so much to do for my job- getting in and out of the car constantly each day and carrying big items (holiday baskets for our clients).

    Time will tell. If not, I will certainly not hesitate at that time to make an appt. with an ENT.

    And- yes. My prescription cost just $4.00 with my drug plan.
     
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  16. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thank you. You are exactly right.
     
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  17. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Glad it seems to be helping. When the clogged Eustachian tube affected me, I was singing in a chorale group. Needless to say, the gurgling, water-in-the-ear sound/feeling in one ear didn't help, but over time it did clear up. At the time the Flonase was prescribed, I was given an audiology test as well as seen by the real life MD at the ENT clinic. So Phydeaux can rest more easily that I wasn't just rehashing something I read on WebMD. :)

    Jim
     
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  18. JudyH

    JudyH TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    And I have the same chronic problem which I have had for years. I use an antihistamine. I use Sudafed for a few days one or two times per year. I use Flonase daily. And twice in the past 12 years I have needed a low dose prednisone PAC which cleared it up immediately and lasted a long which. All prescribed by the allergist and the ENT.
     
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  19. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I thought the other day mine was finally clearing up, but it is still there. I find the nasal spray does not last 24 hours. The instructions say once per day but I really need it twice, but I am afraid to take it more than once in case of side effects. I have a long day- get up at 4am and by 4pm it has worn off and then I can't sleep (not that I do anyway). I tried taking it in the evening, but then it wears off too soon during the day.

    I am hoping I will not need prednisone as that is some nasty stuff, but if I get desperate I will do it if it is low dose.

    When I took the sudafed decongestant it helped even better than the single generic antihistamine ( similar to Claritin). But you can't take these indefinitely day in and day out. I am trying not to take anything other than the spray- which makes me tired and I have to drive all day- work, etc. Like anyone else- very busy all the time. I really hate taking medicine, but then again, I hate this feeling in my ear, Plus my head hurts and I never get headaches or anything like that, so I am not used to it.

    I have also heard of people having tubes put in by an ENT and maybe an antibiotic. But the NP I saw did not prescribe an antibiotic so I am assuming she knew I did not have an infection when she checked my ears.

    I started the nasal spray on 11/17, so I figure I would give it until the end of this month at least and see what my next move is and when. I just want this thing to go away...
     

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