Author Topic: Eustachian Tube Dysfunction  (Read 16289 times)

carolk

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Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
« on: May 03, 2007, 08:52:01 am »
I'm a "watch and waiter" with a small (4x4x6mm) AN in my right ear, which -- thankfully -- is non-symptomatic (it was discovered "incidentally" when I had an MRI for another reason).  I have yearly MRIs and am very much on the alert for potential symptoms.  So three months ago, when my right (AN) ear seemed plugged up after an airline trip abroad (like it never "unpopped") I became concerned that this may be related to my AN.  My university-based ENT had me repeat my audiogram--no changes--and said it was NOT related to the AN.  She said it must be some kind of inflammation and that it would go away.  When it hadn't gone away in three months (I still felt a "muffled" sensation on the right side) I went to a regular old ENT who confirmed that it's NOT the AN, but called it Eustachean Tube Dysfunction--my Eustachean Tube is not opening all the way.  He said this is a frequent complaint--he sees 3 or 4 people a week with it.  No one knows what causes it, maybe a virus?  but he did tell me to use Afrin on the affected side before airline flights.  some people are helped by steroids, he said, and in most people it goes away by itself in six months or so. . .anyone else have any experience/advice/thoughts on this?

Sefra22

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Re: Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2007, 11:17:35 am »
Hi Carolk,
Eustachion Tube Disorder was actually the mis-dagnosis I got when I first saw an ENT for the plugged-up feeling and hearing loss.
It was explained to me that significant weight loss (70 lbs.) was the reason. The Dr. told me that when you lose weight (fat), you basically lose it all over. Since there is fat tissue surrounding the tube, there is a chance that some of that fat is lost, as well. The fat helps the tube to open and close, and when it is diminished, the tube can have trouble opening and closing, causing the disorder.
Of course, there may be other causes as well, and as it turns out the MRI showed the AN, so I never had the disorder afterall.
Lisa
Lisa from Portland, Maine age 46
Diagnosed June 2006
15mm X 17mm AN right side 80% hearing loss
GK March 14,2007 Dr. Noren, Providence RI
1 Year follow-up MRI shows "slight shrinkage".
2 Year follow-up MRI shows "No Change".
3 Year follow-up MRI "stable".
BAHA surgery 4-22-09 BP100 Sept. 2009

Boppie

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Re: Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2007, 12:11:29 pm »
Carol, I don't know what to make of the EU Tube Dysfunction diagnosis.  I have read about it on this forum before.  My 31 yo daughter has had that diagnosis too.  When living in the cold, dry climate of Chicago she had a painful and full ear that the ENT treated with antibiotics, nasal rinses, steriods, and waiting.  The ear stayed plugged for two months; I was very concerned for her hearing.  Finally, the drainage went down and the ear "opened" to sounds.  The ENT turned her off when he told her to take a series of tests and go through allergy testing.  This would have been the third time in her life for allergy treatment.  She left that doctor.  I wait for the next episode of this "thing" to come back; I want her to get some other testing.  She remains on inhalers and tablets for allergies.  I should have posted this on a thread for "Worried about another AN in the family". :-\

tuckerro

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Re: Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2007, 05:00:14 pm »
I also was diagnosed originally, wrongly, by my primary care of Eustachion Tube Disorder, or severe tonsilitis, as causing the plugged-up feeling and hearing loss.

After tonsil removal didn't fix the issues, an MRI revealed the AN, and that I also never had the disorder afterall.

RON
----------------------------------------------------
14x7 mm Left Acoustic Neuroma
Middle Fossa
House Ear Clinic
Dr. Derald Brackmann, Dr. William Hitselberger
September 26, 2006

carolk

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Re: Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2007, 09:18:27 am »
Thanks, all, for your replies. . .My hearing has actually not diminished -- at least according to the hearing tests.  My sensation of a muffled feeling comes and goes.  I'm about to take a flight and will be curious to see what happens.  One doc told me that flying might make it better!
Carol

Windsong

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Re: Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2007, 07:22:39 pm »
A plugged up feeling in my ears was first looked at in the late 7o-'s by a doctor. I was given oticon and when i flew (not often) i used the spray to deal with the "let's get my ears to pop"... the plugged feeling happened only now and then those years...

In the 80's it got worse and by then i had fluid build up behind the eardrum (s).... so.... i had tubes put in. That was great as no more did I have the airplane- plugs- my- ears - experience as the pressure was equalized.....I was in nirvana  flying/ watching others pinch their nose and blow out to try to pop their ears and i was super fine no probs......some of the times when new tubes were put in i had fluid sucked out as by then i had otitis medea in a chronic way.... over the late 80's and beginning 90's  this continued.. sometimes i went to the ER with ear pain nobody ever could diagnose at the time.... the string of explanations is really educational from "gee you hear funny( this to a tuning fork exercise)  to, you must have some very thin ear wax filming over the tube and blocking the open hole for pressure equalization etc...

all along a eusatachian tube dysfunction was said to be the culprit... as long as i had a tube in i seemed fine....once any fluid was sucked out and the tube in i could hear fine.... no tube and i was in difficulty....

then after a few more side trips with my ears i got the An diagnosis in '05....

i think that An had a role to play in my symptoms along the way....
am i dreaming or did someone write in about a sleep machine for sleep apnea and asked about why the eusatchian tube while using it can end up givving painful ears? i can't find that tonight.... but i did ask about that and the word is yes that because of the air pressure flow when you breathe out with one of those machines, it is possible that the ears will hurt as the air and pressure  passes by the inner ear etc.... so I thought i'd pass that on.....any one else with one of thos sleep machines who can add to this?

i'm not surprised actually that ear problems go hand in hand with having an An... doesn't the An grow on the hearing nerve in the IAC most frequently, anyway? i have a small ear canal on the An side myself....
not sure i answered anything in this post lol but thought i'd share some of my ear journey....

oh i did a pub med search about something last night and this abstract came up about hearing loss... said that was the worst thing of the senses to lose as when one couldn't hear, one also couldn't hear one's voice and so it went rather flat and strangers tend to think  those are "not all there"... it was a sobering thought.... and gave me pause....even with one ear gone, loss of directional sound and etc.... have not many of us found ourselves "embarassed" by hearing incorrectly and how many of us are glum now and then about the way others react to our fumbles in hearing? sure we laugh it off, but it still is not easy after a while.... i think some of the minor side effects of having an An can be bigger than we let on and again, as long as I had some hearing even if not telephone functional, there was some help in hearing coming from the An ear.... now that that has gone and the other is acting up it's a real bugger....




take care,
Windsong



 


Dealy

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Re: Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2007, 12:48:43 pm »
Windsong. Got Temp hearing Aid last week Saturday but the ear plug is too small for my ear so it tends to pop out alot. It improves hearing but not what I had expected. One thing about deafness or close too it. I see peoples mouth move but unless I am right up too them I have no idea what they say. I hope when I get the permanent hearing aid it will work better because a mold was made of my individual ear-so it should stay in w/o popping out all the time. I read an article once about Helen Keller who was deaf and Blind. She was asked what sense did she miss the most and she said hearing. Wow I was amazed. I though it would be blindness. I used too work with the handicap and we had 2 clients that were deaf and blind. Now my heart can relate too that -since my hearing is getting less and less. Not much enjoyment in life when you are so isolated from other's. Well have a good day all-and God Bless. Ron

Windsong

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Re: Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2007, 01:21:50 pm »
Ron,

 I too was surprised that hearing loss is the hardest of lost senses but now that i think about it the isoaltion factor is huge. i desire less and less to be in situations where i struglle to make sense of conversation... that's even with only the single sided deafness? it's so fatiguing being in situations where one strains to have "normal" conversations like in a crowd, or with lots of background noise or at a big dinner? after a while i sit back and simply smile and say little.... bummer...

we live in a fast paced world... people want to talk and get on with it... not easy to get them to slow down, repeat things and etc....

who would have thunk it?

i sure do hope your hearing aid once adjusted, the right size ear piece etc. gives you clearer hearing! isolating ourselves is not a good thing emotionally really is it?  darn frustrating....to say the least...

tornados are scary.... i lived out west once and watched one approach, headed for the basement, later heard it touched down in a village just south of us.... nature can be cruel....
glad you two are both safe....

all the best,
W.

carolk

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Re: Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2007, 09:48:10 am »
well, took that airplane trip and my right ear still feels "plugged."  i mostly try and ignore it, although there is some discomfort and a feelling of pressure.  but it's not really painful, and am grateful that I do have my hearing.  I do wonder if there is a relationshp between the AN and the Eustachian tube not opening properly, although my doctors have said no.  it is a small space in there. . .