Tinnitus for a Few Months — Possible ETD (Eustachian Tube Dysfunction)? Advice Appreciated :)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by GreenGiraffe, Apr 18, 2024.

    1. GreenGiraffe

      GreenGiraffe Guest

      Hi Everyone,

      Thank you for all your previous posts and comments, which I've found extremely useful.

      I've noticed my current tinnitus for about two months, but I've been prone to have it intermittently over at least the past four years in my right ear, and I've previously assumed that in those cases, it was due to a build-up of earwax.

      Apparently, I had lots of ear infections as a child, and I assume as a consequence of those, my right ear has always had worse hearing than my left. But last October, when I contracted COVID-19 for a second time, I found myself pretty deaf indeed. Not having the sniffles, I simply took it that earwax had built up again, and I tried using olive oil drops on and off to shift it over several months. Sometimes, I would wake up deaf, only to find my ear 'popping' at some point in the day, which I naively thought was due to the earwax moving and then recovering my hearing. Unfortunately, my tinnitus escalated to being bilateral and constant about two months ago, which is when I suddenly started to really notice what was happening.

      About a month ago, having read on here about people finding microsuction exacerbating their tinnitus, I decided to go ahead with some gentle bulb irrigation after using ear drops for a few days. That went really well, and quite a lot of earwax came out. However, this highlighted that earwax was probably not the issue, as my hearing was still minimal. The 'fullness' that I had felt all along became even more apparent, and I found myself wanting to yawn throughout the day to relieve it, fluid coming out my nose periodically. And then, wonderfully, after a few days, my left ear popped, and I could hear again! After my ear pops, my tinnitus on the left-hand side goes away, which is great.

      However, since then, I have had constant tinnitus in my right ear (static and sometimes high-pitched ringing), but I have been doing gentle autoinflation and ETD massage on both sides twice a day and now have fairly reliable hearing and no tinnitus on my left side. I'm booked to see my GP next week. However, I've self-diagnosed ETD as all the symptoms fit.

      I would very much appreciate some advice from other ETD sufferers, especially about my autoinflation. I'm following the program set to put in the ear popper clinical trials of two autoinflations, 5-10 minutes apart, performed twice a day. In the trial, there was an excellent recovery of hearing for children with OME who followed this regime for at least seven weeks. Both ears feel 'full' after the autoinflation (which the Eustachi manufacturers advise means that autoinflation has been successful), but only my left ear then pops and recovers hearing. I can feel the air blowing in my right ear, but it very much feels like a paper bag that inflates and then crumples again. No change in hearing, no ear popping. However, the sensation of 'fullness' has now gone, and only a little mucus comes out after my massage, so I feel there is progress. The tinnitus is also slightly less intrusive, although still constant.

      Has anyone had this experience regarding autoinflation and ETD?
    2. Nana414

      Nana414 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I think I can relate with what you are saying. I have also self-diagnosed because of the the matching symptoms.

      But for me, anytime I perform Valsalva maneuver, it is on the right ear that feels full and that’s where I normally hear the tingling sensation and the little chirping noise. I don’t know what it is.

      I will be happy if you can share with me some of the measures you have been taking to help.

      My ears also itch as well.

    3. AUTHOR

      GreenGiraffe Guest

      Hi @Nana414,

      I have been following this regime:

      • ETD massage while in a hot bath. I've been using Eustachian Tube Dysfunction ETD Exercises and Massage Techniques for Ear Fullness, which seems to be very effective at getting the mucus moving and then draining.
      • One gentle Valsalva maneuver on each side until each ear feels full. Wait 5-10 minutes, then repeat the Valsalva maneuver on each side (as per ear popper clinical trial for children with OME - 90% of children in the non-control group had some hearing recovery after seven weeks).

      Throughout the day:
      • Drink several cups of warm water to stay hydrated and thin mucus.
      • Chew xylitol chewing gum if ears feel full (xylitol has been found to reduce the reoccurrence of OME, and I also feel the chewing and swallowing will allow air into the Eustachian tubes and allow mucus to drain out).
      • Eat a low histamine diet as I believe I have a low histamine tolerance, and this could be causing some inflammation in my Eustachian tubes.

      • Repeat the morning routine of ETD massage and Valsalva maneuvers.

      I've found my tinnitus seems to feel reduced, but whether that's due to habituation or it actually getting quieter, I couldn't say. However, it's now only unilateral, and the high-pitched ringing has stopped, which feels like an absolute blessing.

      I hope that's helpful :)
      • Agree Agree x 1

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