When Will My Eustachian Tubes Clear Up??

Discussion in 'Support' started by Mike K, Jan 18, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Mike K
      Tolerant

      Mike K Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sinus Infection?
      I'm getting very anxious, impatient, restless at this sinus infection. I've had it for over ten weeks now and I'm wondering if the crackling in my Eustachian tubes is a permanent thing, meaning the tinnitus is too.

      I get reassurance from doctors but a few days later I talk myself out of what's happening. Why is it taking so long for this to go away? It builds up such a helplessness inside of me when the ringing comes back that I lash out and can't control my body sometimes (i.e. pulling my hair, hitting my head). I've been prescribed amoxicillin (a month ago) and prednisone (1-2 weeks ago) and it seems like it's been helping but there are occasions where the ringing will come back.

      I'm just so tired of this, and I feel as if I'm annoying when I bring it up to anyone, including here. Im really having a hard time battling my anxiety right now.
       
    2. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      I'm not sure what I am about to write will offer reassurance, but my tinnitus "appears" to have been caused by systemic inflammation from a prescription drug allergy. As the inflammation in my sinuses was so slow to develop, I didn't really notice how bad it was getting until my ears were really bad.

      I have had terrible sinus pressure, headaches, cracking, popping (sometimes, they sound like gun shots they are so loud), waking up with liquid in my ears - I could press around my ear with my finger and hear squelching inside. Also, when lying down for more than a few minutes, every swallow would result in a vacuum feeling in my right ear, followed by a thud that sounded like it was echoing throughout my skull.

      This has been going on for over a year now and I too have had the sleepless nights, the tears, beating my head etc as my ear is screaming away. However, over the course of the last few weeks, I have noticed that the tubes seem to be opening a bit. When lying down, I get nights where my ears feel less full and I only occasionally hear the loud thud when I swallow. Even now, if I open my jaw wide, I can feel (and if I open my mouth and look at my throat with a torch, see) thick liquid draining from somewhere in my sinuses.

      No, I am not free of tinnitus, but the apparent cause of the tinnitus seems to be reducing a little, albeit incredibly slowly. Doctors quoted numbers like 6 weeks as the time for ETD to resolve, but they really don't know (they were quoting 6 weeks when I had already had it for 3 months!). Tiny subtleties in individual anatomy can make a huge difference to progress, but at 34 and never having had an ear problem before in my life, I certainly don't regard myself as predisposed to this sort of thing in any way.

      Maybe, once this has fully cleared up, it will begin to settle more, I honestly don't know, but from my experience, this can take an absolute age to resolve.
       
    3. Mike K
      Tolerant

      Mike K Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sinus Infection?
      This is indeed insightful, thanks for the response! I too have never had any ear problems in my life. Around late November/early December I would get a cold, and in the last 2 years they were gone within days. I have no doubt that my excessive weed-smoking contributed to my overall health taking a sever dip these last couple of months, especially since when I first started the hear the ringing, I still smoked during the next 2-3 days.

      I believe my immune system took a break and this infection took control of my sinuses. Just like yours, it came on very slowly and is taking a long time to go away. I can feel more relief now than I felt weeks ago, but every morning I wake up feeling pretty stuffy. The popping in my right ear has gotten better, yet at times I do get that vacuum feeling when I swallow. Usually it's in my left ear where the tinnitus is almost always apparent, but sometimes my right feels plugged. Just like a normal cold where you can't breathe through one nostril, it changes sides so that leads me to believe that the tinnitus is caused by the inflammation and irritation.

      Good vibes fro both of us that it goes away completely ASAP, especially for you as you have been enduring it for much longer.
       
    4. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      I'd suggests staying off the weed. The cilia in the Eustachian tube are supposed to beat in a particular rhythm in order to aid drainage of the fluid. Viruses and infections can damage or disrupt this rhythm, but research has suggested that smoking can also affect it (as can acid-reflux as the stomach gases find their way into the nasal cavity, so stay off indigestion inducing foods as well).

      Some people are born with non-functioning cilia, in which case it is called Primary ciliary dyskinesia, but it is pretty rare and I'm not suggesting you have it as you would have known about it a long time ago. However, if you look it up and what the symptoms are, you will see a lot of familiar symptoms - giving credence to blocked tubes being part of the problem.
       
    5. Mike K
      Tolerant

      Mike K Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sinus Infection?
      Haven't touched the stuff in over a month now ;) In a way tinnitus caused me to quit the habit of smoking constantly. I believe that since I started 2 years ago and smoked daily, it really knocked my immune system over time, so it couldn't fight this new infection. Last night while taking a bath I actually heard a heartbeat pretty loudly in my left ear, but not my right! I've heard this before but usually it was in both ears. I can feel my right clearing up, or at least it is a lot easier to unplug if it does plug back up. Last night I didn't hear ringing for a couple of hours (it came in and out but very softly).

      It was interesting to read about PCD, but I don't believe my symptoms match. I really only have postnasal drip and plugged ears, which both seem to be getting better. I'm not planning a party quite yet but I think that things are really looking up. I wake up still feeling a bit stuffy but that's gotta be due to breathing through the mouth over night, drying up the nasal cavity. I'm ingesting steam, drinking tea and water, and taking my vitamins, so I'm hopeful that I can really kick my immune system into gear! I've never been sick for this long before, let alone had this kind of sickness. It's taught me a lot about taking care of myself, which is great :)

      Just one question: Would you say that the cilia in my E-tubes are damaged? And if so, can they be repaired? I don't believe they are damaged, but most likely were affected by the virus or whatever infected me.
       
    6. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      I'm not a doctor, so can't offer specific advice, but I do work in metrology research, so am used to conducting and testing hypotheses - it just so happens that I have become my own test subject.

      It's a good question and one I ponder myself. Truthfully, I don't even know how you would go about assessing if damage has occurred - my GP thought that unless the ear is full of fluid, then the tubes are working fine. The bangs, cracks and nasal discharge were "normal", so it seems unlikely he would be able to offer anything useful.

      To give a very brief history about my tinnitus, it started in my left ear - which initially felt bunged up and then for some reason transferred over to the right and ceased to be in the left. I reason that this might be because I switched the side I was sleeping on in order to expose my left ear to the noises in the room to help me mask it and in doing so, more drainage gravitated to my right ear and inflamed that one.

      Before this occurred and it was only in my left ear, it was almost like a ball bearing was stuck in the ear, so lying on the opposite side and poking and prodding around my ear and extending out my jaw, I could make it reduce in volume, as if it was rolling down into the middle of my head and once it got to the centre, it silenced - really odd. As I'm sure you can imagine though, explaining this to an ENT earned me the oddest of looks.

      Anyway, the point is that I haven't had any serious tinnitus in my left ear for over a year now. I get the occasional tinkle that can last up to an hour (sounds like Morse code), but I almost know when it is going to happen, as I can feel that ear starting to become more clogged and cracking more than normal, but the tinnitus is at a fairly low volume, such that I can only hear it in a silent room, so it doesn't really bother me - sadly the right ear continues to irritate me to death some days, but again, I can feel it getting fuller before it gets louder.

      ETD can occur for a whole raft of reasons, ranging from inflammation inside, or around the tubes, excess mucus, thickened mucus, (these all being the most common causes), tumours (normally benign and rare, so 99% of people needn't even consider this one), polyps near the nasopharynx/ET junction, oversized adenoids blocking the tubes, etc.

      In my case, there isn't and never really was any suspicion of viral or bacterial infection, but rather an inflammatory response being the apparent cause. I know for sure that this has caused inflammation in the turbinates, as these sometimes swell to a point that I cannot breath at all through my nose and when this occurs, the volume of the tinnitus in my right ear increases significantly.

      To return to the question though, regeneration of the cilia in the lungs has been heavily researched and they do, over time repair, but numbers I have seen range from days to months. I guess it is a few days to start to reverse, but can be months before being normal or close to normal - which logically depends on the severity of the original insult, e.g. how bad the infection was, of course assuming that they were even damaged in the first place and were not just overwhelmed by mucus etc. I certainly don't think it is something you should worry about.

      To finish on a positive note, for the past 5 of 7 nights, I have woken in the morning to silence. Not some brief moment while my brain tries to find it (which I have experienced in the past), but more than 15 minutes of it being absent and even if I listen for it, it simply is not there. It was not until I started to yawn and move about that I can hear and feel the movement of fluid and the noise returns. Maybe, just maybe, I will be one of the people able to post on this site that it has finally gone - I really hope so.

      I hope to hear that yours eventually sorts itself out too.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Mike K
      Tolerant

      Mike K Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sinus Infection?
      That was all very informative! You sound well-versed on the topic and I appreciate you sharing that with me. I too wake up in the morning and can't really hear the ringing, but my ears feel plugged as does my nose slightly, ad my throat has mucus in it. I have not had a runny nose the entire time, all of the mucus has just been running down my throat so I'm led to believe that the inflammation/mucus production is deep in the back of the nasal cavity, and that's what is making my eustachian tube feel plugged! My right plugs up maybe twice a day for around 5 minutes, and the left is the exact opposite.

      Over the last 3 days I haven't heard ringing 40-50% of the time and the other fraction of the time it has been very very low and only in the left ear. I have a similar experience with the sound changing ears when laying down. Laying on my left side is when I am most aware of it, and if I roll over to my right the T rolls into my right ear. When laying in the "middle" I can still hear it a bit in my left but it's not as noticeable.

      If it is the fluid that is aggravating our ears, I'm hopeful that it will indeed drain in time! It's just a matter of how long it'll take. I'm confident that since there are instances of you not hearing the ringing at all, it will go away for you as well. I've been doing more self-talk, encouraging my body to beat this and letting it know that I have confidence in my immune system to knock out this postnasal drip/plugged ear annoyance/tinnitus. I believe it helps me stay positive and allows the positive energy to be the fuel my body needs to recover.

      Best of luck!
       
    8. truesilence

      truesilence Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      Do you think that smoking can give you T??? Can ETD inflammation be detected in MRI??
       
    9. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      I wouldn't like to comment as to whether or not tinnitus can be caused by smoking directly, although smoking does cause circulatory disorders and there is a link between circulatory disorders and tinnitus due to narrowing of the tiny capillary vessels in the ears. Also, there is a link between smoking and Eustachian tube disorders and Eustachian tube disorders and tinnitus, so I suppose indirectly, there are connections, but the odd, recreational cigarette is unlikely to be linked - I'm pretty sure the research is for heavy smokers, for a prolonged period.

      ETD problems are largely characterised by symptoms such as cracking and popping ears, fluid filling the ear inside the ear drum - so it is not visible, or draining out of the ear, it drains down the nose and into the throat - pain in the ear, full feelings, pressure, itching, sometimes linked with sinus pressure - these are just some of the symptoms I can personally say I have had. I woke up on 2 separate occasions with my ear filled with fluid that I could physically squelch around by pressing near my jaw and in front of my ear. Sometimes when I swallow, it is genuinely like a whip cracking next to my ear, it is that loud - my partner can hear it sitting on the sofa next to me, so it is a very real sound and when those noises are louder, my tinnitus is also worse.
       
    10. Fungus
      Dreaming

      Fungus Member

      Location:
      Wild, Wet and Wooly Wales
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus?
      Mike K, here's hoping your ETD is going to disappear.It is a not-well-understood topic.

      I don't know if smoking (tobacco,weed or anything else) directly causes tinnitus, but tobacco smoke does paralyse cilia in the respiratory tract.

      Can inflammation in the Eustachian tube be seen on MRI....doubt it as the tube is so tiny and is generally in the closed/collapsed state until we swallow, Valsalva etc.

      I developed ETD after a very trivial viral infection in October 2014 with no background history of any ear troubles. Initial popping/squeaking/crackling noises were replaced by inability to 'pop' the ears associated with a sense of intense pressure and tinnitus. Recurrent infections ensued and grommets were inserted...pressure symptoms relieved, but nothing else. I also had the nasty sinus symptoms with a foul post-nasal drip and thick head. 6 different antibiotics and I still had the symptoms (and probably now have multi-resistant bacteria everywhere!)

      ETD in association with upper respiratory infections is very common and usually resolve with a matter of weeks, but, like you, Mike, that didn't happen for me.

      My grommets were replaced by permanent T-tubes as my ETD hadn't improved.

      There is some signs that my ETD is slowly subsiding, though. When I swallow I hear bubbling in my worst ear and a normal little 'click' from the right ear. My post nasal drip has also resolved.

      So there is hope even after a very long time....I'm still hopeful.

      Fungus.
       
    11. Mike K
      Tolerant

      Mike K Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sinus Infection?
      Thanks for your input! It's good to hear that your ETD is slowly disappearing. As far as I can remember, I don't remember having any ETD early on in my sinus infection; it only occurred within the last couple of weeks. The last three days my tinnitus has either been extremely low (and I mean very low, only in my left ear) or not there at all. In fact, it's been gone around 75% of the time so far today! I also have more occasions where my ears make the clicking noise at a normal level. Very rarely does my left ear not make the noise. My postnasal drip is still here but seems to be subsiding. Everything seems to be working itself out, so I would imagine that my ears/eustachian tube will return to normal very soon. I pray that I don't have any ETD problems once I get over this congestion. I wake up in the morning feeling pretty plugged, especially in my ears, but a shower sorts that out quickly. Tea and plenty of water also helps out a lot.

      I notice sometimes that my ears feel as if they are being tugged back, and I'm not sure what this is. Perhaps it is my ears adjusting to a normal pressure again? I really noticed it when I was chewing gum and it went away as soon as I stopped. Since I've been trying to pop my ears for weeks it's caused my jaw to have a little inflammation as well. My ears feel slight pressure every so often throughout the day but again, I think they are returning to normalcy.

      Just like you I normally hear a louder click in my worse ear and the normal soft click in my right! I think we both had pretty nasty infections, possibly from allergenic mold, and it has taken our bodies a very long time to fight and recover. Mine has lasted 10 weeks! The tinnitus during that time had been on and off, heightened and lowered, but I can finally not hear it much at all. It feels great to hear the silence. I hope the same happens for you, and we both get healthy again!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      Well, I woke up this morning with a really blocked up nose on the right hand side - tinnitus wasn't too bad though.

      Once I'd been up for a while, it seemed to loosen and then, when blowing my nose (WARNING GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION) what is probably best described as chartreuse green jelly came out of my nasal cavity.

      All my life I have been told that this colour in mucus indicates infection is present. I'm really not sure what to make of the fact that my doctor insists there isn't any infection!?!?
       
    13. Mike K
      Tolerant

      Mike K Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sinus Infection?
      Grosssssss haha, but hey maybe there is an infection! I don't recall my ENT saying to me straight up "YOU UAVE A SINUS INFECTION" but he said that my sinuses were enflamed and swollen, and gave me prednisone. Maybe the same goes for you! Interesting your doctor wouldn't recognize it though.

      Awesome to hear the ringing isn't there! I went basically the entire day yesterday with no ringing, minus the instance where I drank caffeinated soda. My ears still feel a bit plugged every so often and crackle, but I have a feeling it is getting better. It seems pretty obvious that mucus is just having trouble getting out of the tubes, and is causing that crackling sound. Not sure if I can hear ringing in bed right now due to the fan that's on, but after I take a shower I'll see where I am at. It was so peaceful not to hear it.

      I hope you can get into your doc and possibly get treated!
       
    14. Hotaru
      Depressed

      Hotaru Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12-15-15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      URI/ETD
      I'm asking the same question, Mike K. I'm on my third antibiotic, second steroid and I'm eating EXTREMELY HEALTHY and it's not going away. The ENT I went to didn't even look in my left ear or down my nose or throat, didn't even think to test the crud in my ears for infection. He was even like, "I'm not worried about your T." And now I have glue ear.
       
    15. Mike K
      Tolerant

      Mike K Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sinus Infection?
      It's a shame that some doctors aren't considerate of their patient's worries. That's insane that the ENT didn't do any of that; what's the point of the Doctor having a job then??

      Have you tried steam? Breathing in steam has helped me. My right ear feels better and my left is coming along slowly; the tinnitus is virtually gone but I just want me ears to stop popping so loudly. They aren't "loud" but they're louder than normal...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. Richard westwood

      Richard westwood Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear blockage
      I had a severe sudden build up of wax in both ears to the point I was virtually deaf ....it came on suddenly possibly in response to a virus and after softening the wax using drops I had them shringed out and after that I still had fullness and extreme tinnitus ......at first I thought it would pass after a couple of days but it didn't and after researching it I realised I had blocked tubes as a result of what had happened earlier ......I had all the symptoms ...tapping in one ear ....a sense I was partly deaf ...like I'd lost about 15% of my hearing ....extreme ringing in none or both ears which was more noticeable at night or quiet moments ...........I decided to be pro active and took an antihistamine in case it was allergy related .....also I tipped boiling water into a bowl and added a good tsp vicks vapour rub .... (menthol paste).....then put large towel over your head and seal yourself in over the bowl (creating like a steam tent over the bowl using the towel)...and breath the steam and Vicks vapours in deeply .....if the steam feels too hot let it cool slightly until it feels comfortable as you don't want to burn yournose ........stay under the towel at least 10 mins pref more ....and every 4 mins cover one nostril and blow hard to make your ear pop then cover other nostril and repeat ........do this two or three times whilst breathing the steam ........straight away i noticed a definate improvement in my symptoms from day one and repeating this two or three times a day for 1 week .....the tinnitus subsided completely and the fullness in my ear was gone .......well worth a try as the I know the misery it can cause .....
       
      • Like Like x 1
    17. Boy Helios

      Boy Helios Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      it took about a month for me. happened after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

      ETD can cause severe tinnitus. I had T from from sudden hearing loss in my left ear, but after hyperbaric I suffered ETD which caused raging T in both ears. it subsided after my ears cleared up

      PSEUDO EPHEDRINE really helps.. and taking a plane ride to unplug the ears may help as well.
       
    18. The Red Viper
      Angry

      The Red Viper Member Team Research

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 15, 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Current Theory: Leftover infection ETD + neck muscle injury
      To all the peeps on this thread: Do you find that your nasal passages and the back of your throat are dry? Are you producing enough mucus?

      The reason I ask is because for many months now, I have not been able to produce the "normal" amount of mucus in my nose. Usually I'll have boogers and/or mucus. Now I only have a clear, watery discharge when it's cold or I sneeze. I have only had phlegm on two occasions (outside of one extraordinary day where I caught a cold). I believe that this is why the back of my throat is dry. I also think it may be linked to my ETD because without mucus, the tubes would "stick" together and make them harder to open by normal swallowing. I understand too much mucus can clog them, but too little seems to be bad as well. Finally, I think this may be related to my T for the same reasons.

      Curious to hear what you guys think...
       

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