Eustachian Tube Dysfunction: tube is plugged

Posted by redhead63 @redhead63, Apr 14, 2020

I am a 65 year old women with Dysfunction of my tube in my left ear. I have no idea why this happen. I tried everything to get this ear unplugged. I always used plugs to wash my hair and shower. I did not have a cold or any other health problem when this happened. This happen on December 25, 2019 and I cannot get to a Doctor because of this Virus. My right ear had 3 tubes and finally I had a balloon inserted into the ear about 2 years ago and now that balloon had collapsed on the same date as the left ear. I had no problems with the left ear in the past. Can anybody tell me if they had this problem? What can I do since I cannot get in to see a Doctor. I cannot get a Doctor even to talk to me because I was told that a Doctor has to look in my ear.

Hi @redhead63, the stay home restrictions are really challenging, especially as people continue to have health issues. I'm bringing fellow members @stites @upartist @januaryjane and @imallears into this discussion in the hopes that they may have some interim solutions for you until you can get to see a doctor.

Redhead, can you explain the symptoms that you're experiencing a bit more. Do both your ears feel plugged? Is your hearing affected? What symptom is the most bothersome?

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@redhead63
I don’t have any eustachian tube dysfunction but have know people who have had tubes. I am assuming the tubes failed and then they tried balloons to keep the canal open. If the balloon collapsed then your canal is not open and your tube is clogged again. That’s what it sounds like. How did you know the ballon collapsed? You should be able to get a Telehealth conference with your Doctor. My ENT office has it. While he can’t examine your ears at least you can explain the symptoms and he can make suggestions. Can you find out if the office is using Telehealth. Even a phone consult would be better than being in limbo. I would kind of insist on that. Sorry I can’t be more helpful but I don’t want to suggest anything that would make matters worse especially since there are balloons in your canals.

FL Mary

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@colleenyoung

Hi @redhead63, the stay home restrictions are really challenging, especially as people continue to have health issues. I'm bringing fellow members @stites @upartist @januaryjane and @imallears into this discussion in the hopes that they may have some interim solutions for you until you can get to see a doctor.

Redhead, can you explain the symptoms that you're experiencing a bit more. Do both your ears feel plugged? Is your hearing affected? What symptom is the most bothersome?

Jump to this post

I have hearing loss, ringing in both ears and the left ear sounds like a machine gun going off, just for a few seconds. I have no other symptoms

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@imallears

@redhead63
I don’t have any eustachian tube dysfunction but have know people who have had tubes. I am assuming the tubes failed and then they tried balloons to keep the canal open. If the balloon collapsed then your canal is not open and your tube is clogged again. That’s what it sounds like. How did you know the ballon collapsed? You should be able to get a Telehealth conference with your Doctor. My ENT office has it. While he can’t examine your ears at least you can explain the symptoms and he can make suggestions. Can you find out if the office is using Telehealth. Even a phone consult would be better than being in limbo. I would kind of insist on that. Sorry I can’t be more helpful but I don’t want to suggest anything that would make matters worse especially since there are balloons in your canals.

FL Mary

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I only have one balloon in the right ear. I called the surgeon and his nurse said the Doctor said talking to me won’t help, he needs to look in your ears and to call back in late May. What a freken jerk of a surgeon to say that to his patient.

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@redhead63
Hi,

I would find another doctor if I were you…..that’s horrible feedback from their office. Don’t know if you were happy with him in the past. My ENT office is open to a Telehealth conference for anyone…it would billed as a consult.
My own dentist even called me a few weeks ago telling me my cleaning was cancelled and I could call him back with any questions.

I know you are in a tight spot but, if you do see him in May and this is resolved, maybe you should think about taking your business elsewhere. Knowing that you are concerned enough to have called twice should have prompted the Doctor to personally take time out and speak with you briefly.

FL Mary

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@imallears

@redhead63
Hi,

I would find another doctor if I were you…..that’s horrible feedback from their office. Don’t know if you were happy with him in the past. My ENT office is open to a Telehealth conference for anyone…it would billed as a consult.
My own dentist even called me a few weeks ago telling me my cleaning was cancelled and I could call him back with any questions.

I know you are in a tight spot but, if you do see him in May and this is resolved, maybe you should think about taking your business elsewhere. Knowing that you are concerned enough to have called twice should have prompted the Doctor to personally take time out and speak with you briefly.

FL Mary

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I will be looking for another Surgeon after my visit with him. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of Surgeons that do this particular surgery. He was recommended by a Doctor at the Cleveland Clinic. I prefer to have a Doctor in my hometown.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @redhead63, the stay home restrictions are really challenging, especially as people continue to have health issues. I'm bringing fellow members @stites @upartist @januaryjane and @imallears into this discussion in the hopes that they may have some interim solutions for you until you can get to see a doctor.

Redhead, can you explain the symptoms that you're experiencing a bit more. Do both your ears feel plugged? Is your hearing affected? What symptom is the most bothersome?

Jump to this post

Yes, both ears are plugged. I also noticed that when I am in the lying position both of my ears are trying to open, they do open a little but as soon as I sit or stand both are plugged.
Do you think this could be a flow problem?

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@redhead63, Whenever I hear of someone with eustachian problems I want to share my experience in the hope that perhaps someone else will benefit. Not one of us has the same problems but maybe my tale will help in some way. Oh, if only I can make it short! Over many years of my adult life I believe I have seen 16 different ENTs and had 40 tubes and 3 major surgeries, all right ear only. The very best are those who say, 'I don't have the answers but I will find out." Right now I have the best and am thankful. Keep looking until you can find an ENT you can partner with and make progress. Only my last 3 doctors discovered my problem was multiple spinal fluid leaks that settled in my right ear. I started getting answers when I was referred to neuro-otology. You may have fluid in your ears and if so, what is it? It's source and origin are important. My right eustachian tube was surgerically blocked 13 years ago and I haven't needed another tube! I wish you the very best. I don't know anything about balloons. Sounds interesting.

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@dorothynoz45

@redhead63, Whenever I hear of someone with eustachian problems I want to share my experience in the hope that perhaps someone else will benefit. Not one of us has the same problems but maybe my tale will help in some way. Oh, if only I can make it short! Over many years of my adult life I believe I have seen 16 different ENTs and had 40 tubes and 3 major surgeries, all right ear only. The very best are those who say, 'I don't have the answers but I will find out." Right now I have the best and am thankful. Keep looking until you can find an ENT you can partner with and make progress. Only my last 3 doctors discovered my problem was multiple spinal fluid leaks that settled in my right ear. I started getting answers when I was referred to neuro-otology. You may have fluid in your ears and if so, what is it? It's source and origin are important. My right eustachian tube was surgerically blocked 13 years ago and I haven't needed another tube! I wish you the very best. I don't know anything about balloons. Sounds interesting.

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Thank you so much for the information. What do you mean that your right ear was surgerically blocked. A balloon stent is to keep the ear functioning. Never had a problem with the left ear but now that tube is disfunctional. May I asked who figure out your cause. The name of your Doctor that actually found the cause. What were your symptoms and what should I know about spinal leak. Any symptoms with spinal leaks.
Thanks so much.

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I have eustachian tube dysfunction in both ears, it's painful. I had tubes as a child. I have some hearing loss now. It's not fun. I would request telehealth or something because we are more prone it seems to ear infections this way.

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TUBES IN EARS AT 77 ? WOULD IT HELP ?

Hello I am sure all these have been discussed before but I seem to have all of them… lived with occasional tinnitus for years that I could live with (odd ting or chirp in either ear occasionally); mild hearing loss … compensating by turning up tv etc for now; keep having to ask spouse to repeat what he says but can hear him putting kibble in dogs bowl in morning downstairs.. also our furnace and fridges coming on and off can wake me up; ears feel plugged at times and echo in ears when I talk sometimes.. but the pain is the worst thing. 2017 had really bad cold/throat and that's when first time pain in ear and its mostly right ar.
Then glaucoma diagnosis mid 2018 could not take steroids etc. and on and on it went. Had right side thyroid removed 2008. Have stringy mucus cosntantly now from right nasal cavity but least of my problems along with neuropathy etc. (and depression)
I have been waiting about 9 months for ent I saw Feb.2019 to be phoning me March 23 as cant travel out of town with ibs-d and fecal incontinenc and I am not sure what to mention first when doctor phones (as no office appointments re covid) I have pain from bowel issues but wont mention that as not under ENT.
. How he will diagnose over phone I am not sure, should I write him a letter in the meantime mentioning the above so we dont spend time talking about all this? The pain is my main concern as it lasts for several hours a few times a day and even noise hurts, although have some haring loss: I dont understand what is going on…. someone said maybe they will put tubes in my ears so I a worried, especially since if have to also have antibiotic.Anyone had this done please?

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@lacy2 It sounds like you have a number of health problems and your ear issue has been neglected due to COVID-19. You have gone a long time with pain and inconvenience. You must feel relief to finally see a provider.

You asked if you should write the provider before your video visit so you don't waste time with background information. I'm wondering if members have any strategies that have worked for them and/or suggestions?

You will notice that I moved your question into a previous related discussion. I did this so you can connect with members like @redhead63 @stites @upartist @januaryjane @dorothynoz45 @chantellk20 @imallears that can answer your regarding eustachian tube in a central location. You may also wish to scroll through the previous comments.

Have you considered calling the provider's nurse before the video visit? The nurse should write a note after your call and the information when then be part of your medical record.

Like you, I used to think eustachian tubes were only for children but I've heard a lot of adults lately that have had the procedure done successfully. I'm wondering if any members have this particular experience or know someone that has?

REPLY
@lacy2

TUBES IN EARS AT 77 ? WOULD IT HELP ?

Hello I am sure all these have been discussed before but I seem to have all of them… lived with occasional tinnitus for years that I could live with (odd ting or chirp in either ear occasionally); mild hearing loss … compensating by turning up tv etc for now; keep having to ask spouse to repeat what he says but can hear him putting kibble in dogs bowl in morning downstairs.. also our furnace and fridges coming on and off can wake me up; ears feel plugged at times and echo in ears when I talk sometimes.. but the pain is the worst thing. 2017 had really bad cold/throat and that's when first time pain in ear and its mostly right ar.
Then glaucoma diagnosis mid 2018 could not take steroids etc. and on and on it went. Had right side thyroid removed 2008. Have stringy mucus cosntantly now from right nasal cavity but least of my problems along with neuropathy etc. (and depression)
I have been waiting about 9 months for ent I saw Feb.2019 to be phoning me March 23 as cant travel out of town with ibs-d and fecal incontinenc and I am not sure what to mention first when doctor phones (as no office appointments re covid) I have pain from bowel issues but wont mention that as not under ENT.
. How he will diagnose over phone I am not sure, should I write him a letter in the meantime mentioning the above so we dont spend time talking about all this? The pain is my main concern as it lasts for several hours a few times a day and even noise hurts, although have some haring loss: I dont understand what is going on…. someone said maybe they will put tubes in my ears so I a worried, especially since if have to also have antibiotic.Anyone had this done please?

Jump to this post

Well, tubes in ears at our age is unusual, but not unheard-of. At one point in the 1980's our ENT was caring for my 2 daughters, me, a few nieces and nephews, my Dad & his brother. We ALL – ages 15 months to over 80 years – had eustachian tube dysfunction & chronic ear infections – and all had tubes inserted in our ear drums. He considered us an interesting multi-generational case study in "bad ears".
Insertion is a 5 minute, in-office procedure, but not the first effort to deal with "plugged ears" or pain.

You mentioned stringy mucus from your nasal cavity on the same side as the worst symptoms, so you may have a chronic low-level infection or inflammation in your sinus as part of the equation – be sure to share this info with your ENT – sometimes a mucus thinning medication can help. Do be sure he has your complete medical history as well, since things that seem unrelated to you and me can definitely influence each other in our bodies.

Good luck in solving your ear issues – even though it seems "small" it has a tremendous impact on quality of life.
Sue

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@erikas

@lacy2 It sounds like you have a number of health problems and your ear issue has been neglected due to COVID-19. You have gone a long time with pain and inconvenience. You must feel relief to finally see a provider.

You asked if you should write the provider before your video visit so you don't waste time with background information. I'm wondering if members have any strategies that have worked for them and/or suggestions?

You will notice that I moved your question into a previous related discussion. I did this so you can connect with members like @redhead63 @stites @upartist @januaryjane @dorothynoz45 @chantellk20 @imallears that can answer your regarding eustachian tube in a central location. You may also wish to scroll through the previous comments.

Have you considered calling the provider's nurse before the video visit? The nurse should write a note after your call and the information when then be part of your medical record.

Like you, I used to think eustachian tubes were only for children but I've heard a lot of adults lately that have had the procedure done successfully. I'm wondering if any members have this particular experience or know someone that has?

Jump to this post

@erikas thank you I have just read previous comments…. I feel as if my best bet it to put up with the pain, heating pad, crying etc. til the pain subsides….. this is so helpful reading what others have encountered first hand…. I am on no pain meds except maybe one Tylenol a week and tough it out…. many meds I have taken over the years I now read can affect hearing, cause ear problems etc, …. this ent's receptionist, has no nurse in office, is a bulldozer but with only ents in this town of 54,000 has to be I guess. I will present my "case" as best I can on March 23 and take it from there…. again having the above info is the good, the bad and the ugly…. and am going to make notes as I know he will only give me ten minutes,,,, its not even video its a PHONE CALL, UGH J.

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THANKS everyone for sharing your story/information… I have just thanked erikas too, wish me luck as I try to explain OVER THE PHONE to the ent next month J.

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