Clogged ears, tinnitus, and crackling when swallow

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Hello All,

I have been suffering for about three weeks now with my ears feeling like they are stuffed up or full, tinnitus, and every time I swallow my ears sound like they are crackling. The stuffed up feeling moves from ear to ear but mainly stays in the left. That also happens with the tinnitus. it's very loud in the left ear but will move to the right or both at the same time. I have been able to pop my right ear once and it helped with my hearing. I have had random periods of runny nose or stuffed up. Does anyone have any suggestions on what could be causing this? I have been to an ENT who did an MRI and basically told me he has no clue why my hearing went down. I have been on prednisone for two weeks with no change in my symptoms. Any help is appreciated!

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  • Posted

    sounds like you may have fluid retention in your middle ears due to the cold.  Have you tried diuretics (water pill)?  If not, discuss with your ENT and request him to give you a script for 25mg dyazide.  Give that about 3 weeks and it should help reduce symptoms.  If 25mg does not clear it up totally you may want to try 50mg.  I've been on 50mg for 10 years for my Meniere's Disease symptoms which are similar to what you are experiencing but with added symptom of vertigo.  Good luck

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    • Posted

      Hi Tanney,

      Thank you for the advice. I haven't tried any diuretics. I have only done the prednisone. The runny/stuffed up nose stuff happened after I started experiencing my left ear being clogged and ringing. Do you think that could still be linked to fluid retention?

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  • Posted

    do you have allergies?  Your symptoms sound more like allergy problems to me.  Here is what I recommend that you try before the diuretics.....

    1.  buy a nasal flush kit (over the counter) and follow directions to flush out allergens in the nasal passages...If you need a recommendation let me know.

    2.. Also purchase an allergy nasal spray like Flonase and use it following the nasal flush.

    3.  use the nasal flush and the nasal spray twice/day.

    4.  do above for two weeks at least to see if there is improvement.  If there is continue doing this nasal flush/spay until first frost.

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    • Posted

      Yes, I have allergies but I don't get them that bad or that often. I will definitely try all of that. whatever will help make my ears better. It's mostly the ringing that is driving me insane but I was told the ringing is due to my hearing going down.

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  • Posted

    one more thought about tinnitus.....stress can make it worse.  Try all of the above and you might also want to ask your regular doctor to prescribe a sedative like Ativan (Lorazepam is generic version).  0.5mg is normal dose for ear problems and this can help calm the inner/middle ears and reduce tinnitus.  It will not eliminate it but will calm things down for you.

    by the way...is your hearing loss in the low decibel range?  Do you ever get vertigo?  I'm asking this just to make sure you do not have Meniere's Disease.  If you do get vertigo and your hearing loss is in low decibel range and you have ear fullness and tinnitus then you might have MD.

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    • Posted

      Hello, 

      What would be considered a low decibel range? I have, according to ENTs, mild hearing loss at 500 (its right at 25) and an itty bitty notch at 4000 (its at 20 on left ear and 15 on right). But according to 3 audiologists, I'm within normal hearing limits. 

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    • Posted

      if audiologist says your hearing is in normal range then you are fine.  Audiologist or ENT doctor are the ones that know if hearing loss is abnormal in low decibel range.....I do not know specifically what that range is.  Meniere's Disease patients almost always have abnormal hearing loss and it is in the low range.

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    • Posted

      Will the sedative effect my mood? I don't want it to make me feel funny but then again the ringing is enough to drive me crazy. Yes, the hearing loss is in the low decibal. I have no vertigo.

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    • Posted

      I take Klonopin 0.5 mg. and cut it in half.  It doesn't make me sleepy and I don't feel any difference like a big kick in.  I just notice I'm not so anxious and my muscles have relaxed.   

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  • Posted

    My symptoms are pretty much the same minus tinnitus.  Both of my ears are affected but my right is worse.  At the beginning of this nightmare I had drainage all over my face and I could feel it moving up and down and side to side like worms under the skin.  I cringe thinking about that horrible time.  Now I just get an occasional blocked feeling behind my nose.  When that happens it makes it harder to swallow and when I do my ears occasionally click.  

    After seeing numerous doctors and having numerous tests they have narrowed my ear issues down to allergies, TMJ and muscle tightness caused by stress/anxiety.  

    Even though I don't have typical allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy ears, watering eyes I tested allergic to 38 of 50 substances tested for.  The allergist said he has one other patients like me.... allergic to everything but no symptoms other than his ears and he also has TMJ.  

    I started allergy shots recently and I am going through TMJ treatment.  It's all so crazy to me.  I get the blocked feeling behind my nose and put in my splint and it goes away.  It just doesn't make any sense but whatever works!  

    I still have problems with my ears but nothing like I did from January - June.  They started slowing improving and now they are mostly tolerable with periods of being very annoying.  

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann,

      i am am sorry to hear you are having so many difficulties. I am very glad for you that you don’t have tinnitus. That has been the worst part for me. I can handle the stuffed up feeling but the constant ringing is making me go mad. I am glad you are showing improvements. I hope it keeps getting better for you. 

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    • Posted

      The clogged ears and the weird feeling gave me horrible anxiety and I started having panic attacks.  I can't imagine what tinnitus would do to me.  sad   

      My husband was injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan and ever since he's had ringing in his ears.  He actually has a small disability rating for it through the VA.   Anyway, my 19 year old daughter mentioned hers ringing when he said something about his.  I asked her when it started and she said always.  She thought EVERYone had ringing and it was normal!  

      She can move her mouth and make her jaw pop very loudly.   It makes me nauseous when she does it!  So I am guessing her tinnitus is jaw related.  When I finally get set up with a new neuromuscular dentist (mine retired) I am going to take her too.  She won't know how to act without the ringing if they can fix it.  

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    • Posted

      The tinnitus to me is the worst part. I can handle the clogged ears but the ringing is making me mad. I am sorry to hear about your anxiety. My sister suffers from that so I know how bad it can be. Hopefully they will be able to fix your daughters ringing and she will finally be able to know it's like to not have ringing ears.

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