Crackling in ears, tight throat, left neck and head pain, swollen lymph node

Posted , 8 users are following.


I was wondering if anyone else has experienced these symptoms. I had eustachian tube dysfunction almost 3 months ago. That got better but I still have crackling in both ears. I then had severe tension headaches for a week. Those have been gone for a few weeks. I still have pain in my left neck and tenderness on the left side of my of my scalp to the back of my head. The doctor says it's muscle tension. I do have a swollen lymph node on my neck but the doctor said it is fine but can be painful. I can hear a grinding noise in my neck(its weird). I have a lump in my throat which can seem bigger at times. I had a little bit of anxiety prior to this but now it's blown up. I was on 10 mg of celexa for the last month and just switched to 20mg a few days ago. I've been to my doctors 5 times and saw 3 ENTs. They all say it's nothing serious but I can't seem to accept that. I'm losing my mind about it. Has anyone else had similar symptoms?

0 likes, 9 replies

9 Replies

  • Posted

    What you describe is extremely similar to me.  After dealing with this for several years, and more than that to lesser degrees over the previous years, I have come to believe that "ETD" is more or less an umbrella term that has its basic problems, but then manifests in different ways.  If you look through the posts in this forum, you will see a variety of ways that ETD manifests.  What you describe is seen in other posts by some others, and I have almost exactly what you have.  Some days, the lump in my throat is worse than others.  Scalp pain and sensitivity comes and goes.  The tightness in my neck and the "grinding" is more of a constant.  Tension headaches, yes.  I have tinnitus to varying degrees.

    Over the last year or so, things have gotten much better.  Two ENTs were more or less ambivalent; however, I have had chronic ear issues throughout my life due to cleft palate repair and lots of ear infections, so the ear problems are going to be there.  I did have the battery of audiology tests, ruling out that sort of tumor, and allergy tests, which ruled out any allergies.  So, I have read up on others' issues and done some trial and error and found some things that I think work.

    As I believe that much of this is muscle tension, I have tried to acknowledge where stress and anxiety are in my life.  My job provides a constant source of secondary trauma of the most evil sort and primary trauma and stress due to its nature. Therefore, I exercise often and have committed to more sleep.  That has helped more than you would think.  I've also tried to acknowledge the sources of my stress and deal directly with them.  I did try accupuncture, which seemed to help, but I do not know if it was to the extent that it was worth the cost.  I took the steroid sprays and used nasal rinses, which only gave me a fuller feeling in my head, aggravating things; the steroid spray actually made me much more anxious and gave me lots of brain fog, making things worse.  I will use Sudafed on really moist, humid days, but I try not to make a habit of it.  And, a few glasses of bourbon or Irish whiskey seem to help, too; however, not in excess, of course.  I limit dairy because of its tendency to thicken mucous, which I think contributes to the thickness, lumps, etc. in my throat.  I've tried to go without gluten, but I do not think that is an issue with me, as I felt no different with or without it.

    While it may not be a serious issue to a doctor who is focusing on a diagnosis that is serious to him/her, it is serious to you when you are walking through it.  However, understand that it is not life-threatening, if that helps.  Look for ways to try to relax the neck, shoulders, and back muscles, as I think that is was is causing the tension, feeding into the ET area.  I hope this helps.  You're not alone, but be careful of the advice given on forums.  Not because the folks here are bad or anything, but it manifests itself in different ways and has different sources.  For many, the steroid sprays help because it addresses the cause, while for me, they made it much worse.  I have yet to see anybody on this forum or anywhere else say that balloon dilation surgery has permanently helped.  What has helped me is healthy, reasonable exercise and rest, rest, and more rest.  I've also enjoyed the demolition project (banging things and destroying them) in the renovation project my wife and I have begun.  Which, comes back to eliminating  stress that is creating tension.  

    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the response! I have been having terrible anxiety about all of this. It gives me tremendous relief to know that I'm not alone with these symptoms. Did you ever develop hyperacusis? I have that and it is probably the worst part of it.

    • Posted

      Ya, usually finding someone who can relate to you helps since you know you're not going crazy.  As for hyperacusis, I cannot really say that I've definitely had it, although at its worst times, my tinnitus can make me more sensitive to certain types of noises.

  • Posted

    Nasal sprays such as flonase is a try and see for all, but not to be ruled out because if a few who it doesn't help. I for one am helped tremendously, along with relaxation and diet. But I have been diagnosed with ETD, so that is why I do the flonase, which is not addictive according to my ENT. He is the one who put me on it. But your issues are right along in with the ETD issues. Many of us with similar symptoms as yours us many more.

  • Posted

    Hi your story sounds extremely similar to what I have been going through. I have had those same symptoms for over two years now. It all started when I used a Neti Pot which was not cleaned properly. I have seen multiple ENT doctors who haven't been of any help. They diagnosed me with ETD and said that they can insert tubes or i can deal with it for the rest of my life. This is something that I can not accept. The symptoms i have are quite debilitating and are preventing me from working properly and are causing severe depression. I have tried nasal sprays, nasal rinses and anti allergy medications but nothing helps. I am wondering have you found a treatment that worked? One person in the comments list talks about stress and muscle tension, which is something I definitely suffer from. I am considering trying an antibiotic next.

    • Posted

      Did you ever get this figured out? I have similar symptoms and I have used a navage which is similar to a neti pot. I have extreme nasal/sinus dysfunction as well as eustachian tube dysfuntion. i now get painful ears and a ton of crackling and pain in my head and neck.

  • Posted

    I have the exact same symptoms as you have, except my ETD never got better. I went to an ENT a couple of weeks ago and they are going to test me on allergies, but I have the feeling that this has nothing to do with it. I am not that far down the line yet since the ENT only prescribed me steroid nasal sprays so far. Did you ever find out what causes all of this and what to do to improve the symptoms? I've had this for months, and at this rate I feel like I will have ETD forever.

  • Posted

    My husband has been suffering from ear fullness (left ear) and tinnitus for 3+ years. he thought is was a result of a virus (it all all started after a 3 week "cold". His brain fog is getting worse . He has been to specialists who say his hearing is within normal range. He had MRI which was apparently normal. He has had a history of eustation tube dysfunction since he was a child. He is a healthy 60 years old (6' tall, 165 lbs, exercises frequently).

    Doctors will not help further, because they think he is "technically normal."

    I think it could be caused by TMJ + maybe neck pain/misalignment. Or a swollen thyroid that can affect drainage?

    glad to find this forum. I hope we can all help find a solution

    • Posted

      did you find any answers? i would hate to deal with this for the rest of my life.

      i feel like i have some virus or infection too. is your husband sensitive to barometric pressure changes? (I also learned i have tmj recently) and also have neck issues. trying to figure this out is maddening.

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