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Hi. I've trawled the internet for forums on ETD and at last found one. I started to get symptoms in my right ear just before Christmas. So off I went to see the nurse, thinking it was earwax. She said both ears were clear. So I left it over the holiday until the symptoms became more persistent.

I went to see the GP on 2nd January. He suggested I had Eustachian tube dysfunction and prescribed a steroid nasal spray and advised using steam. If I was no better in 3 weeks I'm to go back. I've had all sorts of weird sensations. Ear fullness, pressure, ringing, and sensitivity to noise. Washing up is a nightmare with everything clattering. I don't need to watch the weather forecast now, I just go by my ear which builds up this massive pressure.

I have a long standing anxiety/depression diagnosis and it seems to thrive on this ETD. Oh another thing I was reading was that ETD can be triggered by rapid weight loss. Well I've dropped about 3.5st since October 2018 but still weigh about 19.5st. I've thought about stuffing my face again just to get rid of this but that's worse than having this ETD.

Does anyone know any answers to this? Its really getting me down now. All the best to everyone here who are suffering.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Andrew , actually weight GAIN can cause ETD as fatty deposits can build up behind the ears and so restrict the tubes , like Hee-Young said it can cause PATULOUS tube dysfunction if you lose weight too quickly as the tube then opens up and can stay open

    I have had ETD since July and I was in daily pain for 4 months with is so now I get occasional pain as I picked up a cold virus which made my ears worse but ETD is a SLOW HEALING condition and I find the best thing I can do for my ears is RELAX , honestly , switch my brain off , distract myself with a good binge session of Netflix series or comedies and do not stress as stress 100% makes it worse , it is like the mucus etc needs to drain and the more your body relaxes the more it can drain and if the body is tense it makes it worse

    I have tried everything under the sun practically , every herbal supplement , vitamin , Otovent , chewing gum , sucking sweets , drinking tons of fluids etc and for me I have still found the MAIN thing which works for me in this 'recovery process' is real rest and relaxation , then on top of that I find sucking on sweets can help , as can yawning a huge yawn even if a fake one , lots of swallowing ( hence the sweets ) very gentle excercise like walking ( but not too much or overdoing or over exertion ) and I even find riding in the back of a car with not good suspension I think it helps shake everything down a little , the same with the gentle walking but TIME is the healer as well as letting the body heal itself with plenty of rest , sleep and a stress free outlook as I honestly feel mine STARTED due to stress and I had / have sinus problems and acid reflux as well which all started around the same time and all after a long period of some chronic stress and everything hit me at once health wise which was a message for me to slow down , heal , destress and for me also I have started eating healthier and am recently losing some weight , slowly , due to lifestyle change / choice and wanting to eat healthy now as I comfort ate due to the stress but now it is time for RECOVERY in general and in every may , the main one for me being a mental recovery which I feel goes hand in hand with the physical

    So go with your body and relax as much as possible and let it mend , it is frustrating but getting upset does not change it and it just makes it worse , so think about positive things , think about doing therapeutic things you enjoy and which helps relax you like walking somewhere pretty in nature , being happy we can still hear the sounds of the birdsong and knowing that you WILL recover from this as one thing this has taught me is to REST and switch my brain off so all of me can repair and I have never relaxed so 'deep' as this but it is like a luxury to stop and just be and do nothing but the 'basics' of the day which need to be done , everything else is relaxing and letting my body heal and indulging in that even as life is ''all go'' otherwise and it is not until we stop when everything catches up with us even health wise do we realise we need to stop and let ourselves HEAL 😃

  • Posted

    I have had the same issue....

    ear pressure, tinnitus... constantly having to swallow to relieve the pressure. it is debilitating at times.

    I found significant relieve from the ear pressure and a some lessening on the tinnitus after I started doing a sinus rinse daily. just google "sinus rinse" or go to a local drug store and ask for a kit.

    are your sinuses bothering you at all? if not, still try it. My sinus were not congested either, but once I started the rinses, I think it helped thin and allow the mucus in my Eustachian tubes to drain my easily.

    Let me know if it helps you

  • Posted


    I started having symptoms of ETD in my right ear at 18 years old, at 21 (and many tears later) I finally went back to my ENT as the symptoms had only gotten PERSISTENTLY worse and began in my left ear as well. (After a pressure test and a hearing test, they realized that I was loosing hearing in my right ear and the pressure in my head was off.) My ENT put PE tubes in my ears, and I would say I am mostly healed. I got the tubes in June 2018, and my left one just fell out the other day. (My right ear is still in tact and working.) Some days there is slight discomfort, or an "echo-y" sound, but other than that I feel like I am mostly cured. If you have the option I would opt for tubes in your ears because after three straight years of crying every day, I have finally found relief.

    PS. When I had to go on nasal spray as a potential solve to ETD, it made my ears hurt worse than they ever had before.

    Hope this helps!

  • Posted

    Hee-young, carole, afrederi and paige, thank you so much for your very helpful replies!! You feel so alone with this sometimes but knowing there are others who know what this feels like, that makes such a difference.

    I've googled loads of stuff since this kicked off which I has sent my anxiety rocketing. Why I do it I don't know, well I do, its looking for reassurance but most of the stuff I read is scary. When it started I thought 'hearing loss', but after doing a dozen or more online hearing tests, they nearly all came up with 'normal range'. In fact one said my hearing was above average for someone my age, I'm 54.

    Carole, yes I really need to try some kind of relaxation therapy. Or maybe Yoga? When I panic the symptoms do seem to be worse unless its my imagination. I was really pleased with myself for losing the weight, then this comes along and it feels like a kick in the teeth for trying to get healthier. I've started paying attention to hydration and drinking more water, they say it thins the mucus? Also have been using menthol crystals in hot water, is that a good thing? I will have a look for sinus rinses too afrederi, I don't seem to have any problems with mine but its worth a try.

    Thank you once again to all of you. I feel I have some hope now.

  • Posted

    Andrew the more I Googled stuff the worse I felt as it made me focus on my ears more with made the pain and discomfort worse 😦

    Yet other times when I needed support I posted on some EDT Facebook groups which DID help me but I turned off notifications as they triggered me and made me focus on my ears again and made it worse

    I find me ears / discomfort and fullness etc is worse at night and we tend to feel more alone at night especially if anything effects our sleep , so I so feel anything which helps us relax is good as yoga is good for the ears and drainage and I do feel the more fluids the better and citrus like lemons may be good but I have started drinking mainly just water all day as I feel it is the healthiest most natural drink of all which our bodies need and please keep up with the good health eating as we are worth being healthy it just takes time to get everything kicking in and working well 😃 😃

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