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Ear Pressure and Jaw Joint Pain
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Ear Pressure and Jaw Joint Pain

Over the past several years I have developed ear infections in my left ear in the winter. Taking antibiotics always helped with this. Last year I started taking Clairitin-D everyday in the winter which helped to prevent the ear-aches and relieve ear pressure. This year the pain worsened in the winter despite taking the Clairitin-D. I eventually went to see an ENT to make sure I didn't have another ear infection (would have been my fourth in three years) and to see if there was anything else to take besides Clairitin-D. He said it didn't look like I had an infection, a little scar tissue in there but looks more like allergies, so he prescribed me Nasonex.

I will admit I only used the Nasonex for about a week. I don't necessarily like taking something every single day (part of the reason I went to see the ENT - to be off the Clairitin-D). I am still taking my Clairitin-D every day and about half of the days I can get my ear to eventually "pop." In the past week, I have found my jaw on my left side (same as bad ear) right at the joint is now in pain. It hurts to talk (or sing in my car on the way home from work). It is more of a dull pain. The pressure in my ear has also been stronger lately and more bothersome, takes longer to pop and isn't popping as often.

Is it possible they are related? I don't want to go back to my ENT and just be told to keep using Nasonex...not sure how that would help my jaw. I'm also not convinced its allergies. I feel like it has more to do with the air pressure (Illinois weather is crazy) and my eustachian tube not opening enough.

Other random notes about myself: I do not have any known allergies. I can still breathe fine (no congestion in my nose). It ONLY happens in the winter. All of my ear infections have been in the fall/winter. During the summer I never have any issues. I'm 26-years old.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Anything?

Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Understand your predicament.
Clairitin-D has antihistamines and will help to prevent allergic reactions. Nasonex also helps relieve congestion. Both these medications help with seasonal allergies. Nasonex is a steroid nasal spray, the steroid content is minimal and will help prevent allergic episodes. You can continue with this and also consult an allergy specialist, he may be able to desensitize you. With this also do warm salt water gargles and steam inhalations, they may help with the congestion.

Now, considering your symptoms of point tenderness and pain on opening the mouth, your symptoms could be due to temporomandibular (TMJ) joint arthritis. This is the jaw joint and inflammation of this joint can cause pain on opening the mouth and tenderness on palpating behind the ear. As you have had a recent throat inflammations, it could also be a lymph node enlargement. If the pain is persistent, you will have to consult your doctor for an assessment.  You can use OTC Acetaminophen for relief from pain.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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