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Plugged ears. Can anyone help?
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Plugged ears. Can anyone help?

Hello, I have been with plugged ears for 11 years. I have learned to deal with it but with frustration. Both ears are plugged, crackling noises when I swallow and I have sort of a "fuzzy" head due to what I think is my equalibrium being off from the plugged ears. It has caused a kind of confused state of mind for me even though I am still fully functioning. I had went to several doctors and ENT specialists about 10 years ago but they did not have a solution that worked. Kind of gave up hope. Any suggestions or doctors you could reccomend would be helpful?  
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Avatar_f_tn
Get off of all milk products - not one little cheat.  Give it about a week and you will probably finally get rid of the plugged feeling.  I've tried this experiment several times.  It usually takes 4-5 days for me to get relief.
No butter, yogurt, ice cream, milk, cheese, or non-dairy coffee creamer (it has protein from milk).  After staying off of it, I would feel a trickling in both my eustachian tubes and was suddenly able to hear more clearly.  I started this milk free diet after reading that milk is the #1 food to consider in kids with recurrent ear problems.

Another food group to consider is gluten.  Get off of all gluten containing products.  I eat meat, fish, veggies, fruits, rice and potatoes.  Stay away from wheat, barley, rye and oats.  I found that this food group was causing irritation to my nerve in my ears.  But milk was the guilty party with the muffling.
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Avatar_f_tn
Please remember to come back to this site to let me know if you got relief.  We need to collect data so we can help one another get relief.  

Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the comment. I am starting today deleting all milk from my diet and I will check back in with my results in a week. I am open to trying all remedies.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been dealing with blocked ears for 6 months and had PE tubes inserted this past week.  It's been 2 day since the surgergy and my symtoms (symptoms) are worse.  My ears feel more swollen, I have minor headaches and some pain.  I hope this will all subside and I'll let you know if they eventually work.

I've tried a bunch of antibiotics, a medrol steroid pack, and nasal sprays (all prescribed by my ENT).  None of these worked.  I know I don't have any answers yet, but I thought I'd at least share what didn't work for me so that you are cautious about how you spend your medical budget on medications and procedures and consider the risks and possible side effects.  

I am going to try eliminating dairy based on what some posters have suggested and let everyone know how that goes.

I moved to Atlanat 2 years ago, so I suspect it's environmental, but I don't have the 'typical' allergy symtoms (symptoms).

Good Luck to you.  I empathize with your pain and discomfort.

Terry
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the comment. I also don't have typical allergy symptoms other than the plugged ears. I hope you can find what is causing this for you. I will update this forum after each thing I try until hopefully something will help. Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
I was wondering how the milk-free diet was going.  Are you able to stick with it?  It looks like you started it Friday - so it's been about 72 hours or 3 days.  

I never asked you if the doctors gave you steroids before and at what dose?  I was given Prednisone starting at 60 mg a day.  They would try to taper me off and could only go as low as 40 mg per day.  I had some relief of muffling between 40 and 60 mg, but couldn't go below that or else I would muffle up.    They finally had to take me off of it (long term steroids aren't good for the body) and that's when I tried diet relief - which worked better than high dose steroids.  I got complete relief of muffling with milk elimination.  You don't know how badly I hope this works for you.  

Keep plugging away!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi again. Yes I am sticking with it to a T. I have been checking all labels to make sure there is no milk in anything I eat. Surprisingly milk is in more stuff than you would think. No relief yet but I am going to take it to Friday to give it a full week. At the very least I can start creating a list of things that are not causing this for when I return to seeing doctors. I don't remember about the steroids. I plan to make an inquiry about my medical records at the ENT specialist I went to 10 years ago. I hope they still have my records.

In a different direction I have made an appointment with the family chiropractor but it is not until March 12th. I was told that he may be able to help with plugged ears. Seems crazy but I will keep trying things until something can give relief. Thank you for your continued interest. I will keep checking in as I go.
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Avatar_f_tn
I didn't get any relief whatsoever until approx. day #5.  It literally opens up within a few seconds.  

I think it's great that you're trying a chiropractor.  I've heard of the strangest things being fixed in a chiropractor's hands - the strangest of all being allergies - go figure.  That's why I like these forums.  It just goes to show all of us that one disease can have so many different root causes and cures.  

Keep plugging away....or should I say "may your plugging go away!"  LOL.

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Avatar_f_tn
I'm assuming the diet didn't help or you probably would have thought to update this forum!  I hope the chiropractor does the trick.

Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello again. Unfortunately the diet didn't work. One good thing is that it is another thing I can check off that isn't the culprate. If it was, that may have been a tough diet to keep. :) Chiropractor is next plan. Any other suggestions would be great. Thanks.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was just looking up a site about CHIARI MALFORMATION, just because I never heard of it before and wondered what the heck it was.  Take a look at the medhelp sites and other web siites.  I doubt you have this problem, but anything is possible.  Read several sites to get a good feel for it and its symptoms.  After reading it (just for fun!) I realized that I'm 99.5% sure I have this problem.   Due to your "fuzzy head" and muffled feeling,  and your mentioning going to see a chiropractor, I thought maybe this could be an area
to explore.  It made me aware that foods and other things that go into the body that cause inflammation on a brain that's already in a "tight spot" can create many different symptoms, depending on the parts of the brain effected or areas that are being "pressured".  Which would explain why, when I first started with the noise in my ears and the muffling, before I went to ear doctors, I tried gingko biloba (an herb) and it cleared my muffling up and reduced the ringing.  Gingko increases blood flow and must have aided in clearing some fluid and pressure from my head.  I forgot that I tried that stuff and that it actually worked.  So maybe you could try some gingko biloba and see if it helps.  I believe it took my ears 3 weeks to feel the relief.  I used the Nature Made brand.  It's much easier than the milk free diet :)))   LOL.  You take it with food (on an empty stomach you'll find yourself belching up herb-tasting leaves).  You'll feel like a feather pillow shooting out feathers!  LOL.  Now, of course, you'll have to check with your doctor to see if it's safe for you to take this herb...you know...present medications or preexisting health conditions...need to be considered.
It's over the counter, and can be found anywhere.

This is your next assignment!  
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm on it! :) I am all for trying an herbal remedy. I have used other herbs to  cure other ailments I have had and think they have a lot to offer. I agree that it will be a lot easier than the milk free diet! I did a little reading on the chiari malformation. Here is a question I have that may help in my diagnosis. Is there a better way to reference my symptoms for the "Fuzzy Head" and plugged years?

Most times I read the symptoms to be double or blurred vision may occur. Balance difficulties, vertigo and dizziness.

My story:
My plugged ears started around 10 years ago. At the same time began a pressure or fullness on the back portion and sides of my head as well as my upper cheek bones under my eyes. (Something you would feel with an allergic reaction or cold.) Every time I swallow I hear the "popping noise" you would get after a change of altitude. My brain issue is that sometimes I go into a haze or fuzziness that kind of zones me out. Almost as if I am caught in a dream like state of mind. I am focusing on something and then I come back to reality, maybe a focused day dream. Sometimes a change in light can trigger the situation. I do not get dizzy or have loss of balance. I also do not get any of the other allergy related symptoms like runny nose or coughing. It is a constant issue but I can still live a normal life. I just feel like there is a way to see through a clearer less foggy view.

The only thing I can think of that happened 10 years ago was a wrestling match I was in where I had hit my head and face on the outside of the wrestling mat. This caused a deviated septum which I had corrected afterwards. Starting that summer is when my situation began. Could be a complete coincidence. My original thought was it opened up a new way for my allergies to interact with my brain since they all seem to intertwine somehow. I did take allergy shots, seems like i have quite a few of them, for over a year with no relief. My new thought for the chiropractor is that maybe something adjusted when I hit the floor that he could correct. So you can see that it is hard for me to explain this to a doctor. Any suggestions? I appreciate your interest and suggestions.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just letting you know I read the above note.  I have to put detailed thinking into this  LOL. So I will definitely get back to you.  Two things noted here.  You did have a head accident, I assume a few months (approx.) prior to symptom onset and you do have a history of allergies (of the four people I know that got allergy shots - none of them were helped by them).  Did you mention to your doctor that you are going to see a chiropractor?  If not, please do.  Because in some situations, unbeknownst to the chiro, he could do further damage if there is a different structural problem than what he thinks he might be dealing with.  I THINK EVERY HUMAN BEING SHOULD BE GIVEN A BODY SCAN - FROM HEAD TO TOE!  lol  Just a dream of mine!!!!!:: )))   How about you go visit a hospital, and "accidentally" trip into an MRI machine while it's running????  Then we could see all there is to see in your head and neck.
Sorry to get sidetracked - I like to joke around sometimes.  LOL.  

I have to go pick up my daughter, so I'll get back to this post sometime tonight.

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Avatar_f_tn
Just ask your doctor to give you a call back or leave a message with the secretary, saying "Someone recommended that I go see a chiropractor about the muffling in my ears to see if it would give me relief.  I figured that since the muffling started a short time after playing sports and hitting my head (needed nose fixed), I thought this might be something to try.  Do you think it is safe to give this a try?"  And don't forget to mention the haze, fogginess thing that just comes on (explain in detail).  He still might not know what to say to you, but at least you checked with him.  And repeat the same stuff to the chiropractor.  Let him know all the details about allergies and your mini head trauma and any hesitations you have.  



One other thing...do you ever get relief briefly by popping your ears?  Like, do you for one brief moment sense that something opened up but then closes again?
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Avatar_f_tn
And how is part 2 going?  Though I guess it's only been about a week since you started part 2, if you started it yet.  LOL.  Hope all is well.  I'm checking in each day to see how it's going.  And I'm really looking forward to the chiropractor's input.  

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Avatar_n_tn
Hello again. To the first question. Yes I do get a brief relief when I pop my ears but it is only for a moment. I started my herbal remedy on Wednesday of last week so time will tell. I am also excited to see the chiropractor. It is on the 15th of March. He was one of the chiropractors used for the Olympics so he is still in Canada. That is why I had to wait so long. Although that makes me confident that he knows what he is doing. If he can work on the best athletes in the world than I think he will work for me. :) I will keep checking back to the forum as I go.
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Avatar_f_tn
Brief relief is a wonderful thing!   That means relief is definitely a possibility!  Good luck with the chiro.  I'm glad to hear he's top quality.   You're an interesting case...thanks for updating.  Another woman on another site complained of the same symptoms as you.  I told her to follow your comments.

I guess we'll be hearing from you within two weeks or so.

Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, how did the chiropractor visit go?
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm patiently waiting............................................................................fingers go tap, tap, tap!  LOL!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for all your comments.  I'm suffering exactly the same thing, and at one point, I thought I might have to quit my job.  Anyway, I haven't yet, but everything you are talking about is familiar to me.  At this very moment, I'm rubbing tiger balm around my ear, trying to calm my jaw, and waiting for relief of the "fullness" you talk about.  I too am waiting for a chiropractor appointment - because everytime I look sideways, I hear cracking!  Another thing is I've been trying to eat lots of crunchy things - apples, carrots, etc. - as sometimes this is good for my jaw and clears my ears...  A bit of history... I have never had any issues with my ears or anything - until about 8 months ago.  I was in India, and got very sick.  Then I was having waves of nausea, and at the same time was going through a very anxious time at my job.  I think all these things made my jaw some how lock up and block the passages to my ears, hence plugging them up and causing me to feel nauseous.  So generally I'm just trying to relax more, medidate, eat crunchy food, and take any other advice that might help me!  So any other suggestions, however crazy they might seem, I'm willing to try.  Thanks for all your help.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Ok. Im back! :) I wish I had good things to say, but for now I still have no relief. The herbal remedy did not help. I have not given up on the chiropractor yet. Once he returned from the olympics he had to reschedule all of his appointments because of family issues.  So I haven't been able to meet with him yet. I was on short business travel and am now on my way for a week of scuba diving with the family. I have an appointment for when I return. My brother has an appointment on Monday for a different issue and I am relaying on the questions I have for him to ask. I will reply to this forum with any info he gives me. Otherwise I will check back again when I return on the 3rd of April. I appreciate the continued interest in my situation. And for the post above. I wish you good luck and I will continue to keep adding comments of anything I have tried whether it works for me or not...it may work for you.  Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, it's about time, young man!  LOL.  Good to hear from you.  I'm so used to talking with you on here that I think I'll have withdraw symptoms when you no longer need the forum.  LOL.  

Does scuba diving effect ear pressure?  I hope not!   Be careful!  Thanks for getting back to us.  Have an awesome vacation!  
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907968_tn?1292625804
By chance are there noises with your ears other than popping?  heart beating, eye movements, creaking joints, and maybe an occasional balance problem?
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Avatar_n_tn
Not necessary a balance problem, more of a tunnel vision problem creating a kind of unfocus. None of the other things mentioned apply to me though.
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907968_tn?1292625804
Ok, then, err.., uhm, never mind!
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Avatar_m_tn
Anything new to report? I have been experiencing the same symptoms as you have for about a year now and the doctors are clueless. The ENT doctors just want to blame allergies even though I have never had allergies and don't exhibit any of the "normal" allergy symptoms. Would be interested in knowing if anyone ever finds something that works to resolve this.
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5606835_tn?1370824496
Hi Guys I have the symptoms as above, have tried EVERYTHING also the only thing that has helped is Protandim  it cleared my Sinus inflamation (inflammation) 80-90%  but hasn't done much for my ears yet, but it's early on. I am trying to stay away from Milk products this week~
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