Chronic Ear Infection, Headaches and 14 weeks pregnant
I am a very active (run 3-5 times per week and lift weights) 32 year old mother of two who has been battling somewhat severe headaches for 17 months. Prior to having my second child, I would get the occassional headache that most everyone gets. I have also had trouble "clearing" my ears for the past 13 months. They always feel full.
My PCM had just tried to keep piling on the drugs to "cure" things. First Flonase, then add on Claritin, then add on Sudafed and also Elavil (for the headaches). For the past 6 weeks I've been battling a Right Ear Infection that just won't go away. I was also told my left ear is "bulging" but not red. I was also diagnosed with Strep Throat six weeks ago but it seemed to clear up after the Z-Pack. I've taken Amoxicillin, Z-Pack and now am on Augmenten. Now that I'm pregnant, my OB has switched the Claritin to Allegra to see if that will help. I stopped taking Elavil since it is a Class D drug as soon as I missed my period and stopped the Sudafed since it wasn't helping to clear my ears. I was taking Tylenol (way too much) for the headaches and earache but was switched to Fiorecet a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, it doesn't help most of the time. My OB has put in referrels to an ENT and Neurologist to see what is going on. My question is what are they looking for from serious to minor? Should I be concerned about a tumor? What diagnostic procedures will they most likely use?
Getting a complete medical history and physical is essential before listing the possible causes of someone's condition. Included are some basic considerations. There are any number of headache symdromes that your neurologist will help you to decipher between including migraines, tension, cluster headache and neuropathic pain. Various infectious processes could also be involved in different areas of your head (from sinuses to ears). The pressure you have felt in your ears could be due to eustacian tube dysfunction (dysfunction of pressure equalization for the middle ear) and has led to infections. Any type of inflammation in the nose and upper throat (sinus infections, allergies, rhinitis, throat infections, reflux) can lead to poor opening of the eustacian tube in the back of the nose and difficulty equalizing pressure. It is possible that tumors can obstruct the functioning of your eustacian tubes or cause headaches, however, that would not be the most common cause of your symptoms. Your ent doctor can look in your nose and assess for irritation, inflammation in the nose as well as the appearance of the nasopharynx (where the eustacian tube opens). Radiological imaging is a possibility to rule out a sinus contribution; however, likely, you will get these tests after your pregnancy. Best wishes.
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