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Avatar universal

Ear fullness and jaw joint pain

Since the beginning of Aug, I have expereinced some issues related to my ears.  It began with complete ear fullness.  Went to internist, and he gave me Rhinocort and said to take Sudafed.  It then appeared to go away for 2 weeks.  Then it returned, but not to the severity as the first time.  I proceeded to an ENT who peformed the test analyzing the pressure in the inner ear canals.  Came back negative.  I have continued to use the Rhinocort along with Sudafed and Claritin D.  I then began to experience slight jaw pain in the area below the ear.  Hurts when I chew.  Internist xrayed my jaw to rule out TMJ, and that came back negative.  He has no other suggestions.  I went for about 1 1/2 weeks until this past Monday, with no feeling of fullness or anything.  The slight jaw pain was still present.  On Monday, it begun to feel not normal again.  I don't necessarily have ear fullness, but the area  behind my ears near the jaw feels odd inside.  Almost like they are swollen.  It is hard to explain.   I am at a loss of what do do next.
142 Responses
Avatar universal
Drainage dwn throat can irritate the eustachian tube openings.
They run over to middle ear that controls 'the pop'. Nerve
swelling in the area you mentioned can cause off/on symptoms.
If it's ears & not unilateral, probably drainage in throat.
Learn 'valsalva' (pinch off nose & lightly get air to open tubes
to pop). Sleep w/ higher or 2 pillows to get drainage to by-pass
the opening tubes. Never fly w/o using something like Afrin OTC
before take-off. Acquired allergies can do this. If noticeable
swelling happens near ear, consult w/ ENT. May be infection.
Ive been experiencing the same pain but it came all at once I haven't gone to a doctor because my mom thinks I have what my sister has but she doesn't have the same reactions to the pain I have is sharper each time it strikes out the blue and it hurt right now im crying and the pain is also lasting longer so im using the same medication as my sister but is not working at all Ive been on it for a few days and its not looking like its going to be any better any time soon :(
Avatar universal
did they check for ear infection--sounds like what I experience whenever I get one and they prescribe antibiotic ear drops usually clears up in ten days.
107860 tn?1302926740
try chewing some gum... it helps the ears.. it also helps drain it..
Avatar universal
Have you had your eyes checked lately? Try to remember back to the "beginning" of the problem and think if you got something in your eye(s). Do your eyes seem somewhat "sticky" in the mornings when you first wake up? Have they been watering more lately? Does it seem like you have a film on the eye that can be blinked away? You may have a unhealed scratch on the eye that is causing the eyes to water. When the eyes water, that water drains into the nasal cavity (this is why you have to blow your nose when you cry) and into the back of the throat.  The nose will run a clear fluid "drip". The drainage will cause a post nasal drip that may be accompanied with a cough that can be very powerful.  You have the urge to hack up something that isn't there. This drainage can also back up into the Eustachian tube behind the ear causing pressure to build up in the TMJ that may appear as a very slight swelling of the joint. Some doctors will think you have an allergy and will treat the "allergy" instead of the eye problem.  Since your problem is re-occuring and the allergy meds aren't working very well, it might be a good idea to see the optometrist and get your eyes checked out. If this is a problem with the eyes, often eye drops will clear up the problem.  good luck
Avatar universal
Stay w/ ENT & ask if he'll order a Coronal CT to put your mind
at ease. You lay on stomache w/ nose in chin-rest & go 'nose'
in, not face up. This will ck. for any fluid/infection in the
sinuses or mastoid cells. 99.9% of us have eustachian tubes in back of throat above the palate, directly behind the nose
where it connects to middle ear. Reason why nose sprays are used
to open & pop ear. They aren't located behind your ears. You may
have a problem w/ what they call mastoid air cells that can
get inflammed or infection. If tender or swollen tissue behind
ear, go back to ENT. May need antibiotics. If overlooked, it
could get serious & affect jaw along w/ nerves to ear. This
CT can be used as a baseline for later & rule in/out any sinus
or cell problems starting. When you said x-ray, what type did
you mean? If Coronal was done, get copy + ask if a re-read of
mastoid area could be done. The lab will give you a copy w/o
telling MD. The Dr. can call lab to pull films to re-ck or
deliver to ofc. This type CT is really very important. Things
can go crazy at ear even from a tiny cyst/polyp in a sinus.
Afrin or nasal-saline works well. Rhinocort can cause tissue
irritation w/ rebound + cost. Use what seems to wk. for you.
Avatar universal
To Demiguise:

I have been to an ENT as I noted, and he sent me home.  His comment was since that pressure test came back negative, that clinically he had no grounds or reason to press forward.  His comment was that if I had an infection, tumor, etc. etc, this test would had come back showing irregularities.   I sit here now with pain in jaw joint, and my ears don't necessarily feel full, but you notice that this area is there.   Almost like the area  right behind your ears is swollen.  They just seem pronounced when normally you don't even take notice of this area.   I can't say I have had any severe allergy issues.  A slightly stuffy nose, but nothing I would have taken Claritin or Sudafed for had the doctor had not told me to do so.  In other words, I could breath.   I even called my dentist the other day to see if a TMJ xray (that I noted I had) showed nothing could I still be having these symptoms.  He said yes.  I am just completely perplexed as to whether they are even related (I began getting ear fullness in early Aug. .  Jaw pain started 3 weeks ago), and have no idea what to do.  Go to another ENT?
Avatar universal
I posted a response before this , but did not label it as being for you.

Avatar universal
A bsic xray would help w/ showing bone alignment just like they
might do at DDS for ck'g bite. Neg. air pressure is gd but just
means not enough ws there at time of test or feedback may have
popped some air loose into bone air cells. Since it's bilateral,
could be eusatchian tube dsyfunction envolving 1 or more of the sinuses draining or not levelingcausing the irritatation. The
jaw problem is unilateral so it still sounds like a sinus ?.
The main sinuses to evaluate 1st are the Maxillary. 1 on ea side
& Ethmoids (upper nose, betw. brows). If these drain or have a
cycst, etc, they drain over ET openings. ONLY a Coronal Sinus
CT can ck all sinuses for fluid/air/polyps/wall thickening.
There is also a rare form of 'radiologists call poss cyst' when
in fact thy get lazy & even overlook. It's actuall an inverted
benign tumor that is a problem. This is only abt 2% of population so don't go there but know that Dr's can goof. Your
present Dr. stinks if he won't help you. Get a new ENT/say little/re-test pressure if they want/up-front say you just won't feel gd till you have a Coronal CT. Rule in/out problems
early. Friend didn't & at 4 yrs through a tantrum in ofc, since
nothing to lose & got the CT. Had narrowed maxillary w/ bad
inflamm./nerve compression & a polyp. Maxillary drains fluid ea 30min. Interrupt flow & air in side starts pushing dwn on fluid till it finally hurts & releases. This type CT will help say alot. Try to find a ENT by referral of a friend that you know had luck but willing to lose if things go south & you take it
out on them. What state are you in? Some have better Dr's! Even a GP can order the CT. Then get referral? Sinus/mastoid prob.
can really get out of control. Hopefully it's a spasms or
something minimal. Dump the doc! Get busy & use this on this
yrs. taxes if in US? Gd-luck.
Avatar universal
I live in St. Louis.  The ENT was a Washington University doctor.  

I am just wondering if I should go to an allergist.   I don't understand the coming and going of symptons.  Today I wake up and the pain appears to be gone in the joint, yet the areas around my ear feel odd.  Not necessarily full, but feels like you are listening to the inside of your head.   Like you can hear when you turn you head etc. etc.  Now two weeks ago, relatively nothing.   I am wondering if maybe I am allergic to something in the house.  I tossed a pillow I have had for nearly 20 years because my wife says it could be filling my nose with who knows what every night I go to bed.  The only thing is that if it is allergies, why do I not have a runny nose or not sneezing or not having a significant stuffy nose.

In your last note, wouldn't the symptons be constant if I had any of the things you noted?

Another thing that has been odd lately is that my blood pressure has been elevated a bit the last two times I have had it taken.  My blood pressure has always been excellent, but this last two times (about three weeks ago and then again 2 weeks ago) I had an upper number of 140.
Avatar universal
Don't know what to say. I just rec'd a msg 'Do not post info
that could be considered medical advice.' Don't want to be
deleted so I have to figure out the difference of advice/comment
sharing info or knowledge. Their board! I wish you luck.
Avatar universal
Your symptoms sound a lot like what i've been experiencing. I have had the symptoms on and off for a couple years. However recently they have become more constant.I have fullness under my ears and jaw pain. It comes and goes and can be one side or the other or both. Sometimes it is just uncomfortable and sometimes very painfull. Because I have a LOT of allergies I've always assumed that was what it was. I usually feel a little better after I take a benadryl and aspirin. However I would love this problem to stop occuring. I was given a nose spray by the allergist and this seems to help as well but not completly. I would be interested to hear if you had any success with the allergist. I will be starting shots soon and hope that helps. I have never met anyone who has had these type of problems with there allergies.Usually it is external..sneezing .. nose running etc..
Avatar universal
I wish someone/anyone could help me, for well over 4 years I have this fullness in my ears, it started in one ear after a flight but no pain when they plane was going down but an ear infection when I was on my trip to Hawaii..when I landed and was home I was never the same,my ears always feel full/blocked...also the night before this trip I had this severe, quite severe neck pain and the neck pain was bad on the trip...so I came home and started to seek medical help, so far I have had tubes put in by two different doctors, and the tubes were not helpful in the least so I had them removed, I have had ct scans of my sinuses and then an allergist said I was very allergic to dust and mold and in fact a few months into this my house we found out was filled with toxic mold so I needed to leave my house but I never got better and now I hear clicking all the time and I blow my nose or do that technique all day, I forget the name of it ..to get some relief...I have had one MRI and now a new doctor wants to do another one....anyone have any idea if my eustacian tubes will ever get back to normal, it's driving me nuts and I would give anything to get back to normal....some days I also have dizziness/vertigo....HELP!
sounds identical to mine.  i believe there is mold in this house bit my stbx says NO..
Avatar universal
I have the same type of problem. I've been experiencing it for about two weeks. I feel the jaw joint right below my left ear hurts when I clench my jaw or sneeze (because I clench my jaw), or chew on that side. I have no tooth or gum pain. My ear feels clogged on that side as well. I'm not sure if I should wait and see if it goes away or see a doctor or if there is something I can do to myself.
Avatar universal
i have had all the same problems that everyone here has discussed, i have had every test you can think of, ct's mri, xray, tmj, scans of lymph nodes, light down my throat, all came back negative, i have had a constant fullness of the ears, dull to severe pain under my left side of my jaw, feels like a neck tie tied way to tight around my throat, last winter i had about a 3 month spell of dizziness/vertigo, and the thought of food gagged me, i lived on antivert and phenegren, that went away when warm weather came, and now that its cold out, the dizziness and shakes are back, i am going to loose my mind, family dr, put me on lexapro a week ago, except for the diarreah, i cant tell i am taking it, any ideas would help
Avatar universal
First of all, I'm 18 and living on my own.(Long Story) I am using a medical cars, and it has occured to me that doctors may be rushing the process of evalution, since I am using community based health coverage. I have been to several doctors to find the answer to this aggrivating issue. Please if you can help please post. My first docotor said I had a build up of fluids in my eustacia and prescribed rhinocort nasal spray with antibiotics. This seemed to help at first, but within 1 week it stopped working. When I push in the small cavity right below my hear, and behind the most vertical part of my jaw line, i hear a shwishing noise and I feel a sensation as if someone punched me in the jaw the day before. I am also feeling unilateral pressure in my temporal region that sometimes spreads to the other side. I also feel as if I am constantly changing elevation, because everytime I swollow I hear popping noises. This may be of importance, but my wisdom teeth are starting to tear through. I was told that the jaw pain and some ear pain may be related, but not all the symptoms, like the swishing noise and the stuffy nose.(also unilateral) If you can help me I would greatly appreciate it.
242516 tn?1368223905
shanek6289, read the other posts on this page, you'll find that many folks have gotten benefit from nasal steroids like the rhinocort you're taking as well as antibiotics, but 1 week is too short a time period, you need to use it sometimes for weeks...

Pain in the small cavity below your ear could be TMJ (temporomandibular joint arthritis)

the popping noises could be from blocked eustachian tubes, consider adding nasal saline rinse to decrease post-nasal drip

Avatar universal
I have searched and searched the web, but this is the first forum (let alone actual information) I've found that addresses this issue.  I also have this issue.  For the last several months, it has been a persistent problem.  Before that, the problem was intermittent... felt like a problem in my jaw, and applying pressure (massaging) to the main muscle on the jaw seemed to help the pain.

Now, as the problem is persistent, as I am feeling more and more "sluggish" by the day.  I have not had a fever, but nasal discharge (when blowing my nose) is often green and occasionally contains small amounts of blood.  The pain is, as everyone else has mentioned, directly behind the jaw, directly below the ear, and in front of the little "lobe" at the base of the skull.

I haven't been to a doctor in YEARS.  Is it maybe time to go see one?  Any advice on what I could ask him/her to look for?
242516 tn?1368223905
If massaging the jaw helped, i'd wonder about TMJ

THere are specialists that focus on this diagnosis

yes, time to see your doctor and ask for a referral to your local TMJ specialist
Avatar universal
Thanks for the quick response!  Unfortunately I don't have a "my doctor," as I cannot afford health insurance (my employer offers it, but I cannot afford to cover my family at $700/month PLUS copays/deductibles).  I have considered a "doc-in-a-box," because the ER is NOT the way to go financially... but I wonder what kind of quality I might receive at a clinic.

I have thought about TMJ, since I know I grind my teeth at night... however, with the consistent green and occasional blood in nasal discharge (but with minimal "stuffy" feeling), I wonder if perhaps a problem with chronic sinusitis and/or eustachian tubes.  "Snorting" and "ear popping" (valsalva) often relieve the discomfort, though sometimes it does not.  Lately (the last month or so), I take both one OTC, regular-strength ibuprofen and one OTC, regular-strength aspirin once in the morning and once in the late afternoon which seems to help with the discomfort.

Any other advice with this further clarification?  I understand what you are providing is not medical advice (for the purposes of this forum), but I sure would like to have the best information possible before going through "trial-and-error" doctor visits (due to the financial situation).

THANKS AGAIN for your quick response.  I look forward to any more experience you might provide.

Avatar universal
Just to clarify: I am NOT in so much discomfort that I feel it is a medical emergency!!!  However, it is becoming annoying, and it is also adversely affecting my daily feeling of "well-being."

Just wanted to make that clear, since I mentioned the ER.

242516 tn?1368223905
a doc in the box may not help as much as a specialist, but the specialist's fees will be much greater, and it could take many  visits.

I'm glad that ibuprofen & aspirin help.  they both help with inflammation

snorting often comes with nasal allergies, to clear secretions.  saline rinses and nasal steroids can help with that.

valsalva for ear popping often helps with eustachian tube dysfunction

chronic sinusitis usually has fever, one-sided pain, radiating into teeth.
Avatar universal
Last night I had a tooth ache and it felt really sore and today i have woke up with my ears feeling full and now they are ringing, has anyone any idea what this could be it is really annoying my ears just feel more sensitive usual and they have loud buzzing or ringing.They just feel denser than usual, If someone has any idea it would be really helpful,my ears have never felt like this before.
Avatar universal
It actually feels bit better now I think its tinnitus will make app with my doctor/.
242516 tn?1368223905
did you see your doc?

tinnitus doesn't usually come from a tooth ache...
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