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. I also worry about nothing been done and having some sort of hearing loss.
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?
The popping sound that you describe occurs when your Eustachian tube is malfunctioning. This typically happens when there is swelling or mucous around the tube - very common with allergies, colds, and respiratory conditions. It can also happen when traveling and the air pressure changes. An ENT is best qualified to determine why you are having the popping condition - note that you may need to use your medications as directed for several days or weeks before the symptoms resolve. You may also want to ask the doctor about temporomandibular joint disorder, TMJD - a condition that causes pain in the jaw.
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