Environmental Allergies causing Eustachian Tube Dysfunction??

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MapleLeafBear
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 7/26/2014 6:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Guys - I'm new to the Allergy board. I have been having some mystery severe ear pain and intermittent hearing loss for about 9 months now. I also have IBS with an unknown cause. Originally, I went to the ear doctor who said it was LPR Silent Reflux. The ENT gave me some Omeprazole (Prilosec) and sent me off. It did not help.

Fast forward to April. I woke up with severe hearing loss in my left ear. I literally could only hear very muffled sounds. I was dizzy and had severe pain. I called the ENT and of course the front desk girl didn't take my freaking out seriously and scheduled me to come in 2-3 days later. By that point my hearing had returned. The ENT did many tests on me, including vertigo tests, and basically said that she had no idea what it could be but she wanted me in the same day next time it happened and gave me a special number to call to get in the same day.

Luckily, it hasn't happened again. But in the meantime, my GI sent me to the allergist for further allergy testing. The GI did a blood test which showed a minor wheat allergy. The allergist ruled that out as a false positive test. However, he did discovery that I had "Severe Environmental" allergies to all kinds of grass and weeds and recommended very strongly allergy shots. He said that he thinks I have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction from the allergies and suspects that they might get better through decongestant allergy medicine and allergy shots.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Severe sharp ear pain and hearing loss from environmental allergies? Would you guys recommend the allergy shots? I'm not a fan of needles and the photos of people's hives from the allergy shots are scaring me. After my allergy test, I had hives on my back for days, especially where the bermuda grass point was. I'm just worried that the shots will be very time consuming and I will just put myself through more trouble than it's worth. Any input would be appreciated.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4946
   Posted 7/30/2014 6:56 AM (GMT -7)   
If you got the OTC Prilosec, it probably wasn't enough. It's only half the strength of the prescription med. If the doc saw a raw throat when he looked in you might very well have a little reflux.

I get the allergy shots and love them! It takes a few months to build up to the right dose, so don't expect instant cure. I have dust, mold, grass, weeds and tree pollen allergies. I have NO symptoms now. In summer I have to take them every week, but can go as long as a month in winter between shots. They're tiny, just under skin.

You might have a chronic sinus infection too. Did ENT say anything about that? It's often hard to tell. I get them in the maxillary sinuses which drain upward. Antibiotics hardly work there because of very little blood flow. I find doing a good sinus wash does a decent job. Look up (search box at top of page) all sorts of recommendations on sinus washes. Sometimes mucus is so thick it doesn't drain well. Sinus wash and thinning meds like Mucinex 12-hour (OTC) help. I often wake up with tinnitus, which goes away after my morning coffee, or if not, I do the rinse. I can feel the thick mucus in the back of my throat.

Best wishes!

MapleLeafBear
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 7/30/2014 1:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Alcie - It was prescription strength Omeprazole (40 mg). She said that my throat looked fine and it seemed that she was pretty much just guessing based on what I told her. And I do use a neti pot sometimes. Is that what you mean by sinus wash? When I jog, I can feel mucus in the back of my throat and I try to cough it up. She did tell me to try taking the Omeprazole 30 minutes before I exercise, which I did try and didn't seem to help much. The allergist told me to try Zyrtec-D, Claritin-D or Allegra-D... just something with D but I haven't tried any yet because I do not react to them well.

With the chronic sinus infection, can you have no pain or discharge? Sometimes I do have headaches where my sinuses are. Without the allergy test, I never would have known about these allergies except for the fact that I had very bad allergies/sinus infections growing up and my eyes would swell shut when I was a kid if I played in the grass confused.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4946
   Posted 7/31/2014 7:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't like the neti pot because it only rinses a little. I like the larger squeeze bottles, like NeilMed, because they have a lot more pressure and get into the sinuses which are hard to reach because of the tiny openings. But that's NOT a medical opinion. I'm just a patient.

Yes, you can have no pain. If there is very little pressure you might not feel it.

The sinuses can drain at night, especially the maxillary ones that open upward. That mucus you feel is the sinuses draining - discharge. You can get a whole lot of drainage after using a sinus wash, especially when you bend over. That's the maxillaries draining upward.

I'm not going to recommend medicines. I don't know enough about them. I don't need them since I'm getting allergy shots.

MapleLeafBear
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 8/1/2014 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Alcie - I'm not a big fan of meds either, which is why I haven't tried any of the ones he suggested. I have terrible reactions to medication.

With the allergy shots, do you really feel better? How quickly did you feel better? I've had a lot of anxiety about them and am worried about the hives/welts and if they will help quickly or not.

noseyparker500
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/8/2014 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
AubreyBear said...
Hi Guys - I'm new to the Allergy board. I have been having some mystery severe ear pain and intermittent hearing loss for about 9 months now. I also have IBS with an unknown cause. Originally, I went to the ear doctor who said it was LPR Silent Reflux. The ENT gave me some Omeprazole (Prilosec) and sent me off. It did not help.

Fast forward to April. I woke up with severe hearing loss in my left ear. I literally could only hear very muffled sounds. I was dizzy and had severe pain. I called the ENT and of course the front desk girl didn't take my freaking out seriously and scheduled me to come in 2-3 days later. By that point my hearing had returned. The ENT did many tests on me, including vertigo tests, and basically said that she had no idea what it could be but she wanted me in the same day next time it happened and gave me a special number to call to get in the same day.

Luckily, it hasn't happened again. But in the meantime, my GI sent me to the allergist for further allergy testing. The GI did a blood test which showed a minor wheat allergy. The allergist ruled that out as a false positive test. However, he did discovery that I had "Severe Environmental" allergies to all kinds of grass and weeds and recommended very strongly allergy shots. He said that he thinks I have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction from the allergies and suspects that they might get better through decongestant allergy medicine and allergy shots.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Severe sharp ear pain and hearing loss from environmental allergies? Would you guys recommend the allergy shots? I'm not a fan of needles and the photos of people's hives from the allergy shots are scaring me. After my allergy test, I had hives on my back for days, especially where the bermuda grass point was. I'm just worried that the shots will be very time consuming and I will just put myself through more trouble than it's worth. Any input would be appreciated.


Eustachian Tube Dysfunction is a term that I have never come across before. However, I know where it is and it keeps the inner-ear open and free from infection.
In 1988, I was passenger on a plane that was not air pressurised. It took off and dived down to sea level very quickly and my ear pain was acute. I developed tinnitus in the right ear and suffered loss of balance. This all continued for about five years until my GP sent me for an MRI scan. This showed a tumour called an acoustic neuroma. I underwent twelve hours of neurosurgery in Cambridge and the tumour was removed. I became totally deaf on the right side.
The Eustacian tube is kept open by the pressure of air but at high altitudes it might close and become problematic.
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