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Barotrauma and non stop ear popping ( Driving me nuts!) Please help

Shachar Darmon

New Member
Apr 11, 2020
3
0
1
22
South Florida
So I went on a flight on feb 4th and on the decent I had major pain on my left hear and muffled hearing for one night and that went away the next morning.... what persisted was non stop ear popping which went away after 2 weeks and I considered myself very lucky because I had no idea that was possible. Back to December 10th I got tinnitus(ringing in my ears) and was trying absolutely anything to get rid of it, a family member pushed me to do hyper baric oxygen therapy and I was skeptical because the flight and was willing to risk anything to get that ringing to go away. So I went on my first session and yet again the ear popping it didn’t bother me much and since it went away once I thought to myself here we go again another 2 weeks. So the doc who is also a ear specialist told me not to worry and go through with the 20 sessions back to back. On my 4 session I had minor ear pain on my right ear which is always blocked whenever I try to equalize the pressure but I’ve been like that for life. I did a 5th session and final one because the ear pain happened once again ( mind you i only go down 27-33 ft each time) he checked my ear and said my left one is fine and my right one had red in it, let it calm down and come again next week rather than tomorrow. I actually never went back worrying about doing some serious damage...... now a month and a half later my ears are still popping specifically the left one which makes no sense the right one is basically back to normal and doesn’t bother me at all. The left one pops none stop and starting a week ago accompanied with pain. Did a telehealth call with a ENT and gave me decongestion spray (Flonase,Anfrin) aswell as Claritin D Said I have ETD. None of this helped and I’m freaking out that I have to live with this none stop popping for the rest of my life now like the ringing. Has anyone had a similar experience and does this non stop ear popping go away. Whenever I swallow it pops one way and then needs to pop again with pressure I push from my head in order it to feel balanced and not full. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP!
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
3,953
738
218
70
Sarasota, Fla
I'm no doc and you need a good one. Some information that might help: Your ear doc was looking in your ear at your ear drum, which gets inflamed if stretched too much (not equalizing) Your left ear popping sound is the opening of your Eustachion tube valves; its equalizing just fine. Lots of divers get their tube valves to open by swallowing. You apparently have a hyperactive ability to open your valves, an ability that many divers would kill for, but yours is going too far and decongestants probably make the situation worse. I have no idea why its doing that or exactly what is going on, but I'd suggest an approach that makes it harder to equalize. Try something that creates mucus, milk products might help, or some drug that creates swelling in the membranes around the tube valves. This is the exact opposite of what ENT specialists usually deal with and it might be hard to communicate your issue. You need a doc who can think outside the box. Good luck with it.
 
OP
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Shachar Darmon

New Member
Apr 11, 2020
3
0
1
22
South Florida
Wait so
I'm no doc and you need a good one. Some information that might help: Your ear doc was looking in your ear at your ear drum, which gets inflamed if stretched too much (not equalizing) Your left ear popping sound is the opening of your Eustachion tube valves; its equalizing just fine. Lots of divers get their tube valves to open by swallowing. You apparently have a hyperactive ability to open your valves, an ability that many divers would kill for, but yours is going too far and decongestants probably make the situation worse. I have no idea why its doing that or exactly what is going on, but I'd suggest an approach that makes it harder to equalize. Try something that creates mucus, milk products might help, or some drug that creates swelling in the membranes around the tube valves. This is the exact opposite of what ENT specialists usually deal with and it might be hard to communicate your issue. You need a doc who can think outside the box. Good luck with it.
I’m usually always congested and was born like that, so your telling me that since my is popping uncontrollably it is the opposite issue of the usual barotrauma incidents you see here?
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
3,953
738
218
70
Sarasota, Fla
That is correct. Always, in my experience, the popping sound is the valves opening. if the tubes were blocked above the valves It might be possible to generate the popping sound not in the valves, but in the tubes themselves. Given that your left eardrum doesn't look inflamed, you must be opening the valves, even if also opening the tubes themselves. The involuntary/unavoidable aspect of your case, I've never heard of. Same advice, find an ENT that can think outside the box. It sure doesn't sound like a normal case of ETD. You might try googling EDT and read a bunch of articles, might be something there that gives you a clue.

When you were diving normally, could you equalize without using your hands to seal your nose(or using a nose clip)? its called BTV.
 
OP
OP
S

Shachar Darmon

New Member
Apr 11, 2020
3
0
1
22
South Florida
That is correct. Always, in my experience, the popping sound is the valves opening. if the tubes were blocked above the valves It might be possible to generate the popping sound not in the valves, but in the tubes themselves. Given that your left eardrum doesn't look inflamed, you must be opening the valves, even if also opening the tubes themselves. The involuntary/unavoidable aspect of your case, I've never heard of. Same advice, find an ENT that can think outside the box. It sure doesn't sound like a normal case of ETD. You might try googling EDT and read a bunch of articles, might be something there that gives you a clue.

When you were diving normally, could you equalize without using your hands to seal your nose(or using a nose clip)? its called BTV.
Wow that kind of scares me makes me think I have Patulous ET but how can this be if it happened only after pressure changes, yea it was after 5 sessions back to back which I consider aggressive but still makes no sense to me. I even used earplanes in order to be as safe as possible and equalized whenever I felt a bit of pressure. Crazy to think about I got a rare type of tinnitus 3 month ago as well from an ototoxic drug. Well aren’t I un lucky but I guess I have to find the best doctor and hope I have the usual ETD :/
 
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