Discussions By Condition: Ear conditions

Bulging eardrum, TMJ

Posted In: Ear conditions 1 Replies
  • Posted By: lwall1985
  • May 26, 2011
  • 09:43 PM

First I want to say that I thought all these symptoms were coming from my TMJs, which I had operated on twice. They are in real bad shape and during the last surgery I had all the cartilage removed plus some extra bone that shouldn't have been there.

For as long as I can remember, and I'm talking 10+ years, I've had trouble with my ears. I didn't have many ear infections as a kid, actually I only remember having one which was from swimming. But I can remember that I could never dive or hit the bottom in the "deep end" of the school pool without my ears popping. I can't remember if it was both or just one but I do remember it being frightening for me. Then when I flew, only time, I can remember having HORRIBLE horrible pain in my ears and then a bad headache for a few days afterwards.

Now I'd say within the last 5 years, I've had a problem with my RIGHT ear losing all hearing for a split second and then a loud ringing with my hearing gradually coming back. I never thought much of this and just assumed it due to my TMJ problems.

Now this past year I have been working around kids and have been getting colds quite often. I didn't have any ear infections that I was aware of though... in other words my ears hurt me very little. I only get an occasionally sharp pain. What got me to the doctor was an issue with water getting stuck in my ear after every shower. I also wake up, every morning, vomit, and have a clear liquid leaking from both ears. I went into the doctor thinking I'd get my ears flushed and feel human again but he looked at my ear and said I had a severely bulged eardrum and that I need to see a specialist.

I'm writing for any heads-up on what to expect and any tips on what I can do in the meantime because I have to wait 2 months to see the doctor. Also, which symptoms do you think is related to my TMJ, ears, or both?

One issue that may be unrelated that I can get an answer on is random attacks of blurring vision and feeling out of it, zoning out.

And overall I'd say my hearing is good, I am quite sensitive to nosies, but I've been called deaf many times by family members. I cannot hear very well out of my right ear when I am in a noisy environment, but turning to hear from my left ear usually does the trick.

Reply Flag this Discussion

1 Replies:

  • HI! I also have a bulging eardrum. What brought me to the doctor was severe, stabbing pain in my left ear and a feeling of fullness in it. I thought it was swimmers' ear, as this is the first summer I've personally owned a pool in years. Like me, my son is also prone to it. I had the infection many times as a child. My left ear tends to hold any water in after I swim.In the morning, I saw my PCP, who looked in my ear and told me the eardrum was bulging, but that it wasn't infected. It was more than likely from my moderate oak allergy. I was sent on my way with instructions to take my allergy pills and that I'd be okay.Well, about 4 hours after my 9 a.m. appointment, the pain became unbearable. I couldn't even chew my lunch or bite down on anything. Paired with the stabbing ear pains that only felt remotely better if I pushed on my ear with my hand, I decided to go to the emergency room. The doctor in the ER looked in my ear, told me it wasn't infected and then put her hands on my jawbones and told me to open and close. Let me tell you, the pain was so severe that tears came immediately. She told me that between allergies and my TMJ disorder, the eardrum is bulging from all the swelling. She sent me home with Prednisone and Lortab for pain. Boy, every time that Lortab wears off the pain is enough to make me scream. I hope the Prednisone starts working soon, because this is pain that is less tolerable to me than natural childbirth was.Good luck with your ear. It is probably TMJ if your bulging drum isn't infected.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.