In November of 2005, I suddenly came down with an ear infection so severe that the pain almost made me throw up. I went to urgent care, received antibiotics, and was sent on my way.
* After a full course of antibiotics, the ear infection hadn't gone away. They put me on a second one, plus prednisone.
* The ear infection cleared up with the second course. I was left with fluctuating hearing in both ears.
* Fluctuating hearing continued for two months, then my ears started to pop every time I swallowed or yawned or moved my jaw from left to right. It wasn't a single pop--it was more of a Rice Krispies crackling. I told my primary physician, and he said that was e-tube disfunction, and referred me to an allergist.
* I got my hearing tested in May. (Six months after initial infection.) I have low-grade hearing loss, but the tympannogram was totally normal, so there wasn't any fluid behind my ear.
* I started having balance problems and had to give up my yoga practice. The ENT diagnosed Menier's.
* I started having pain behind my ears, along the bone. ENT diagnosed trigeminal neuralgia. I have few TN symptoms, and treatment for TN made no difference.
* Over a year later, I'm starting on maintenance allergy shots, have been through six courses of antibiotics for ONE ear infection, and THREE courses of prednisone. The popping continues, the pain is really intermittant and not made worse by cold, heat, or touching my face, and I'm not dizzy. My primary physician now tells me that it's all in my head, and it's something I will have to live with.
So am I just crazy? How frequently do normal ears pop? I need some help here!
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