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911DOC
911DOC, Board Certified Dr.
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Experience:  Emergency Medicine Physician
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I have been diagnosed with TMJ yesterday after going to the

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I have been diagnosed with TMJ yesterday after going to the doc. for hearing loss, ear pain, and jaw pain/cracking the past two days. He looked in my ear and right after he saw that it was clear, said that I have TMJ. He suggested taking Advil 3 times a day for 5 days. The pain is now very, very minimal but I have constant muffled ear and hearing loss in my right ear and now all the sudden tinnitus. I leave for vacation out of the country in less than 10 days and really do not want to have a muffled/clogged ear the entire time. I look on the internet and see people suffering with it for months/years which really concerns me. I can handle pain but this clogged ear is driving me insane and it's only been two days. Is this likely to go away with in a few days now that my jaw pain is starting to cease?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  911DOC replied 1 year ago.

TMJ is a reasonable diagnosis, but my concern is that TMJ is usually not an acute event.

 

It sounds more likely that you have eustachian tube dysfunction, and that you may have TMJ as well.

 

Tinnitus is not really something that is common with TMJ.

 

If I were you, and if you have not done this already, I think it would be very reasonable to get in with an ENT doctor (otolaryngologist) prior to your departure.

 

The advil is reasonable, but with your inability to clear your ear I am concerned about air travel as you may be 'squeeze' in your middle ear with the altitude change. Usually, people with eustachian tube dysfunction are placed on degongestants for a short time to help the ear clear. An ENT would also have things he could do in the office to alleviate the blocked eustachian tube.

 

The 'wild card' here is the tinnitus. Again, a specialist would be better equipped to get you better before your travel and I recommend this as your next step.

 

You might go to your local pharmacy and get some Afrin nasal spray and some Mucinex. Both are over the counter and the pharmacist can direct you as to their proper use.

 

I am standing by if you have any questions for me. If this has answered your question then positive feedback is always appreciated.

 

Be well

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am scheduling an appt with an ENT Doc today. I have woken up and today my jaw seems much more swollen, it feels like an ear ache but it hurts directly near my ear and you can actually feel the inflammation. I'm really stuck here as what to do as it's been three days and my hopes aren't that high that it will clear in 10 days time.Three days ago I had no problem at all, this suddenly came on and my ear has been blocked ever since.. I have tried Mucinex D, didn't do anything.

Expert:  911DOC replied 1 year ago.

If you are having increased pain and inflammation I do NOT think TMJ is the correct diagnosis but I am VERY happy you are going to an ENT today. The ENT will give you answers and treatment. I, unlike you, am very hopeful this can be resolved in time for your trip. It sounds very much like you may have an infection, either in the ear, or in the mouth or posterior oropharynx which is causing symptoms in your ear.

 

You are going to get answers today, but one piece of advice... write down your top three or four questions and make sure you get a chance to ask them. If you don't do this you will forget to ask or will forget some of them.

 

 

Best

 

 

911DOC, Board Certified Dr.
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5094
Experience: Emergency Medicine Physician
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