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I've experienced ear ringing / ear clogging for 1 month and

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have been treated with antibiotics...
I've experienced ear ringing / ear clogging for 1 month and have been treated with antibiotics, steroids, mucinex and nasanex nose spray. My ear bones CTscan was fine. Mt sinus CTscan showed a retention cyst and a polypt. My new ENT said the sinus CTscan results were not bad at all.
Upon examination he also told me I have a "retracted / curved" left ear drum as a result of my recent infection and that it may take 1 month to fully recover. Also said my ear tube is not functioning at 100% yet. He obseved no remaining fluid and feels the infection is now gone. I have very little hearing loss according to the hearing test he performed. He would like me to have an MRI (brain) to see if I have infamed ear nerve or any growth(s). He told me "this test is a precausion....I don't believe we will discover any tumor etc....It's just good medicine to 100% put that behind us".
When I asked him about my ringing ear (tinnitus) he said the "likely cause is that my eardrum and ear tubes have not completely healed AND the ringing COULD stop when I'm fully healed He told me he'd also like to test for allergies...also to hold my nose and blow to unclogg my ears?? QUESTION: What are your thoughts on eardrum healing being the "likley cause VS long term or perminent tinnitus...and/or likley hood of tumor..... I'm worried.
PS: I'm still clogged, ringing and hearing an occasional "click" in my left ear when I blow my nose or swallow.
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Medical
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3/1/2012
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Ken
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Hello,

I can understand your anxiety.

Please calm down.

Tinnitus can be due to varied causes like - otosclerosis { stiffening of small bones in side the ear }/ related to age/ exposure to load noise/ ear wax problem/ Meniere's disease/ stress/ Acoustic neuroma/ high blood pressure/ atherosclerosis/ vascular malformations/ medicines like antibiotics { chloramphenicol, erythromycin, tetracycline, vancomycin and bleomycin }/ quinine/ diuretics.

It associated with infection likely indicates mild remnant inflammation as the most possible cause. No associated symptoms relieve me. Possibility of mass {cancer} involving the nerve or part of the Brain concerned is very less likely. I am happy that your doctor has described the issue very well.

MRI Brain will give us peace of mind for sure. Please give few more weeks for your body to heal. I am sure tinnitus will reduce in severity and disappear soon.

Warm water gargles {with pinch of salt} and steam inhalation do help to reduce inflammation too.

Good luck
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
To follow up last correspondance....pressure seems to build and disipate over and over during the day....little click sounds (as I and after I blow thru my nose), in addittion to ringing are happening....is this a sign that retracted ear drum may be healing and ear tubes and pressure are healing? Still distressed....
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
The above symptoms suggest that the Eustachian tube is still blocked. Click sounds likely indicate that there is intermediate opening of the tube. It may indicate healing is on.
Again - Steam inhalation/ warm water gargles {multiple times} will help for sure.
Good luck
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
My Dr. felt steam was "too hot" a treatment....you know old fashioned "towel over the head over a pot of boiled water"....thoughts? NEVER knew sinus / ear issues could take SO LONG to heal....
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,

Aim of the treatment is to get rid of the infection. The way is to prescribe an antibiotic {to which the causative organism is sensitive}. The antibiotic needs to clean the body of all the infections focus {may be sinus and middle ear in your case}. If this is not done than the infection again flares up after stopping the antibiotic.

Aim of steam inhalation and warm water gargles is to reduce the inflammation at the infected region. This is done by increasing the blood flow to the area {thus helping to remove the infected blood faster}. Having said this these measures alone do not treat infection. It takes a combined effort of the body immunity/ antibiotics and other things to beat the infection!

Sinus is a complex region of the body. There are few anatomical variations like - choncha bullosa/ deviated nasal septum/ narrow osteomeatal complex may make you prone to get repeated infections. These are well appreciated on a CT scan. These also need to be looked in.

In nutshell - Right now we need to take all measures to get rid of the infection. Than - have balanced food/ adequate fluids/ increase vitamin C intake - to increase the efficiency of the immune system, thus preventing further infections.

Good luck
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

ITo follow up previous correspondence(s)....I trust you have access to my previous emails....

I woke up today with silence in my ringing ear....THEN a loud ringing started in my ear again....it lasted a minute or less....then I was left with the more quiet ring I HAD been experiencing. Left and right ears are sounding strange.....could this be ear drum retraction clearing up or my tubes opening more? Let me know if you need more info....

Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
Tinnitus indicates altered pressure within the middle ear cavity. It indicates that the inflammation is still there. Intermittent silence likely indicates that the Eustachian tubes are opening in between.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Follow up....Tinnitus is lessing at times....hope it continues. Some ear and head pain come and go. Clicking and pressure come and go....where am I in this process? FYI MRI, CT scan, Ear bones scan, hearing test and bloodwork results were "normal". Eardrum retraction and inflamation were still present last week.

Customer reply replied 5 years ago
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Doctor: DrRussMD, Board Certified Physician replied 5 years ago
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Doctor: DrRussMD, Board Certified Physician replied 5 years ago
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Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
Please calm down. Give your body time to heal. I am happy to read that the symptoms are reducing in severity. I am relieved to read that the CT scan came negative ruling out possibility of cholesteatoma.
I am sure you will be fine soon.
Good luck
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Dr. Ken,

Follow up:

It seems my ear ringing is a bit worse at the later part of my day lately....why?

Is this because my ears are more sensative to sound due to retracted ear drum, ear pressure, or inflamation? Seems some days I wake to more comfortable "head noise"....Like when you are in a loud envirnment and your ears ring afterward....could mine now be similarly effected by less noise due to Retracted ear drum, inflamation etc...?

Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,

Change in the tinnitus may be related to change in the inflammation or clogged Eustachian tube - leading to altered pressure at the middle ear.

Few things may help -
cover up the noise {in a quiet setting, a fan, soft music or low-volume radio static may help mask the noise from tinnitus}/ manage stress {yoga, meditation does help }/ avoid alcohol and smoking/ Acupuncture, Hypnosis, The herb ginkgo, Zinc supplements may help too. You can try these things to give you relief till inflammation clears.

Good luck
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Are we still confident that this will clear up...it's been 5 weeks. I do smoke heavily.....again MRI, CTscan, Bloodwork etc results were good. I had no bothersome "ringing" or "ear pain" prior to infection. Will this ever end?
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,

Ohhh... Smoking may be the cause too. Try to reduce it. I know it is easy to say than to do it BUT try to reduce the number of smokes and I am sure you will see a day when you will not smoke at all.

Negative CT scan for temporal bone {I assume - it was done} relieves me. It rules out many of the causes of tinnitus.

Please do not worry.

Good luck
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Temoral bone scan was done and normal....When you say smoking may be the cause....do you mean cause of ringing or healing?
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,

That relieves me - Negative temporal bone CT.

Smoking increases chances of tinnitus. It also reduces the speed of healing.

In nutshell - Reduce smoking.

Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Can quiting smoking reverse tinnitus if cause was smoking....again, however, this started with sinus / ear infection.
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,

Yes it may reverse the tinnitus. As the symptom has just stated and CT does not show abnormality at the small ossicle bones in the middle ear - it is very likely to get back to normal. Smoking is the risk factor for getting tinnitus. Cold, flu may be the precipitating factor. Reducing or quiting smoking will definitely increase the chances to get back to normal and it will also reduce the time too to stop ringing at the ear.

Along with it stress also acts ac a risk factor. Yoga, meditation do help to stay away from stress. Lose excess weight/ keep cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar under control/ exercise regularly.

God speed
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
it doesn't sound like this is a perminent situation....healing, reducing smoking should get me "back to normal"?
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
As the tinnitus started acutely - it indicates that - it is reversible. Permanent damage does not seem to have occurred. CT also points to it.
As of now - Try to reduce {better if you stop} smoking/ take prescribed medicines/ continue - warm water gargles, steam inhalation.
Good luck
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Presently I am on Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Meds....Blood Pressure is 137 / 82.....Blood Sugar has been running 86 - 115......Thoughts!
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
how can we know if ear hairs have been damaged.....my scans and hearing test results were good.
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
I am sorry for the delay, I was in an emergency.
Your blood sugar and blood pressure is in normal range. The systolic blood pressure is mildly raised. I would worry if it crosses 140 mark though. Change in life style {lose excess weight if any, regular exercise, balanced diet} should take care of it.
It is difficult or rather not possible to see the hair in the inner ear canal. Inflammation can change the movement of these hair and this can lead to dizziness. Once abnormality is taken care of this should reverse.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Dr. Ken,

Thank you for your support through this most difficult process in my life. As, I've supposed you've guessed, I have suffered with anxiety disorders my whole life. This particular sinus / ear infection /ear ringing / clogged ear experience TRIGGERED MANY childhood and life issues I've SO NEEDED to deal with. With my theoropist I've tackled MUCH over the last few weeks!

In addittion I've dropped 30 lbs and been exercizing DAILY!! My food choices have been, with my beautiful wife's help, SPOT ON Weight, Blood sugar and Anxiety level has improved ALOT! I'd been smoking 30-55 cigarettes daily....I've decreased to 10 per day over the last 2 days....AND WILL QUIT SOON!!!

Ear ringing has, at times shifted now to the OTHER EAR....loud, soft, left, right.....I feel confident that these changes ARE part of healing as inflamation, pressure and tube heal! I feel better w masking the noise too...at first I felt afraid that creating masking sounds around the house was admitting a LIFE SENTENCE OF TINNITUS. NOW I see that it helps keep me engaged in my wonderful life....AND I should have FAITH and TRUST that this will heal and correct soon! NO tests I have had contadict this fact!

Thanks again....I'd appreciate your response and thoughts regarding my e-mail(s)

.

I DO FINALLY BELIEVE that this ringing WILL STOP....infamation, tubes, anxiety

Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Awaiting response from previous email...
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
I am sorry for the delay. There seemed to be some issue with the my email as i did not get a mail that you had sent me a reply.
I am very happy and relieved too read that you are working hard to quit smoking/ maintaining weight.
I am happy that you are also trying to reduce the problem you are facing due to tinnitus by masking.
I am sure you will feel well soon as you are following all the healthy habits.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Do you still feel based on all my previous corresponances that my ear ringing will diappear soon?
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
Yes considering following findings - Negative CT temporal bone/ your efforts to quit smoking/ reducing weight and maintaining weight make me feel that you will be back to normal soon.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Just confused as to why this has taken 5-6 weeks....this is pretty common in your opinion?
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
I would wait for few more weeks {may be 4 to 6 weeks}. Inflammation may take time to heal {more so with you having history of smoking}.
Please give some more time fir the body to heal. If symptoms still persist {after 6 weeks from now} - i would get a second ENT opinion.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Could the remnants of this be stress related and my over focus on the ringing....I've been really focused on this.....sometimes I feel like I wouldn't be noticing this if I hadn't been through this illness. I'm certain my concern about perminent tinnitus has me "LOOKING" for the sound....can some of this be kind of in my mind. You know like hyper focus....like hearing your own heartbeat etc....???
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
Tinnitus is a complex symptom. It can be due to varied causes including - inflammation/ stress/ psychological cause/ raised blood pressure/ raised blood sugar/ atherosclerosis/ smoking, alcohol/ sclerosis at ossicles.
You need to keep all the above risk factors in check to get rid of tinnitus.
For psychological factors - Yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques help.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Just got back from my Primary Care Dr.....Blood pressure is now 120 over 82.....Blood sugar 30 day averages 80-110...30lbs lighter.....he is convinced this is inflamation, tubes intermitt opening and closing....middle ear pressure. I'm to stay on Nazanex Spray....Humidifier....Gargle.....Steam....Saline Spray....Infection and fluids are gone. He TOO feel smoking is prolonging my process....Smoked 10 today as opposed to my usual 40-50....Thoughts on all. Am I on the mend???
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I'm wondering why eardrops have nt bben prescibed at this point....
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
Ear drops do act over the ear drum surface to reduce the inflammation or treat infection present at the external ear canal. They will not help much in opening the blocked Eustachian tube. You need to take decongestants/ antibiotics for it.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
How many times a day and for what duration per treatment do you suggest I perform warm / salt water gargle as well as steam treatment(s) to reduce inflamation?.... ....Also I've started Ginkgo and Zinc at your suggestion.
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
I would do gargles and steam inhalation at least 4 times a day {more you do the better will you get faster}.
Also again - Try to reduce smoking.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Just returned from ENT....he feels things WILL get back to normal for me. Seems I've been effect by an airplane flight I took in late Sept.....followed by 2 ear infections. May take awhile....Question for you: Semms after working out and brisk 3mi per hr / 30 min walk I get louder ringing surges now in other ear (right)....is this due to healing process, circulation changes??? Or what? Ginkgo seems to have some similar effects as well. Infection is gone, ears look great BUT tubes, perssure and likely inflamation remain. Thoughts?
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
I am relieved to read that ENT is happy with your ears and feels the same like me too.
Work out makes your muscles work hard. This leads to increased blood supply to the muscles thus mildly reducing the blood supply to ear and brain. This may be the reason for increased symptoms during the work out. Apart from it I do not see any other cause related to workout or Ginkgo.
Continue healthy habits and work towards your aim to get rid of smoking!
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Should I decrease workouts until ear pressure issues are resolved? I also feel like it was helping my self esteem, weight loss, blood sugar level, blood pressure, overall blood circulation etc....Am I correct.... This is a tough time: trying to decrease bad food intake, reducing smoking, clogged ears, ringing ears, coping with childhood stresses through theropy! All this raises my anxiety at times....I know long term these are the solutions BUT WOW I feel like EVERYTHING I turn to (food, smokes, exercise, theropy) are digging up some scary feelings AND focusing on ringing even more. WHY CANT I BELIEVE I WILL BE "NORMAL AGAIN"? My primary Dr., my ENT and YOU all feel confident and convinced that tinnitus WILL STOP AND IS NOT FOREVER. Why can't I manage this temporary struggel better? 6 weeks of this Dr Ken!
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
Please calm down.
Continue the work out. Do not overdo it.
Let me assure you again - You will go through this patch and come out healthy for sure.
Keep up the good healthy habit.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
ENT is going to do full alergy check on Tuesday....feels perhaps alergies MAY be adding to inflamation....we will see.My family feels alergies will be found based on my history of sinus discomfort.
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
That looks to be a right step. I am happy that you have got good caring doctors. Get a CT scan for sinuses too if not done.
Best
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
CT scan was done and showed a couple of retention cysts BUT nothing my ENT felt was serious or "that bad"....do you think we are looking at weeks or months before ringing stops?
Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
It is difficult to predict BUT generally I have seen individuals get better in weeks.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Ok....update. NOW ringing has started in my right ear....didn't have this before. Is inflamation changing? Tubes changing? I feel, although this is a new discomfort, that it is a sign of healing. Also ENT says things are on track....

Could this be a good sign....changes.

Doctor: Ken, Postgraduate doctor replied 5 years ago
Hello,
Ringing at right ear indicates that inflammation is involving the right tube too. Throat is in communication with both the Eustachian tubes. Inflammation from throat can spread to either of the tubes.
I look forward to allergy test you are supposed to take. This will help us know the exact culprit if any which is preventing early healing.
It is difficult to comment on ringing at right ear is a good sign or not at this moment.
I wish you well soon.
Best
Ken
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

I am curious to allergy test findings as well.....Tinnitus noise levels have, at times, hit lowest volumn levels in weeks....encouraging for sure. THEN it gets louder....and so on and so on. I feel healing is on but allergy possibilities may be infaming more....ALSO HAVE CUT DOWN ON SMOKING ALOT! From 50 smokes per to 10 or less per. Been coughing a bit and feels like throat mucas is looser. Ears still clicking and feeling clogged alot of the time.

Thoughts on ALL are appreciated!

Thanks

Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Can car rides affect ringing / ear pressure? Also please respond to prvious correspondance as well....
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I have not recieved responses to my last 2 Replys...just checking??
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Relist: Other.
was not responded to...
Doctor: Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor replied 5 years ago
Dr. Phil, MD
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Hello. I would like to help you find an answer.
This is Dr. Phil.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Do you have access to my previous trail(s)?
Doctor: Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor replied 5 years ago
I do.
What questions do you still have?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I suppose I'm lookng for you opinion / overview of my situation.....
Doctor: Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor replied 5 years ago
As to treatment or diagnosis?
Please state what your major symptoms are at this time?
Still the ringing and ear clogging?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Diagnosis...."Second Opinion"

Symptoms are ringing, (was in left ear for 4plus weeks now in right as well....also get louder surges that last a minute or so) Also ear pressure builds....clicking sounds when I swllow etc...Started w sinus /ear infection 6 weeks ago....no prior issues. MRI Brain was normal...CT Sinus was normal....Ear Bones Scan was normal....hearing test was good. SO concerned about life of tinnitus....my Primary and ENT say nothing is pointing in that direction and that I will return to normal. This is 6 weeks old and I'm scared. Infection is gone....Dr. says inflamation from infection is still present.....Taking Nazanex, Warm Gargles w pinch of salt. Trying not to smoke as much (tough). Went from 50 per day to 10.....Excercizing, Dropped 27 lbs, Blood Pressure normal (medication), Blood Sugar normal (medication)....Do you agree that this will "get back to normal"....taking so long??

Doctor: Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor replied 5 years ago
Perhaps.
This sounds like Meniere's disease.
Has anyone suggested this and offered treatment?
Like oral steroids or steroid injections in the ear?
Dr. Phil, MD
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I was on steroids for 2 weeks....I believe my ENT ruled Out Menieres disease....It that the one that causes vertigo?
Doctor: Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor replied 5 years ago
Okay and the steroids didn't help I'm assuming.
Yes it can.
But it can also cause ringing in the ears and ear fullness
So does your ENT think it is simply viral?
Dr. Phil, MD
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Feels it is due to lingering E tube issues , inflamation....due to my now treated infection. Also wants to check for allergies this Tuesday....Is he, in your opinion, being aggressive enough? Both my primary and my ENT feel ringing will subside and I'll return to "normal"....this has been going on 6 weeks and I'm losing patience and faith.
Doctor: Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor replied 5 years ago
I would be using more aggressive medications.
I would be using a nasal steroid, oral steroids, and decongestants/anti histamines all in combination to help.
I would also be helping you quit smoking. For example using patches or chantix.
I do think it will get better in time but all of these things together I think will help this get better quicker.
Dr. Phil, MD
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

So how do I present my Dr w request for more agressive treatment(s)? Also....I've cut out all caffine but smoking, especially under this present stress, is not going as well. I've cut back alot (to less than a pack per...10/15 cigs a day....was 2 packs plus) I never use salt nor do I eat obvious salty foods.

I get a little dizzy at times but chalked it up to ear infection issues and anxiety.

Sounds like these issues will pass....but I'd like to do all I can to shorten this and avoid future episodes.

Doctor: Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor replied 5 years ago

That's excellent. You should be commended for cutting back. Any cutting back will help.

I would simply be honest. Physicians, myself included, appreciate honesty.

Tell him that you are worried that this is not going to get better and it is affecting every aspect of your life.

When I have responded the best in the past is when patients tell me how scared/nervous they are. This really hits a nerve. Try that.

If you are getting dizzy, then that does go along with Meniere's. Ask the ENT about this as well.

Dr. Phil, MD
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Do Menieres symptoms pass?
Doctor: Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor replied 5 years ago

The course of Meniere's is unpredictable. Some get better, some don't

Make sure you tell your ENT that you are getting dizzy. Ear pain or fullness/congestion with tinnitus and dizziness are classic signs of this.

Certain alternative treatments may be beneficial in Meniere's.

One such involves placing an antibiotic directly into the inner ear.

The ENT can do this.

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