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Blocked eustachian tubes, TMJ, brain fog, anxiety. What is wrong?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I have had blocked eustachian tubes for a couple of years now and I notice the symptoms more so after drinking herbal tea/normal tea and coffee and other caffeinated drinks. Small gland under right ear at top of sternocleidomastoid muscle feels raised. I have done a lot of travelling and moving around in the past 5 years and suffer from TMJ - jaw pain and tight muscles in neck and shoulders. My ears are not always blocked - the symptoms come and go but to be honest they are pretty constant. It often feels as if catarrh/thick mucus is stuck at back of throat. Symptoms seem to improve abroad - particularly in Fuerteventura (north of the island - south was greener and ears seemed to suddenly block on day trip to south). Very bizarre. Gilbert's syndrome also runs in family as does acid reflux, which I sometimes suffer from. Milk can also make catarrh worse. Have been to see my doctor but she suggested I take a course of antibiotics, which haven't really helped. I work a lot from the computer and very rarely worked at a desk when I was studying for my degree so my posture is probably not great either. I have tried Beconase Nasal Spray but I have not been taking it properly. I have also had the odd bout of thrush but I wouldn't have thought this would affect my ears... Problem leading to brain fog and anxiety. Dentist put me on an antidepressant to help with TMJ (can't remember name of the drug) but it didn't seem to improve brain fog or blocked eustachian tubes. Any suggestions as to what is wrong?

Many thanks
Posted Thu, 3 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 33 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.

Blocked eustachian tubes for such a long time with intermittent relief is suggestive of an allergic cause. Allergic rhinitis is the most common associated problem.

Fungal infection of the oral mucosa can also cause congestion of the eustachian tubes. A swab culture from the back of your throat will help in identifying the responsible organism.

Local decongestant drops, regular twice a day steam inhalation, avoiding sudden temprature changes, soot, dust and spicy food can also help in reducing your symptoms.

Presence of small nodes behind the ear is suggestive of a persistent ear infection.

I suggest you to get an appointment from your ENT surgeon for proper examination and further treatment.

Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.

Wishing you good health.
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