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Yawn and ears ringing, severe headaches. Tried tylenol. What can be the cure?

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ENT Specialist
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On an intermittent basis I yawn and get ringing in my ears and this is usually followed with severe headaches. The headaches sometime would occur at the top of my head, on the sides of my head, the front of my head and the back of my head. I have tried over the counter tylenol to no avail.
Posted Mon, 18 Jun 2012 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the nose. It is normally in a collapsed state. It can be voluntarily opened by yawning, swallowing, chewing gum, blowing your nose or performing the Valsalva maneuver.

2. Get a Tympanogram done to check middle ear pressures and Eustachian Tube function. Also get a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) to check your hearing since you have Tinnitus.

3. Get a Neurologist's opinion as your headaches are all over the head and hence may not be always related to ENT disease. An MRI Scan is usually advised in a patient of headache so as not to miss any major cause. I must emphasize that almost 99% of MRIs are normal.

4. I would rule out the following conditions:
a. Migraine and cluster headaches and neuralgias. Since the pain is not relieved by OTC Tylenol. The painkillers for these conditions are different from conventional medications such as Tylenol.
b. Atherosclerosis (turbulent blood flow). Get a Lipid Profile and Neck Doppler done.
c. Thyroid problems. Get your Thyroid Function Tests (TFT's) and USG Neck done.
d. Cervical spondylosis and cervical spine problems.
e. Sinus disease.
f. Venous thrombosis in the cerebral veins if you are on oral contraceptive pills. Yawning alters the venous flow in the head and neck region by compressing venous plexuses.
g. High Blood Pressure. Monitor your blood pressure for changes around the headache episodes.

5. Kindly let me know the results of your investigations. This will help in suggesting further treatment.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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