It all started a couple of months ago. I have had sinus issues for years. This year was the worst. I went to my doctor in late May. He gave me an antibiotic and Allergy medicine and said I had fluid in my ear. I had an ear ache and was a little congested. After a couple of weeks with no real improvement. I went back. He recommended an ENT. I went there. He did a thorough examination. A Sound booth hearing test. A Tympanogram?? test in my ear. He said there was no fluid in my ears and my ears appeared very health. I have a little High Frequency hearing loss in both of my ears that are about equal. He said nothing major. He diagnosed me with Eustachian Tube Disyfunction and put me on Nasonex. I was on this for about 3 weeks with no real help. I went back to the ENT and he again did the test and had the same results. He said your ears are healthy. You show no signs of anything to lead him to believe anything else.
I then went back to my Family Doctor and said that My Ear Pain needs fixed. He sent me to a dentist. The Dentist took an X-ray and did a thorough examination and diagnosed me with a pretty good case of TMJ. He said the x-ray showed that one side had a worn down Jaw bone and the other side had a bone gorwing through it. Nothing serious, but could be causing pain. He said the ear pain most certainly was being caused by that. He said my case is pretty high. He and my doctor spoke and my doctor is convinced that Eustachian Tube Dysfunction and TMJ are what is causing this. He said no need for a CT Scan or MRI as The ENT didn't see it was necessary and the Dentist was sure of what this was. My doctor said he thought it was a waste to do any CT Scan or MRI because I don't show any symptoms to warrant it. He said your sinuses and TMJ are causing this.
I then went to some massage therapists and everyone of them said I was the tightest muscle person they had seen. Many trigger points that were tight knotts. Also, my face and jaw were very tight with many knotts. I went to a Chiropractor and he also said my muscles in my neck, upper back and face and Jaw were very, very tight and my jaw was not aligned right.
So, the dentist made me a night guard. Most of the pain is gone in my ear. Only time I get pain, usually is after I eat or at night. I have stubborn fullness in my ear though for the past 3 weeks. The fullness is not like a clogged ear, but just as though it is numb in the ear area. May not even be in the ear... But, to my touch it isn't numb. That is the only way to describe it. My hearing is fine. I have also had Tinnitus for years, so the doctors have contributed this to TMJ, because they say I have had it for years and it has gotten so much worse.
Should I be concerned at all that a Tumor is present behind my ear? The Doctor and ENT, both say no based on the tests and my symptoms. The doctors said no need ofr a CT Scan or MRI for a tumor, because based on the ENT examination, nothing lead him at all to that.
Can someone reassure me? I do have about all of the TMJ and Eustachian symptoms. The only things I do have the symptoms for. It is just frustrated to last for this long.
My brother actually had a benign tumor behind his ear. It was quite visible and it caused him no pain. I don't know if other kinds of tumors are found in that area but I really wouldn't worry about a tumor. You have so many good reasons for your pain; the jaw misalignment, the incredibly tight muscles etc.; several doctors who agree on your diagnosis...
TMJ can cause many many different symptoms. It's not surprising that as your physicians work with you that your symptoms would change somewhat and it's not necessarily an easy disorder to treat so it's not surprising that you haven't had complete symptom relief. It's great that you finally found a source for your long-standing symptoms. Good luck with the treatment.
You're not alone. I've had TMJ, neck/jaw/upper shoulder tension for years. I've been able to maintain the symptoms by using massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments, TENS unit, moist heat, injections, and Graston. Graston, by far, has provided the best relief. It just seems like an ongoing thing though. Unless you get rid of the stress in your life...