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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Need a ENT or Specialist who can help me

    I have had problems since Feb 2010. I first noticed a clicking sound in my ear when I was chewing food, and my left ear was very wet, like leaking, I thought nothing of it, two weeks later I woke up and the world was spinning, severe vertigo and nausea.

    I went to the hospital and was told I had a viral ear infection and given a shot and sent home. The vertigo lasted one week then vanished. About a month later it came back with a vengance, this time lasting 8 weeks. I had lost all balance and had to pretty much learn it again, I saw my gp a few times and was given stemzine and serc and moduretic- none of which helped.

    I have a constant feeling of pressure in my left ear and pain in my left jaw joint also my left nose/sinus is blocked intermittently I also have pain in the top of my mouth, I have seen an ENT and was told it wasnt meneres, as I dont have any hearing loss, it feels like my jaw is pushing on my ear.

    Its 24 hours a day and very hard to live with
    James 25 male
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    Dr Jason Roth

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    ENT and Facial Plastic surgeon with a special interest in adult and paediatric ENT problems, rhinoplasty, facial plastic surgery, nose and sinus disorders. View Profile

    Hi James, 

    There are a few conditions that could explain your ear symptoms and associated vertigo. There are two medical specialists who deal with vertigo (the spinning sensation) - Ear, Nose and Throat doctors and neurologists. There is quite a long list of causes and it can take a bit of detective work to get to the bottom of things. 

    You could consider a second opinion from another ENT specialist and possibly some video nystagmography testing - an objective series of tests of your balance system. There are signs of Meniere's disease on an audiogram and if this was completely normal that diagnosis becomes less certain. 

    If there are no definite ENT findings your next best stop would be to see a neurologist. 

    Hopefully that helps. 

    Jason Roth
    Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

  • 2

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    Mr. Roger O'Toole

    Physiotherapist

    Roger O'Toole is the Director and senior clinician of The Melbourne Headache Centre. Since opening the Melbourne Headache Centre in 2012 Roger has amassed over … View Profile

    Hello James, 

    I agree with Jason in that you should rule out ear problems including your inner ear with the appropriate testing.

    I find the onset and timing with your jaw pain interesting in that the nerves that supply the jaw also supply the ear drum (trigmenial nerve). The trigeminal nerve passes back into the brainstem where it mixes with the nerves from the upper cervical spine. This gives the nerves from the upper part of the neck direct access to the nerves that cause headache and migraine, but also jaw pain, and can cause pressure sensations in the ear.

    There is a condition called vestibular migraine which would procude all of the symptoms you describe, and much like migraine aura without headache, it doesn't have to involve head pain as such.
    .A feeling of pressure or “blocked” ear, jaw pain and dizziness are all common features in people I assess for their migraines.

    As I said in my opening comments, start with the obvious and rule out the vestibular system. Often reaching a diagnosis is a matter of ruling out the things that could be causing your condition. As part of that process I would ensure you rule out the neck using techniques specifically designed to test the relationship between your neck and your symptoms.

    Give me a call if you would like to discuss it further.

    Regards,

    Roger O'Toole

    Director and Senior Clinician
    Melbourne Headache Centre

    www.melbourneheadachecentre.com.au

  • 1

    Agree

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    Kerry Read

    Physiotherapist

    Headline Physiotherapy for the Head Neck and Jaw deals specifically with TMJ Facial Pain Headache Migraine and other musculoskeletal issues involving the cranial area. All … View Profile

    Hi James, if the investigations into your ear have found nothing, it would be very likely that there are a number of things which could be causing this apart from your ear. As Roger says, this could be an aggravation of the nerve network which services the neck and jaw.
    The feeling of fluid running in the ear is something that is often reported in association with jaw pain, fullness and dizziness. Having both your neck and jaw function assessed by an experienced practitioner may reveal a problem which can be easily addressed.
    Hope you find a solution soon, as these symptoms are so hard to live with.

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