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I've resisted posting anything about a physical disorder I was recently diagnosed with, but as there might be someone who could benefit from my experience...here goes.

I had been having trouble with my right ear for several months and my family doc kept treating me for congestion and possible ear infection. My symptoms were; a feeling of fullness / stuffiness of the ear with loud rushing water sounds every time I breathe through my nose. My voice is extremely loud and distorted in my right ear almost like having a clogged ear except the sound is not muffled and much louder. I experience crackling and popping sounds when I swallow. Hiccups are just painful. Talking is difficult and singing is out of the question.

I finally went to an ENT and he was going down the same path until I mentioned that it sounded like the surf / waves crashing every time I took a breath. The ENT said "Ah ha, you have Patulous Eustachian Tube, Patulous means too open." He explained the structure of the Eustachian Tube, that this is a rare condition and told me of some possible causes, none of which apply to me. He wrote down "Patulous", handed me the note and then we stared at each other. I was waiting for him to explain the cure and I don't know what he was thinking, but I'll never forget what happened next. He stood up, and said, "I'm sorry but there isn't a cure for Patulous Eustachian Tube. Look it up on Google.", handed me the diagnosis sheet, opened the exam room door and directed me to the front desk. [my resulting thoughts edited for the sake of the children]

I took his sage :? advice and googled it. Here are those results. I think I've read every one of these sites. :shock:

I've found some relief by trial and error. Eating spicy food seems to cause closure of the ET but the affect is temporary. I have read reports of people snorting black pepper to get relief with diminishing affect. Also, I now chew gum almost every waking moment of every day. It seems to diminish the symptoms. I hate chewing gum, but there you go. Now to find some spicy chewing gum. :D Lying down brings almost instant cessation of symptoms. They also return just as quickly upon rising. Wearing an earplug in my right ear also reduces the symptoms.

One bright note, I don't notice any symptoms while playing sax. :cheers: :thumbrig: :D I thought I would at least hear the reed buzzing but thank goodness that's not the case.

I hope this doesn't sound crass but I am not looking for anyone's pity or sympathy. I just wanted to share my story in case anyone else was experiencing these symptoms and to possibly find someone who has a remedy.

Sorry for the long post.

Redwood

P.S. I checked with my dentist and I don't have TMJD which might be a causative factor for pET.
P.P.S. There is a doc in Boston who has developed a treatment. Dennis S. Poe, MD, FACS
 
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