PMRGCAuk
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Ear blocked

Hi again . I am feeling very scared and depressed this morning. Since I lowered my prednisone from 12.5 to 10 I started having a blocked feeling in my right ear. I was at the rheumatologist whobreferred me to the ear nose and throat doctor. I went yesterday and she said I have inflammation in my ear and in eustachian tube. It's not G CA.

I feel like I am going to lose my hearing. My teeth are sensitive to cold . Anyone have any thoughts?

I thought I was doing well until this happened and now I am falling apart. Thanks

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Hello, it is not the same as the dreaded inflammation that you get in the arteries with PMR/ GCA. The eustscian tube is a very narrow tube that is needed to equalise the pressure of the ear inside with the outside and drain away any mucus. It doesn’t take much to block this,even a bit of rhinitis that drips down the back of the throat. If it is blocked it really affects the hearing but isn’t going to damage it. It can cause earache too.

Look at this

patient.info/health/earache...

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Thank you. I will look at it. Scary feeling

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Does anyone take atorvastatin ? I just read that it can cause hearing loss.

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You could have had this without PMR/pred and Snazzy has explained it well - so no need to panic.

Sensitive teeth is quite common with PMR - I had it for about 5 years before I went onto pred and it slowly went away. I switched to using Sensodyne Pronamel, it really helped a lot. Everyone is different so maybe another toothpaste for sensitive teeth might suit you better.

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Hi . Thank you for your reply. I am down today for sure. I am a hygienist so fortunately I know about sensitive teeth. Sensodyne is wonderful and the dentist or hygienist can also apply fluoride topically to help.

I just feel so scared because I have read here that people have hearing problems with GCA. I am going to a second opinion to a rheumatologist in Boston on Tuesday. I have had a little discomfort chewing lately too . I was doing well with PMR diagnosis and back to normal life with help of prednisone but now this and I just feel lost. I haven't been sick with a cold or anything. Doctor said I have inflammation and no infection. I have fluid in my middle ear.

I wonder if I could take Sudafed for the fluid or would that not be good with PREDNISONE.

Trying to hang in here till I see the rheumatologist on Tuesday.

Thanks so much. I found it interesting you have sensitive teeth with PMR and not GCA.

I appreciate your thoughts very much.

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A LOT of us have experienced sensitive teeth - with both GCA and PMR. I'm not sure there is a logic to it, but it is definitely something that happens.

Do stop worrying - I know it is easy to say - but GCA is rare. It isn't even that common amongst people with PMR.

As far as I can find there is no reason at all not to take sudafed with steroids - NSAIDs are not advisable so be careful when using other cold remedies.

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I took Sudafwd 30mg 4hour dosage once or twice a day for stuffed ears from sinus or allergy when I was a your Preddosage. Now at 6.75 avg dosage, I’m not so sure.

My pharmacist said it would be ok because Sidafed interacts with the Adrenal Medulla but I’m waiting for my Adrenal cortex to come back on board and regulate.

However, this is from the CSS autoimmune patient forum. It is from an article on how care for oneself as one reduces below 7.0.

--Cut back on caffeine and caffeine-related substances. Caffeine works by stimulating the adrenal medulla to produce adrenaline. Then the adrenal cortex must work double hard to produce the "chill out"cortisoid hormones.

I assume sudafed and caffeine work in the same way as both have stimulating effects. So I hold off on sudafed nowadays. But I will take it if I get dizzy or the stuffiness progresses to earache.

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Thank you that was interesting

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Oh don’t worry Sallydvs you are just poorly and your Rheumatologist is being thorough. I have ear infections every winter that disappear with Otomise eardrops, very quickly. I know what you mean though. Your body has betrayed you and you don’t quite trust it anymore. Every symptom feels potentially sinister. I am keeping a check on my own tendency to catastrophise( daily).

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I am glad you have raised this problem, Sallydvs. My left ear has been blocked for some time now. My GP doesn't know what it is. I made an appt to see an Audiologist, and he says I should be referred ENT, as my eardrum could burst. I have had GCA 12 years, and don't recall ever having this before.It hasn't been painful, but, out in the Norfolk winds, I am having some earache.

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Do you take statins

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No, I don't take statins. What I forgot to mention, in my previous post, is that, although I don't have cold teeth, I am going to ask my dentist, on Wed, if there's anything the matter in the left side of my mouth. Maybe cause of left blocked ear.I have had strange sensation, not toothache.

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Thank you for your reply. It is driving me crazy and worrying me I will lose my hearing. I hope to find a doctor who will help soon.

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What worries me is that I have no infection. They say I have inflammation. I haven't been sick or coughing.

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You don’t have to, it could easily be allergy type of reaction or just mucus. It may be the Pred has make your secretions thicker, but that’s just a guess. Some people seem to be very prone for a while and then it can just go for no apparent reason. How do they know it is actually inflammation in the eustacian tube, did they look somehow?

When the pressure is unequal the only thing that can take up the slack is the ear drum. It is either bowed out or in but either way it becomes more rigid which impairs your hearing. It isn’t permanent. The fluid in the ear is not a permanent thing either, but it is a bind. Yes if it gets too much it could burst the ear drum but this usually heals after the fluid has drained.

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The doctor looked into my eustachian tube and said it was inflammed and also that I had fluid in my middle ear.

Thank you . I am so puzzled by this as I don't have allergies and I am not sick with a cold. Scary feeling

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It happens and is quite common; you don’t need to have had a cold. You may even have mild allergies eg house dust mite that don’t give you other symptoms. It may be left over from an ancient cold or sore throat. You may have an infection in there, which may or may not be anything to immunosupression from Pred. GCA is to do with the blood vessels not the ear canals. Logically, id have thought any hearing loss due to that (if it does happen with GCA) would be due to nerve damage from lack of blood supply. Therefore I would be cheered by the fact that there is a clear visible reason like fluid that is causing the hearing impairment.

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Dear Sallydvs

It's nice to know that I'm just like other sufferers in some respects. I've suffered from an adult version of "Glue Ear" since October 2017 and the Nurse Practitioner said she could see some fluid in my right ear. She prescribed Mometasone Furoate a nasal spray for each nostril in the mornings. I questioned why spraying up my nostril would help my ear, and having seen the very good diagram on the Patient site I can understand. I also had pain in my mouth and the dentist said it was probably my lack of teeth, and my lower jaw rocking when I ate food. She encouraged me to have some partial dentures and though they make my rows of teeth look much better they very uncomfortable. The spray cleared my ear problem eventually, but caused nosebleeds because I couldn't get the dose right.

Hope this helps and you feel better soon.

Regards

Colin

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Thank you Colin. I am glad you mentioned the spray. The doctor offered me one too and I was hesitant to use it but now I will give it a try. Hope you have a good day .

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I had this, inflammation of eustachian tube, last winter. Felt I was going deaf in one ear. My gp diagnosed it and gave me a steroid nasal spray which seemed strange at the time. It took a few months of using it but is much better now. Still can feel the tube gets blocked from time to time. Hearing about back to normal now. Didn't really explore cause. Just assumed PMR or the left overs from a throat infection. Only thing I will say is that Oral Surgeon I saw for something else asked if I had been using steroid nasal spray as the membranes in my nose seemed thin. Its scary at the time but gradually I realised it was slowly improving. Just took a long time. I know its hard not to worry but its quite a common thing as the tubes are very tiny. Hope you feel better soon xxx

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Thank you for encouraging words. A few people have mentioned the nasal spray so I will give it a try.

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I have used a steroid nasal spray too. I discontinued because it hurt my nose which tends to be dry. This last time, I sprayed something called NasoGel into my nose to coat it first, then the steroid spray. No discomfort. Just an FYI.

I just checked and found NasoGel available on Amazon. Maybe it is available for you. I really love this product better than straight saline solution.

This is not a commercial! I'm just glad I found it.

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If I were you I'd try some ascorbic acid ear drops which will help with the inflammation and will not conflict with any medication. They are very effective. You could also try some coloidal silver spray on your throat. The former is available from Boots or an independent chemist where you could speak to the pharmacist about the drops and ask what else he has that might be suitable. The latter can be purchased at good health food/supplements shops or online and is a good first defence against colds and flu aswell.

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