I haven’t been on this board for a while, but it’s quite a coincidence that I should happen to check in today. I say that because I had PE/ventilation tubes/grommets put in both my eardrums earlier today.
My eustachian tubes have been intermittently clogged ever since my dizziness started a couple years ago. (They pop and click and generally feel clogged-up.) I hurt my neck, which I believe furthered my eustachian tube dysfunction. (I have had problems with my left ET and light tinnitus in that ear for many years prior so I believe I am prone to ETD. It got much worse after my neck injury, however.) A few weeks back, my neck pain came back after throwing a baseball with my son and also slipping & falling on a wet garage floor that same day. The dizziness started to come back. A couple weeks later, I felt like I was getting a sore throat and opened my mouth really wide, tilted back my head & dropped the back of my tongue so I could get a good look at my tonsils in the mirror. Immediately, my left ET clogged up, and the dizziness was back the next morning the worst I’ve experienced to date.
I found a new ENT, and he told me that he has had people with ETD whose dizziness has resolved with tubes. For that reason, he put them in both sides as an experiment. I must say that the strange sensation and altered hearing from the tubes is annoying, but it’s nothing I can’t live with for 6 to 12 months until they fall out. Interestingly, the machine that’s used to measure ETD (a tympanogram??) indicated I did not have ET issues. However, the ENT told me today that both ears were retracted (by negative pressure in the middle ear) and fluid came out of the left ear when he made the hole. I’m not holding my breath that this will work since I had just the hole (myringotomy) put into just one of my ears last fall. While I seemed to be better initially, it may just have been a coincidence. This time, I’m trying both ears so there will be no doubt there is equal pressure on both sides.)
I’m mentioning this because I read several articles written by an Australian ENT who states that a person may have slight ETD that can impact the inner ear although it will not register on the general tests done in most clinics. Apparently, there are other pressure tests that can be done (maybe in a University/lab setting?) that are more sensitive in detecting ETD. This article was written in 1999: tinnitusjournal.com/imageban … 5n2a08.pdf The author has published additional articles on this subject since then as well. I tracked down a clinic in Brisbane that was affiliated with Dr. Franz. I wanted to find out if he had any recent thoughts on the subject, but the clinic emailed me stating Dr. Franz had retired a year ago.
Also, read these posts written by someone on a sleep apnea board regarding this thoughts on the relationship between ETD and dizziness as well as possible increased intracranial pressure while breathing out in someone with obstructive sleep apnea: apneasupport.org/post-126486 … lva#126486
Here’s an excerpt:
"I made a few searches, and found in an hour or so an interesting article from Dr. Hain. This is an article about Perilymph Fistula (PLF). In this article I found this passage:
“A closely related condition is "alternobaric vertigo". Here dizziness is associated with a difference in pressure between ears. This condition remains difficult to document. Some patients with sleep apnea on CPAP may have vertigo due to this mechanism.”
"I could not get contact to this doctor, so I started to read about “alternobaric vertigo”. This is not an illness but more a phenomenon. This phenomenon is very known by divers, and occurs when you have one blocked Eustachian tube. (This is a tube from the back in your nose to the middle ear. This tube is used to equalize the pressure in the middle ear to the pressure outside your body). But if the pressure difference between the two ears (the middle ear) exceeds 45mmHG then this phenomenon occur."
You should read through all his comments detailing his experience with dizziness. Although it’s just someone else’s anecdotal report on his experience, it’s still quite interesting…