Acoustic trauma causing eustachian tube dysfunction.


I’ve decided to start this thread from a post originally started over at, as there doesn’t seem to be much discussion about this particular topic.

Acoustic trauma causing ETD is something I've been trying to understand since 2013, after a noise trauma from a car accident (most likely the sudden explosion from the airbag) has left me with the following symptoms:

— A blocked/full feeling (not 24 hours a day) which makes you want to pull your ear to let something out
— Warm fluid draining feeling (quite frequent and varies from a little to a lot)
— Popping sounds (at its worst it pops each time I chew/swallow)
— An unusual hot/cold sensation down the left side of my face, which I was told is likely related to some kind of nerve damage
— When the left ear feels pressurised I sometimes get an uncomfortable, dull pain in it

Having already had tinnitus/hyperacusis since 2000, I've now had ETD (or MED?) symptoms in my left ear ever since.

No doctors I've seen have been able to discuss, or even entertain, the relation between noise trauma and ETD symptoms, as I get the sense they don't understand it so they don't feel they can give any kind of professional opinion. I have tried things like nasal spray but I find this a really unpleasant thing to do, and I do seem to get relief from a very cheap hayfever medicine called Loratadine.

I've had an MRI scan with no sign of obvious physical causes. (But that's most likely because it only takes microscopic damage to affect your ears in this way)

It also seems to be much worse if you suffer from allergies, catarrh or sinusitus etc. - which unfortunately I do. (On a positive note my symptoms in Summer 2015 have been much better than Summer 2014 and I'm not even sure why yet — hopefully whatever it is is "healing", albeit very, very gradually.)

If anyone has found any really good ear specialists who know about this kind of thing (and don't just treat their patients as if they're making it up) I'd love to know about them. Although at this point I'm not really looking for treatments — I'd be very satisfied if a doctor could just give me some kind of definitive answers, and help me understand and clarify what's happened inside my ear and what exactly causes the symptoms.

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  • Hi Ben.... Just reading your post from 3 years ago.... I've been suffering with almost identical symptoms combined with awful spells of dizziness in the last weeks after an acoustic trauma event last at the end of last year. Have things improved for you at all?

    The symptoms, whilst sometimes lesser individually are hugely debilitating and depressing when combined and at their worst. I've been to see 2 different ENT specialists and neither have been able to give me any advise on what's really going on or what I could do to try and make things better. Thanks, Greg 

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