As I mentioned in my opening, the purpose of this blog is to help others like my husband, Todd, that suffer from problems like Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, Tinnitus, Otitis Media with Effusion,(OME),aka, “glue ear”, and Mastoiditis. He has been suffering from these debilitating ear problems for as long as he can remember. For those of you that are not familiar with these problems, let me give you an overview.
Chronic Otitis Media with Effusion is inflammation and build up of fluid in the middle ear without infection which could occur due to some type of blockage of the Eustachian tube or from fluid buildup that continues after an ear infection has cleared up. Eustachian tubes connect the middle ears to the back of the throat so that they are able to drain fluid from the ears and keep air pressure in the ears at the proper level. Colds, allergies, and sinus infections can cause swelling and prevent the tubes from opening which can lead to fluid buildup and pressure in the middle ears which can cause severe pain.
Mastoiditis is a bacterial infection of the mastoid bone which sits behind the ear. It has air spaces that help to drain the middle ear which can become inflamed or infected as a result of unresolved ear infections. Often when this is the case a myringotomy is performed which entails making a small hole or incision in the eardrum to relieve the pressure and drain fluid from the middle ear. Often times the doctor will insert a small tube to ventilate and prevent this fluid buildup. This procedure is commonly performed on children as young as one year old (my husband had his tubes put in about three years ago). If this does not bring the expected results a Mastoidectomy may be performed. This is a surgical procedure where, at the least, the doctor scrapes the infection out of the air cells of the mastoid bone and drains the ears. In some cases the surgery is more radical. For my husband this would be a last resort procedure and he really doesn’t want to go there. All of these ear problems are very common in children and can also contribute to speech, language and learning difficulties as well as hearing loss.
Many of the symptoms from these problems that Todd has endured over the years have been popping and cracking noises in the ears, various tones and pitches of ringing and ,hollow sounds, all of which are a part of Tinnitus. Other problems have been pounding and throbbing in the back of the head which makes it hard to sleep, pressure in the ears and head, feeling like ones head is in a vice, and sounding like you are underwater all the time. This is extremely difficult to live with day after day and year after year.
So over the past five years, Todd has been getting treatment for these ear problems, and continually doing research to educate himself about the treatments available. It has been like putting pieces of a puzzle together. Through visiting at least five ENTs (ear nose and throat doctors) and thru our research, we have learned how so many seemingly different illnesses are actually related to each other. I believe that most people are so wrapped up in their daily lives of going to work, taking care of their families etc. that they are not even aware of what is causing so many of their health issues. Some may not even realize that they have issues at all, just as Todd didn’t for many years. In my experience, the number one positive influence on health, is proper nutrition – real food – not dinner from a box or a fast food place!
I plan on sharing what I have learned and continue to learn with you, on this blog. I will discus issues regarding ear health as well as other topics that have enlightened us over time. My main goal is to help people who are suffering, because I live with someone who understands what it feels like to never really feel or be well.
Thanks for listening and I would love to hear from you about your own experiences. Stay posted!