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Suspect Seasonal Allergies? Visit an ENT

I never had allergies as a child, but when I was in my mid 20s, I thought I developed seasonal allergies. I felt like I had a severely stuffed up nose one fall that OTC allergies medications only helped a little. However, when the stuffed up nose persisted all winter, I realized I may have a bigger problem and visited an ENT. It turned out that I had been getting repeated sinus infections and never knew it! Thankfully, a round of antibiotics cleared it up and I wish I had sought treatment long ago. I have since become fascinated by disorders affecting the Ears, Nose, and Throat, so I decided to start a blog all about what I have learned about them. I plan to post many tips about sinus health. However, remember never to self-diagnose and visit an ENT when you develop new sinus problems!




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Suspect Seasonal Allergies? Visit an ENT

Painful Ears: Is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder The Reason For Your Chronic Ear Pain?

by Jeremiah Shelton

If you suffer from chronic ear pain, it could be due to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Although temporomandibular joint disorder is a dental condition, it can still affect tissues outside of the mouth, including your ears. The pain you feel could be an extension of your jaw pain. Here's how TMJ affects your ears and how you can get through it.

How TMJ Affects Your Ears

Your lower jawbone (mandible) is a large bone that relies on two small temporomandibular joints to connect to the skull. The joints also sit close to your ears. Because of this close proximity, pain that develops in your jaw can eventually spread to your ears over time.

Temporomandibular joint pain can cause inflammation and tension in the facial muscles. Some of this tension can affect the tissues inside the ear, including the canal. You might hear ringing, buzzing, or another sound related to tinnitus. It's possible for you to feel dizzy from your ear problems, or you might experience some hearing loss or fluid buildup in one or both ears. 

You could possibly experience pain in your temples and forehead from the problems occurring in your jaw and ears. The only way to combat these symptoms is to seek treatment for your TMJ and ears.

How to Manage Your Symptoms

You can see a dentist for your TMJ pain, or you can seek treatment from an ENT. An ENT is an ear, nose, and throat doctor. Although TMJ does affect the jaw, many ENT specialists are equipped or trained to treat the condition as well. Some TMJ problems can develop in the tissues of the head and neck region. An ENT can find the source of your TMJ and provide treatment for it. 

After a specialist treats your TMJ pain, they can address the problems in your ears. You may need to use medication to remove any fluids in your ears. If your tinnitus didn't go away with your TMJ treatment, an ENT may recommend that you see an audiologist for tinnitus retraining treatment. During the treatment, you'll wear special devices that mask the noises produced by tinnitus. You eventually learn to ignore the sounds in your ears. 

You should report any changes in your jaw and ears to an ENT specialist or an audiologist immediately. Although the treatments above can very successful, TMJ pain can return at a later date. An ENT can address the pain and any other symptoms you experience right away.

If you're ready to live without pain, contact an ENT doctor for an appointment today.