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Spasms and echoes in eustacian tube - did I bring this on myself? Any remedies?

Asked on April 18, 2012
Created April 18, 2012 at 2:09 PM

By avoiding allergens and otherwise reducing inflammation, I've actually caused myself a problem. How to fix it?

So get this: During both of my pregnancies I experience(d) fantastically annoying spasms deep in my left ear (eustacian tube) and sudden unequalisable pressure leading to being able to hear my own voice and breathing inside my own head. Stretching, rubbing, and the usual equalisation techniques did not work.

I thought it might be due to jaw clenching, so my dentist sent me to an orthodontist who made me a night guard that realigns my bite. The whole side of my face hurt for a week, but the spasms are greatly reduced. The echoes not at all.

This morning I was at the ENT (Otolaryngologist) and he immediately asked if I'd lost a lot of weight. Why yes, in fact I did immediately before BOTH pregnancies - 17 and 15kg, respectively. Thanks, paleo!

He said that I'd lost a padding of fat around the eustacian tube and now it - and the valve to my sinus cavity - was too wide and having trouble maintaining homeostatic pressure. Perhaps if I've stopped losing (being pregnant now, I'd say that's a given) my fat will redistribute and solve the problem, otherwise I'm stuck with it (unless I want collagen injected into my head, which I don't). If I keep losing it may effect both ears in time.

A search turned up this site: http://www.sheaclinic.com/Ear%20Disorders.html "Another important associated condition with autophony is autoimmune disease of other parts of the body... Whether it causes or contributes to the atrophy of the walls of the Eustachian tube, so that it remains open most of the time, is not known, but presumably it must. Only about one-third of patients with autophony have autoimmune disease." Wiki suggests it's acquired and may be related to dehydration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patulous_Eustachian_tube

So here's my question: did my eustacian tube stretch in reaction to the pressure of the fat which, now that it's gone, has left the thing too wide, or was it always like this? If so, why symptoms now? Will a collagen-rich diet help this structure to reform properly, or is that impossible? Are there myofacial excercises I could try to engage the muscles around the tube to push against it like the fat used to do? Did anybody know that you could have fat THERE?

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