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Hearing Loss - Plugged Ears


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9 replies to this topic

#1 cyberprof

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 09:09 AM

OK, so I'm about to go crazy here. This is not really a celiac question but I trust the wisdom here and am just bouncing ideas.

Of course, I'm celiac on gluten-free diet. I'm pretty strict but I do have to eat out for my job occasionally. Have had one or two small CC incidents in the past month but nothing major.

Three weeks ago, I woke up one morning with no hearing. Both ears "blocked" like when you are on an airplane and they feel like they need to "pop". Somewhat painful at times, comes and goes. I waited a week and then went to doctor and she said "There's nothing I can do...take sudafed." I hate sudafed and hadn't tried it but have been on it now continuously for a week (the ďrealĒ stuff not the new formula). Ears are a bit better: Sometimes one or both are clear but not continuously and still painful from the pressure. And the lack of hearing is killing me, especially at work or with clients.

Iíve never had blocked ears like this prior to diagnosis and donít think itís the result of small CC.

I am toying with the idea of seeing an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist doc, but hate going to doctors and getting nothing for my trouble. I have allergies to pollens and general ďhay-feverĒ year round. So then I started thinking that maybe a food intolerance might be causing inflammation which is in turn causing the blocked ears.

So, has anyone ever had this linked to food? Dairy was my first thought. Then I did some online research and found this:
ďForty percent of people with pollenosis or airborne allergies often have food sensitivities that correlate to the specific pollen. For instance, grass allergies correlate with tomato, melon, watermelon, and kiwi. Ragweed correlates with melon, watermelon, banana, and gourds and Birch with apple, carrot, potato, celery, fennel, kiwi, hazelnut, pear, and peach.Ē

Our whole family has allergies to grass (canít lay in the grass because it causes welts and itches) and I think itís grass pollen too, as hay bothers me. I know that I get an oral allergy symptom when I eat cantaloupe (haven't had any in 15+ years) but donít notice problems with honeydew or watermelon.

So my other question is should I do an elimination diet, or just cut out tomato, all melons and kiwi? Should I cut dairy at the same time to make it faster?

Any other ideas that donít involve going to the doctor? (Iím a strange combination of not liking doctors Ėbecause they missed celiac for 30+ years - and also being wary of snake-oil sellers on the internet pushing liver cleanses etc.)
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Diagnosed by biopsy 2/12/07. Negative blood tests. Gluten-free (except for accidents) since 2/15/07. DQ2.5 (HLA DQA1*05:DQB1*0201)

Son, age 18, previously delayed growth 3rd percentile weight, 25th percentile height (5'3" at age 15). Negative blood work. Endoscopy declined. Enterolab positive 3/12/08. Gene results: HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201 HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0503 Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,1(Subtype 2,5) Went gluten-free, casein-free 3/15/08. Now 6'2" (Over six feet!) and doing great.

"Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance." Abigail Adams (1744-1818) 2nd First Lady of the United States

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#2 Bubba's Mom

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 11:40 AM

I've had unexplained ear pressure/pain with a loss of balance. I saw an ENT and had all sorts of tests. It showed up nothing.
I was told to avoid any foods I thought might be causing it.

I was told it could be a reaction to a food or it could be a "silent migraine" triggered by a food or something in my environment. Not very helpful.
Mine seems to have resolved after increasing the Amitriptylene I was taking. It's a migraine preventing medication.
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#3 ciamarie

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:22 PM

I have had precisely this issue, and while it's not a good thing, I'm glad I'm not the only one! Sometimes my ears get 'weepy' along with being blocked. And of course, gluten made them itchy too. So being gluten-free helps a lot with the itchy-ness, but for the swelling / blocking issue, I've finally figured out that it's primarily MSG and sulfites that I need to avoid. I just figured out the sulfite part of the equation about a month ago, or so.

Let me know if you'd like some resources / links and HTH!

Edited by ciamarie, 28 June 2012 - 06:24 PM.

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#4 squirmingitch

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:32 PM

It may not be food related at all either. My hubs gets literally "plugs" of wax that the nurse or doc has to pluck out with a tool like tweezers. The plug actually makes a loud sound when it hits the metal catch pan. He never gets anything out of his ears when he cleans them; it's like his wax is so hard it never runs. Sorry to be so detailed but..... When he gets the plugs it affects his hearing a lot. And this is not something either that they just do the ear wash for these are actual plugs of hard wax. They also give a feeling of pressure for him.

Just throwing the info. out there for you.
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Self diagnosed dh Sept. 2011~~~ confirmed dx July 18, 2012
Gluten free Dec. 2011
Soy free Dec. 2011
Hubs self diagnosed dh March 30, 2012
Hubs gluten free March 30, 2012

Summer 2013 We both have added back a little soy which is near unavoidable & we are doing okay with that small amount.

 


#5 cyberprof

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 08:32 PM

I have had precisely this issue, and while it's not a good thing, I'm glad I'm not the only one! Sometimes my ears get 'weepy' along with being blocked. And of course, gluten made them itchy too. So being gluten-free helps a lot with the itchy-ness, but for the swelling / blocking issue, I've finally figured out that it's primarily MSG and sulfites that I need to avoid. I just figured out the sulfite part of the equation about a month ago, or so.

Let me know if you'd like some resources / links and HTH!


Ciamarie, I'd like the resources. Thanks for the help!
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Diagnosed by biopsy 2/12/07. Negative blood tests. Gluten-free (except for accidents) since 2/15/07. DQ2.5 (HLA DQA1*05:DQB1*0201)

Son, age 18, previously delayed growth 3rd percentile weight, 25th percentile height (5'3" at age 15). Negative blood work. Endoscopy declined. Enterolab positive 3/12/08. Gene results: HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201 HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0503 Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,1(Subtype 2,5) Went gluten-free, casein-free 3/15/08. Now 6'2" (Over six feet!) and doing great.

"Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance." Abigail Adams (1744-1818) 2nd First Lady of the United States

#6 cyberprof

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 08:54 PM

It may not be food related at all either. My hubs gets literally "plugs" of wax that the nurse or doc has to pluck out with a tool like tweezers. The plug actually makes a loud sound when it hits the metal catch pan. He never gets anything out of his ears when he cleans them; it's like his wax is so hard it never runs. Sorry to be so detailed but..... When he gets the plugs it affects his hearing a lot. And this is not something either that they just do the ear wash for these are actual plugs of hard wax. They also give a feeling of pressure for him.

Just throwing the info. out there for you.


Thanks the doc said I had no wax problems - she could see the eardrum well.
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Diagnosed by biopsy 2/12/07. Negative blood tests. Gluten-free (except for accidents) since 2/15/07. DQ2.5 (HLA DQA1*05:DQB1*0201)

Son, age 18, previously delayed growth 3rd percentile weight, 25th percentile height (5'3" at age 15). Negative blood work. Endoscopy declined. Enterolab positive 3/12/08. Gene results: HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201 HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0503 Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,1(Subtype 2,5) Went gluten-free, casein-free 3/15/08. Now 6'2" (Over six feet!) and doing great.

"Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance." Abigail Adams (1744-1818) 2nd First Lady of the United States

#7 Chad Sines

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 07:20 AM

I have had this issue on and off since an infant. Finally tracked it to dairy. I get sinus-y and congested with a lot of dairy, but even small amounts trigger Eustachian tube issues that make the eyes clogged. Went away pretty quick when I eliminated dairy.
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#8 cyberprof

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:21 AM

I have had this issue on and off since an infant. Finally tracked it to dairy. I get sinus-y and congested with a lot of dairy, but even small amounts trigger Eustachian tube issues that make the eyes clogged. Went away pretty quick when I eliminated dairy.


Thanks Chad. I think that's something I'll have to do. Since my DS is gluten-free/DF and my DD is mostly gluten-free/DF, going DF will be easy for me (but sad).

I've read here and other places that giving up dairy helps with sinus issues, so it must be similar. I'll start with diary and if that doesn't help, I'll try eliminating tomatoes, melons and kiwi.
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Diagnosed by biopsy 2/12/07. Negative blood tests. Gluten-free (except for accidents) since 2/15/07. DQ2.5 (HLA DQA1*05:DQB1*0201)

Son, age 18, previously delayed growth 3rd percentile weight, 25th percentile height (5'3" at age 15). Negative blood work. Endoscopy declined. Enterolab positive 3/12/08. Gene results: HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201 HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0503 Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,1(Subtype 2,5) Went gluten-free, casein-free 3/15/08. Now 6'2" (Over six feet!) and doing great.

"Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance." Abigail Adams (1744-1818) 2nd First Lady of the United States

#9 ciamarie

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 01:05 PM

Ciamarie, I'd like the resources. Thanks for the help!

You're welcome. I actually hope it's dairy in your case, because that's easier to avoid than MSG and sulfites, in many cases. Except for butter, I was dairy free for about a year or so, now I have plain yogurt with my own added fruit, and cheese on occasion. Still testing the cheese.

A couple of good sites for sulfites:
http://holdthesulfites.com/
http://www.readingta...com/nosulfites/

As well as a thread I found on here: http://www.celiac.co...20615-sulfites/

For MSG:
http://www.msgtruth.com/
http://www.msgfacts.net/
http://www.truthinlabeling.org/

I also thought I'd mention that my ears don't seem to always react right away after having something I should have avoided, though sometimes they'll start ringing louder. But then they'll get blocked up at night when I'm sleeping, and it will take 2 days for them to unblock. Also, I'll usually get a headache too.
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#10 Kamma

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 12:32 PM

I'm with ciamarie on this as I too have eliminated msg, soy, caffeine, nitrates and sulfites as recommended by my neurologist who suspected I had migraine (silent) associated vertigo. The above foods act as a trigger. Along with the vertigo my ears would pain me incessantly.

Since eliminating all the above foods, my ear issues have resolved.

That 'truthinlabeling' website that ciamarie gave is awesome. It's amazing (and infuriating) how much msg is snuck into food under other names.
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