So – it turns out that sometimes the Interwebz does know what it’s talking about.
I went to the ear Dr. this morning to see about the annoying Patulous Eustachian Tube thing I have going on.
I purposely did NOT mention anything I had seen on the Internet, because a) it’s usually wrong, and b) I did not want to bias the examination.
But, I went in, I talked to him about it, and I told him all what is going on…
And he said… well, you have what is knows as Patulous Eustachian Tube.
So – there’s that.
He DID, however, have some info that I DID NOT ever see on the Internet…
Sure – it’s not really treatable… but it’s also one of those things that the more attention you give it, the worse it gets.
So, as it’s gotten worse over the past little while, I have spent more time being annoyed by it, and the more annoyed I am by it, the worse it’s going to be… because the tubes are controlled by the muscles inside my neck and around my throat.
So the cycle is:
Tubes pop open because the muscles have pulled on them > I get annoyed by this > I do whatever it is I do to close them (sniff, lean over, etc.) > tubes close and I am momentarily relived > Tubes pop back open because the muscles have pulled on them > I get MORE annoyed > Repeat.
The problem is… every time I ratchet up the being annoyed, the muscles in my neck and throat are getting tighter and tighter and thereby causing the tubes to pop open more and more.
Vicious circle anyone?
So – He instructed me to chill out and not pay much attention to it when it happens… just sniff or whatever and move past it. Relaxation and ignoring it are the best “medicine”.
The membranes also need to be “plump”… so to help I can:
– Stay as hydrated as possible
– Gain some weight (not gonna happen, but it’s an option).
– Drink more alcohol (no kidding – he said a glass of wine would fix it … something about vaso-dialation…. Problem: I hate wine, and it mostly happens at work).
I mentioned that I had tried to put saline spray up my nose to see if I could “moisturize” it that way… but I thought that saline likely would only make it dry and I wished there was some kind of spray with aloe or something… that gave him an idea and he brought me some samples of this stuff:
… to see if applying it inside my nose might help plump things up. He was clearly just “trying something” because I had said “aloe” – he did say to please let him know if it helped at all – guess it might help others if it helps me.
So… so far I have been back at my desk… I stuffed some of that gel up my nose and I am practicing being relaxed and nonchalant about the tube thing. So far, so good, actually, better than yesterday already. Popped once, I sniffed, popped again, I sniffed again… seems to be staying shut.
Also, I rubbed my neck when it happened to try and relax the muscles. So maybe that helped. (If it does, I will CLEARLY just have to start getting regular massages to help me relax 😉
Anyway – that’s all the news in my nose and ears – in case you were wondering what is (literally) going on inside my head!