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AIBU?

To ask if you've ever heard of this ear problem

23 replies

oodieoodie · 01/10/2022 00:34

I'm posting on here for traffic.

My DD has a problem with her ears that gets worse when she goes to bed. It's like an itching, deep in her ear that is only eased by doing what sounds like a weird swallowing noise. I've been back and forth to the G.P over the last few months, and they are writing to ENT for guidance.

I feel so so sorry for her, as my childhood was also plagued with this same ear problem! I recall regularly going to the Dr's, sometimes an ear infection, most times not. And I was dismissed. It is so incredibly painful. Mine finally stopped in my mid 20s not long after having my tonsils removed. I've explained all this to the G.P who did look at me in disbelief, but surely we cannot be the only ones who have this ear (or possibly throat ) problem?

Please if anyone has any idea of what this is, please let me know.

Tia.

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Enko · 01/10/2022 00:53

I had similar as a child and yes stopped for years after tonsils were removed. Then returned 5 -6 years ago I ended up with a 6 month ear infection and finally a ent specialist. I have really dry ear canals so now I have some steroid cream I add once every 2 weeks (was daily to begin with) and since that no more issues.

Makes sense the swallowing thing works as it likely "itches ' the ear canal. I suggest the tonsils removal is due to them. Being so close together it opens up the canals a bit and the dry skin for a while can "drain' for lack of a better word

Hope you get a ent appointment soon

HighlandPony · 01/10/2022 00:54

I used to get what they call ‘glue ear’ a lot as a kid and I would do a weird thing with my nose and throat to release the pressure like what you would do to blow water out your ears but that was only when it felt lik painful pressure. The rest of the time it felt like an itchy almost wet trickling sensation like thicker than water it not thick as custard. Could it be that?

Blowthemandown · 01/10/2022 00:56

@oodieoodie I get this symptom with hay fever and allergies; drives me nuts. A quarter of an antihistamine (loratidine in my case) does the trick for me.

Smallonesaremorejuicy · 01/10/2022 00:59

Sounds like allergies. My sister used to make a croaking sound trying to stop the itching in her ears . ENT Consultant said it can be very dangerous & to take an antihistamine every day .

Needsomeadvice33 · 01/10/2022 01:55

OK if its relieved by swallowing I think its likely related to the eustachian tube dysfunctioning. Its the tube that goes from you middle ear to your nose I believe. Its purpose is to ventilate the middle ear when you swallow or yawn it pops open. Does she get very bad ears on flights? I would be tempted to try her on a nasal steroid (beconase) that you can buy from the pharmacy to see if it helps . Remember the ear, nose and throat are all connected to eachother. Good luck.

BasiliskStare · 01/10/2022 02:03

I think this is a common ear problem but DS has Otitis media. Apparently just a function of one of your ears tubes being a different shape. Very painful but easily remedied.

Sarahsarah2022 · 01/10/2022 02:57

A relative has this and uses an Otovent before going to sleep. Worth a look?

PureBlackVoid · 01/10/2022 04:12

Yes! I get woken up by a severe itchy feeling, it’s almost like a burning/insect bite sensation. I remember when it first happened, I genuinely thought something had crawled into my ear in the middle of the night.

I also wake myself up sometimes by doing a weird swallow/snort thing in my sleep trying to ‘scratch’ the insides of my ear. Antihistamines do the trick (when I remember to take them).

I’ve never bothered going to go to the gp about it because I used to have really bad inflamed sinuses as a separate issue, and they kept dismissing it. I ended up getting paying for tests/medications abroad for the sinuses issues. The itchy ears started a few years after, I think.

HollaHolla · 01/10/2022 04:36

Blowthemandown · 01/10/2022 00:56

@oodieoodie I get this symptom with hay fever and allergies; drives me nuts. A quarter of an antihistamine (loratidine in my case) does the trick for me.

Me too!! All summer, hay fever related. Antihistamines don’t really help, but if I could get something in to scratch the middle of my head, I would.

oodieoodie · 01/10/2022 08:33

Thank you for all your replies. It's actually a relief to know other people have this ear thing too.

Yes @Enko I mentioned to the GP mine seemed to go away after having my tonsils out. However as my DD has never had tonsillitis (I had it monthly) she said she didn't think it was the tonsils causing the problem. I'm sure it is though. They are connected. I had at least 18 years of this itching, swallowing, then intense pain nearly every night, for it then just to stop. In the last 15 years after tonsillectomy I've only had it return about 3 times.

@Blowthemandown @Smallonesaremorejuicy @HollaHolla @PureBlackVoid She does suffer from hayfever in the summer, taking daily antihistamines but unfortunately this never helps with the ear itching.

@HighlandPony what you described sounds very similar to how mine used to feel. I'd always be 'popping' them. And I'd feel like I'd have some sort of liquid in my ears.

@Needsomeadvice33 She said her ears 'pop' quite often, and I think because of that she isn't affected when flying as she's used to the popping?? I will get some beconase spray this morning.

@BasiliskStare What treatment has your DS had for otitis media please?

@Sarahsarah2022 thank you for the suggestion about Otovent. I'm going to look into this as this is something I've never seen before. Willing to try anything to relieve her pain and itching.


Thanks again everyone for taking the time to reply.

OP posts:
girlmom21 · 01/10/2022 08:35

I get this. The doctor said my ear canal gets really dry. Get some drops.

Sarahsarah2022 · 01/10/2022 08:35

I understand it can take a bit of practice. Perhaps you could make it a game or do it with her. It safely pops / drains the tiny ear tube. I think it's best done every day.

CornishTiger · 01/10/2022 08:37

How old is your DD. Has she had an audiology check? My DS did recently and is severely deaf in one ear. He seemed fine. It’s glue ear.

Enko · 01/10/2022 08:40

In my non medicaly qualified opinion. Its not the removal of the tonsils that's resolving it. Its that by removing them there is likely a bit more space for drainage as you e n t are so close together if you take one out it will have effect on the others.

Have she had her ears micro suctioned? I think that would tell you a lot. If her ears are bunged up with wax/dry skin you can deal with that.

Thissucksmonkeynuts · 01/10/2022 08:42

I've had this all my life and have been told it's eczema. I've been prescribed steroid drops before but was never told how long to take them for so they never worked because I probably wasn't taking them for long enough.
Fizzy water and other drinks work to relieve to horror of it, Ive actually bruised my ear from hitting it in the night in frustration.

Sewwhatmrmagpie · 01/10/2022 10:05

I also get this as a symptom of allergies, it's incredibly annoying. Antihistamines don't help, it's a matter of waiting for the hay fever season to end or removing whatever you're allergic to from your environment.

I had my tonsils out a few years ago and the itching is definitely worse since.

BasiliskStare · 01/10/2022 13:59

@oodieoodie Re my son . He has been prone ( more when he was younger he seems to have grown out of it ) to severe ear aches. According to 2 doctors ( I am not one ) it is largely due to differences in the shape of the ear canal whether more prone to an infection. So treatment was ( and it often happened at night ) age appropriate pain relief & then to DR asap & I think they gave him antibiotics ( which I know should be given as little as possible ) but it sorted out the infection . I will say though that as he has got older the incidents are very very much fewer. I don't think there is a permanent remedy but when I say easily remedied - that is what I mean. DS has not had his tonsils out.

I wish her well , bad ear ache is very unpleasant

DS's were not itching. It was periodic severe ear ache.

oodieoodie · 01/10/2022 17:18

thanks again for all your replies. We've been out all day and not once has she been bothered by her ears. I know it'll be a different story though once she's lying down.

@CornishTiger she is 9 and has had audiology checks.

@Enko It makes a lot of sense what you are saying. She's never had a micro suction. When I've taken her to GPs sometimes they'll say she's full of wax (have to use olive oil), other times they just looks red.

@Thissucksmonkeynuts after loads of appointments in my teens I was told eczema too. This was diagnosed after I'd had a camera up my nose to see if all looked ok. I will leave a fizzy water on her bedside table to hopefully get some relief. I'm with you on hitting your ear in the night out of frustration. Such an annoying pain and itch!

@BasiliskStare I'm glad to read for your DS that the incidents were fewer as he got older. Pain from an ear infection can be horrendous.

OP posts:
TitoMojito · 01/10/2022 17:22

It's never caused me pain like you're describing but I also get very itchy ears which I have to "scratch" by doing this weird clicking/swallowing thing high up at the back of my throat, so I know exactly what you're describing.

Kittenstruck · 01/10/2022 17:25

Allergies. Used to drive me crazy. Antihistamines fix it - weirdly worse in one ear than the other.

spookyjupy · 01/10/2022 19:10

I have this.
no ear wax whatsoever and I (I know its bad) but I stick cotton buds really far down my ear to scratch the itch. I go on about 4 cm which us really bad but I'm desperate. I also stock my finger down my throat and scratch my tonsils/ throat.
never thought about getting my tonsils out for it.

It does keep me up at night and I scratch My skin just below my jaw. it feels like it goes all the way from my ear to my throat to the skin on my neck. very uncomfortable.

if I was a dog I'd have a cone for scratching so much.

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