I’m sure no one will care about anything in this post.

I’m writing this post anyway because it’s something that has been bothering me, and I haven’t updated in like a month, so hey why not.

I have had trouble with my ears for a very long time now. I can hear fine, as far as I can tell, and I don’t have tinnitus or anything like that. But my ears always feel like they’re stuffed up, or like they need to pop, but they never do, it just doesn’t go away. It’s super annoying.

I trace my ear problems back to tenth grade when I went on an airplane and my ears didn’t pop for three days. Yeah.

Anyway, earlier this year, my ears decided to be super awesome and send me to the hospital with labrynthitis, which is basically just fluid in my ears making me too dizzy to exist. I had to lay flat on my back all day and if I moved or rolled on my side or sat up I had constant vertigo. I ended up in the emergency room (which was miserable) and poor Myriad forgot to bring a book so she had to just sit there and listen to my crazy ramblings. Eventually the doctors gave me some stupid meds that made it worse and sent me home.

Now, my ears have still been doing the stuffy feeling thing all along, but lately I’ve been feeling dizzy a lot more. A few weeks ago, when I was super dizzy one day and really afraid that I was getting labrynthitis again, I was super bad: I went to WebMD and looked up my symptoms.

Anyone who has ever been to WebMD knows that if you use their symptom checker, it will tell you that you are dying. Surprisingly, when I just put in dizzyness, I only got two possible diseases, neither of which was labrynthitis. The first one was motion sickness, which I knew that was not true, being as I was sitting at my desk all day. The other one was Meniere’s disease.

I don’t think I actually have Meniere’s disease. But, I figured that if I had similar symptoms, figuring out how to manage Meniere’s might help me get rid of my dizziness, right? Apparently, Meniere’s symptoms are made worse by bingeing on salt, and people can reduce their risk of episodes by eating low-salt diets. I read this online somewhere, thought about it for a minute, and realized that all I had eaten all day was soda, frozen egg rolls, and chex mix. A lot of chex mix.

Since then, I’ve been trying to keep track of my sodium, and hoping that the dizziness stays away. I have actually noticed that when I do feel slightly dizzy I had been eating a lot of salt. But I mean, come on! I’m a student! I’m busy, and I don’t always have time to make super healthy meals! I eat freezer dinners and canned soup (which low-sodium soup is not even edible in my opinion) and I drink enough soda each day to drown in. Chex mix is one of the best studying snacks, because you can just pick at it as you work.

So, I did think about going on a more low-sodium diet, but it’s not working too well. (I say this after having just eaten some freezer chinese dumplings with a soy-sauce-like dipping sauce.) And I try to drink more water, but that’s not going to well either.

On the other hand, at the moment it’s not too bad. If I find myself in the hospital again cause I’m too dizzy to breathe, then I might have to seriously reconsider my food choices.

Published in: on October 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As someone with terrifically messed-up ears myself, I can say two things: One, it may be that you have narrower ear canals, which makes you more susceptible to congestion. Two, dehydration makes everything worse. So…drink lots of water and try taking a decongestant when it gets bad?

  2. I’ll second the statement that dehydration makes everything worse. I’ve never really had the congested ear thing (seriously? this is a thing? never knew), so I can’t offer suggestions there.

    Also, shame shame on WebMD.

    Regarding food, I recently found out that there are people with a severe enough reaction to MSG that just smelling it in a broth or something will set of their reaction? This goes for naturally occuring MSG in seaweed and soy. Perhaps you have some kind of crazy food allergy that uh… every allergy test missed? I dunno. But I do know that often people who are having consistent weird reactions that might be food based can do an elimination diet and add things in one by one until they find their trigger. (You could call it an exterminate diet and pretend you’re a dalek — I can pretend I’m In The Know about the Doctor too :-P)

  3. EDIT: So apparently the whole blocked ears thing can also be caused by allergic rhinitis, meaning hay fever from my allergies. At least, that’s what the paperwork that came with my steroids says. I’m assuming that this is the real reason behind it all. You know, cause I’m allergic to EVERYTHING.

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