Q. Could sinus infection cause autophony?

Answered by
Dr. Mehak Agarwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Aug 26, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

I had a sinus problem and got cleared before two months. Now, I have been suffering from autophony in one ear for the past two months after the sinus surgery. I used to clench my jaw a lot during sinus issue and there is some jaw pain. All my audiometry and pressure tests are normal. Also, there is no problem in my MRI. Please help.

Dr. Mehak Agarwal

Diabetology Otolaryngology (E.N.T)
#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Autophony can be due to the patulous eustachian tube. It is more common in female, hyperthyroidism, sudden weight loss, post pregnancy, etc.
  • Since you had a sinus infection, it could have masked eustachian tube and you were not having this problem.
  • Ringing sound (not autophony) can also be there due to jaw problem, but there will be ear pain.
  • If you have pain in your jaw or ear while having food, then you can do hot fomentation over your jaw area and have soft diet. Also, try eating on the other side for a few days.
  • The tests you underwent will be normal in a patulous eustachian tube. So, to diagnose patulous eustachian tube, you should undergo diagnostic nasal endoscopy and nasopharyngoscopy.
  • Based on the report, the treatment will be given. Without confirming the diagnosis, we cannot comment on any treatment.

For further information consult an audiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/audiologist

Thank you doctor,

But, I have never had this problem before. Does sinus cause patulous tube?

Dr. Mehak Agarwal

Diabetology Otolaryngology (E.N.T)
#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • No, sinus does not cause any problem to the eustachian tube.
  • If you have some autoimmune disease such as hyperthyroid or recent pregnancy or sudden weight loss, then it can cause patulous eustachian tube. Sometimes, it is idiopathic that is there is no cause for it.

Revert back with the report to an audiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/audiologist

Thank you doctor,

I got scheduled for endoscopy. I will get back to you once it is done.

Dr. Mehak Agarwal

Diabetology Otolaryngology (E.N.T)
#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Good. Please go ahead and revert back with the report.

Revert back with the reports to an audiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/audiologist

Hi doctor,

Here is my endoscopy report. The doctor told me that it does not show signs of PET. Can you suggest what else could it be?

Dr. Mehak Agarwal

Diabetology Otolaryngology (E.N.T)
#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • The endoscopy report seems to be normal. However, only if we compare eustachian tube orifices of both sides, then can we arrive at some inference.
  • Also, we must have a video of nasopharyngoscopy during swallowing. Only such a video can help us see if the eustachian tube orifice opens only while swallowing or it stays open even after that.
  • As a trial basis, we can start you on Potassium iodide nasal drops or local estrogen drops. These are local, non-surgical treatment for the patulous eustachian tube.
  • However, Potassium iodide can be started only after a short work-up of your blood profile. The drops act locally to produce some congestion at the eustachian tube orifice.
  • Autophony is a problem difficult to tackle. In some patients, even after adequate treatment the symptoms do not recede.
  • A recent approach to treating PET is paper patching of the tympanic membrane. This is a novel approach whereby we place a thin paper of a particular make over the tympanic membrane, which prevents autophony and abnormal movements of the ear drum due to a patulous eustachian tube problem.

For further doubts consult an audiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/audiologist

Thank you doctor,

Can I start myself on estrogen drops even without being sure of PET?

Dr. Mehak Agarwal

Diabetology Otolaryngology (E.N.T)
#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • For the diagnosis of patulous eustachian tube you required to do the following tests:
  1. Sonotubometry.
  2. Video nasopharyngoscopy.
  • If you can share the reports of the above two, then we can categorically say whether it is PET that is causing you the trouble.
  • Starting estrogen drops without an adequate diagnosis may not be a good idea. Some other local applications that have some benefits are Hydrochloric acid, anti-cholinergics and Potassium iodide drops.
  • Do revert back to me with the above two reports and then we can proceed further in managing this.

Revert back with the reports to an audiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/audiologist

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