As well as many other pains and discomfort with Fibromyalgia, many sufferers also have to deal with ear problems.
The pain may occur in or around the ear. Often patients complain of a feeling of fullness in the ear. The ear may also ache or experience ringing/tinnitus. However, the prognosis of these ear-related symptoms in fibromyalgia patients is unknown.
While ontological symptoms such as tinnitus have been reported to be commonly associated with Fibromyalgia, the reason for this association has yet to be examined in detail.
Fibromyalgia Syndrome UK explain about tinnitus – “Tinnitus (from the Latin word which means ringing) is a condition that affects around one tenth of the population at any given time. The condition can be experienced by people of all ages and is often described as a whistling, buzzing, ringing or humming sound that can be heard either in the ears or in the head.”
Tinnitus is not – as many people have previously thought – solely experienced by the elderly and can be experience by anyone of any age. Indeed in Fibromyalgia and M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) sufferers the age at which the sufferer can contract their condition can vary greatly.
As well as widespread pain, people with fibromyalgia may also have:
- increased sensitivity to pain
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- muscle stiffness
- difficulty sleeping
- problems with mental processes (known as “fibro-fog”), such as problems with memory and concentration
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a digestive condition that causes stomach pain and bloating
- ear pain
With such a vast amount of symptoms other conditions with similar symptoms could be missed, especially when most Fibromyalgia patients take pain medication on a regular basis.
It could be a simple but painful ear infection, ear wax, or a number of other things that are causing the pain. These sort of problems could be easily sorted with an ENT specialists who are specialists in ear, nose and throat and treat conditions of the inner ear, nose, throat and the head and neck. Or, an otolaryngologist who manages and treats disorders of the head and neck including the ears, nose, throat, sinuses and voice box.
Symptoms of ear wax include sudden or partial hearing loss, which is usually temporary, ringing in the ear or buzzing in the ear, a feeling of fullness in the ear and earache so it’s hard to distinguish what the problems really is. Seeking treatment from the right person could ease many of these problems which then means less pain for a Fibromyalgia sufferer.
The NHS explain that although there’s currently no cure for fibromyalgia, there are treatments to help relieve some of the symptoms and make the condition easier to live with.
Treatment tends to be a combination of:
- medicine, such as antidepressants and painkillers
- talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling
- lifestyle changes, such as exercise programmes and relaxation techniques