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490746 tn?1233253208

Is it possible to have inner ear pain from thyroid nodules?

I just found out 2 weeks ago that I have a nodule that is 2cm along with several others on my thyroid. I have always had a large thyroid but in the past nothing was ever found. For the past few years I have had pain in my left ear and was wondering if this could be contributing to it. Some days the pain will almost be non-existent and then other days it is awful. The doctor looked in my ear and said I have trapped fluid inside but how can this be a constant problem? Doesn't the fluid eventually dry up? Is this even a possible problem from the thryoid nodules I have? Thank you.
26 Responses
649044 tn?1228788279
I have similar pain, but in both of my ears.  I do have nodules on both lobes.  My pain lasts for a few seconds, then go away.  It is a very sharp pain.  Do you have hashimoto"s?  I was guessing my pain could be related to hashi's as well.

I plan on asking my doc about it next week.

490746 tn?1233253208
I had my thyroid levels checked and it came back normal. The Dr.wants me to have an RAIU..I believe that's what it's called? Im new to this! Nothing was mentioned to me about the hashimoto's. Some days the pain in my ear will last all day long, other days it is very minor. Today is one of the bad days!
490746 tn?1233253208
I finally had the thyroid scan completed. Originally on the ultrasound it showed one growth of 2 cm and several other smaller ones. When the radiologist read the scan he said he saw no nodules but an increased iodine uptake that he thinks is consistent with goiter. My dr contacted me and has arranged for me to go the imaging center so I can do more imaging to see if there is in fact nodules there or not. Has this happened to anyone? Still having ear pain...have been checked and it's nothing wrong inside my ears! This is getting very confusing.
549681 tn?1229724499
I have had a lot of ear and jaw pain with my thyroid.  My labs were way off.
Aleve reduces inflamation.  It helped mine.  So did antitithyroid rx. But you can't get that rx with normal labs.

Three years ago I had a double middle ear infection.  Antibiotics resolved the infection, but fluid in my ears was still very painful.  The PA told me my eardrums would rupture any time and that would make it feel better.  I found that very unacceptable!!  I went for accupuncture treatment. 2 visits cured it for three years until this thyroid thing.  Accupuncture did not help for my ear pain with thyroid issues.

You could try accupressure to get the fluid to drain.  It would drain through your eustation tubes into the back of your throat.  And tastes nasty!  
490746 tn?1233253208
My original MD sent me for another ultrasound, and they found the nodules again. I now am being scheduled for a biopsy..so I guess I will just see what happens after that point!
490746 tn?1233253208
I went for the FNA yesterday and the surgeon told me I have 2- 2cm nodules, and one that is a little smaller than that, on my right side. He is telling me that I need to have a total thyroidectomy unless the biopsy comes back completely and without any doubt that it is benign. He is concerned with the hoarseness that I have been having...I guess as of late I have just been becoming used to it! My question is, if it comes back completely benign...what are other options for me as far as it goes for taking care of these? I questioned him about taking meds to shrink the nodules but he said that it is not recommended, but was done many years ago.Is there any possibility that the nodules could grow even more?
694885 tn?1232649948
Yes. The nodules can grow. Your doctor sounds like he already has an idea of what the FNA will come back. If it comes back as anything other then benign then surgery will be on the schedule. Thats the part that I did not agree with. If you get a suspicious result they want surgery. I had my FNA sent out for a second opinion.
393685 tn?1425812522
If a nodule comes back suspecious off an FNA then most like in the best interest of the patient any qualified doctor will suggest surgery immediately.

They do not like to take their time with even the thought of it "might " be being cancer.

Messing around - getting a second opinion on FNA "suspecious" results can be costly - confuse the issues more - and in the end be a delay in correct treatment, as bluestar mom understands entirely.

If you are not going to look for alternatives which a few things are still done,  then moving forward swiftly on treament or surgery is best.

The clock stops for no one and you have to have faith in what you are told at times to perserve your health and wellness.

Contant second guessing can in the end cost you everything.  

Please keep in mind that each step after an FNA is very important - we will be here to answer as much as possible. Can you make sure you can get a copy of the actual FNA report? and also if you can post your last report from the ultra sounds on the board here too.

That really helps alot.

490746 tn?1233253208
I certainly can see both of your points. I guess in reality it's hard to tell whether anything is 100% benign even with the FNA. At this point it is me trying to hold onto a very important part of my body that I don't want to seem to part with unless it's absolutely neccessary. I have always been a diehard and stubborn. I do know one thing for sure, if it is cancer then yes I will definitely have it removed without question. If it isnt, the dr. has informed me that he will consider removing only the half that is affected. I will get any reports that I can when I go back in this Thursday to find out the prognosis. Thanks for writing.
490746 tn?1233253208
JolieFille- I don't believe I have Hashimotos, although I don't even know what my TSH levels are, they have told me only normal. I get the ear pain very similar to what you have experience...although sometimes it can last for longer periods.
490746 tn?1233253208
skeeterknitwit- I don't blame you for thinking that is unacceptable, that just sounds crazy what they said to you! The dr has told me he is not sure if the pain in my ear is related to my thyroid nodules and has informed me he cannot promise it will go away.
All depending on what happens with the diagnosis will determine what I do about my ear problem! Most likely I will end up seeing and ENT.

BTW I have tried acupuncture in the past it was very interesting, I would probably try again the future.
698356 tn?1240150727
If you have unresolved fluid in the middle ear you really need to see an ENT to get it taken care of. This fluid can solidify, which will cause even more pain. The fluid can actually permanently damage the ossicles in the middle ear which will result in a conductive hearing loss. I wouldn't let the ear drum rupture on it's own, but perforating the ear drum is a cure for stubborn middle ear effusion.

Knowing the anatomy I can't see how a thyroid nodule would cause pressure and effusion in the middle ear. Chemically, I don't know.

Good luck!
Avatar universal
Hiya ---snap---as a member of both the Sizeable Nodule Club (rt side) and the Ear Complaint Circle (I get a squashy liquid sound, on and off in my left ear) am confused too as to whether they are related.  Endo says - No -----says TMJ maybe as I have a marked left jaw occlusion (bad orthodontist of 30 yrs ago?).  Nodule was discovered because I was trying to end ear nonsense. Feel sure they are related myself.

Am stubborn in my resolve to not lose my thryoid, half or otherwise, and the pressure on us neofollicular types is horrendous---Russian Roulette-- but the odds of 20perct malignancy are still in our favour!

As a less than popular 'Hokus Pokus' fanatic on this site, am road testing chinese herbs and acupuncture to both shrink nodule and sort ear problem. Haven't a lot of time in this other sandbox (endo allowing me a few months only) but am feeling good about my treatment decision to date.  I feel the best have felt in months. Look at my tag - 4helen - to see what else am trying and TCM link; am sure there are still some other tricks out there, it is just finding them QUICKLY!

Would the doc say which drugs were used to shrink nodules many years ago?

898 helpfully mentions both a core biopsy, which seems an excellent idea to remove another  bullet from the gun, and PEI and laser abalation, also intriguing new sweeties for certain cases.

Keep the faith!! Definitely get 2nd opinion (path and or endo) if in any doubt; I did for both and it bought me very valuable extra few months.  : )  
490746 tn?1233253208
Just got back from dr..found follicular cells and said I need to have thyroid removed....totally. He said he is not sure if it is cancer but a possibility. He explained to me very clearly about what follicular cancer will do as far as it goes for bloodstream, etc. He did mention that he could do partial but does not recommend because with the nodules that I have one of them is right on the line of left and right lobes and also if it turns to be cancerous then a week later I will have to have a turn around surgery.
My voice continues to be hoarse and of course the neverending saga with the ear pain is the same story, different day.
Avatar universal
My thoughts were with you today.

There are lots on this site who will give great support and advice, and at least the energy expended recently waiting can now turn to making a good treatment programme and bring an end to your ear pain and hoarseness.

As stella5349 wisely posted - don't want to mess around 'too' much.  That said - may it not be worth asking again about the partial - even if it means 2 ops? Several here have that story.  My 2nd ENT said he will do a frozen section in the OR (not always definitive, but an option); the 1st ENT won't - hence why I shopped for a new one. Might be worth a try to see if he offers the frozen option - which essentially means a pathologist gets roped into the OR.

You might try posting the FNA path report to Dr Lupo or maybe 898 just for a quick and dirty English translation? My 2nd ENT had all my 12 slides completely re-read by another path who saw something very different from path1's report---but this is moving into the 'messing zone' which with ear pain and hoarseness, may not be wise.  

The whole business seems to be about making difficult decisions with not entirely perfect info. Keep the faith!!  Hugs from London.  x  
490746 tn?1233253208
Thanks for thinking about me! You would have thought I  was nuts looking at me sitting there on the edge of my seat just waiting for him to come into the room...which seemed like it took forever, but it was really only like 10 mins. He really is a very nice person and gave me the time that I needed to get all the questions I wanted(he probably didn't know what a bullheaded person he was dealing with). At first I didn't want to the the total,but he has told me the likelihood that this same thing will happen with the other side will bring me back in again..even if it is in 10 or 15 years. He did not try to force me at all, he just wanted me to make the decision...he does think I made the best decision. I really didn't and still don't want to take medication...but I guess in the end if I only had partial done and there is still no guarantee that I won't..this is what also made the decision very hard. I have learned alot on here though to help me out.
Avatar universal
New day - new question-----

Hmmm ---------am a little worried for you------am thinking Doc rightly very concerned about your hoarseness as a critical symptom ----but-----is that reason enough for a prophylactic approach to remove the good side too because he says there is a "likelihood that the same thing (growing a nodule?) will happen with the other side?  I've not heard about this likelihood before ---- is this so?  

It might give you a tad bit of peace to try to post or PM your FNA to someone for quick looksie, esp w a TT on the menu. Yes indeed - good learning curve here --most of the time thou am clinging on to the bottom for dear life!  1 month ago - all seemed so ridiculously straightfoward!!   Keep Bullheaded!!     : )  

490746 tn?1233253208
Well you see...the one nodule..the largest one is actually slightly more to the left lobe too. So I really have them on both. He really can't make any promises that it will not continue to create more on that side as well..another reason he recommends it comes out all at once. Believe me, I tried to get out of it...I actually still can..after all it is up to me. My husband doesn't seem to think I should play with fire though. Ever since I found out yesterday I keep wondering if I am doing the right thing..considering my thyroid is apparently functioning fine. The question that keeps hanging in my mind is always doubt since Im such a skeptical person. You know in the end what is the chance of me actually not having to use hormone pills? I heard the dr say 50/50 if you only have half removed..but whose to say I won't be in the 50% that won't need it...this whole thing is driving me crazy!!
Avatar universal
Yes indeed it is so crazy. I know what you mean about hub pressure; am totally in the dog house for my direction at moment.

Am hoping some of the 'Wise Sages' here can weigh in because am probably the worst one in terms of stubborness in the community at the moment to be threading with you!!  And yet - am too an OR waiting room follicular neo case w perfect thy fxctn, so I 'get' your dilemna; it's madness not having conclusive info!!!

You do have a TINY bit of time ---so take it; post as many questions while you can or talk w a trusted friend. Be YOU too, and if that means skeptical - tough ***@ies!  The last ENT appt I had - I basically became not me-- was begging him to do the surgery that day --there on his desk even!---I was all meachy, whimpering, simpering mess---- not the real me!  :  )
490746 tn?1233253208
Do you think you will end up getting it removed? We sound alot alike....I have to turn over every stone until I am positive. The more that I read Stella's post..the more I begin to understand what she is trying to relay. She is right...sometimes you have to have faith in what you are being told....but it is so hard when you are a skeptic..know what I mean? My husband will probably eventually have to wheel me into the hospital in a straightjacket to make me do it.
Avatar universal
LOL!!  Mine will buy it off him after!  Million dollar question!  Am trying like heck to fight it (u can pull up my page to c how despo I am!!);  any consolation --I had a semi-large nod disappear within the last 4 yrs ---so it IS possible thou many here say not so; hence why am rooting for you to keep your other half until they confirm malig, if at all (thou suppose horseness has your ENT v upset?) and take the 10 yr risk.  Am v committed to sorting my underlying issues as lost tonsils, have fibroids, - clearly imbalance is amuk in me! Chopping more bits out doesn't fix me! Do u know if ur FNA is thry3, thy4, or 5? That makes huge diff in time to play with ---3 allows some more sandbox time --- 5 is do not pass go, straight to OR----------4 is the game of chicken! My 1st path was 3, 2nd biopsy then 4, then re-graded back to 3.  Docs don't want to be sued and advice here naturally is conservative because no one can possibly know your full details. I really feel you might benefit from 2nd opins - if only to get the frozen option? Has ur guy done a lot of TTs? Worth snuffin him out? Do PM ur FNA and US to stella - am sure she cld get 898 who seems v knowledgeable to look? Keep bullheaded - it's still a form of moving forward!!  
Avatar universal
Hi couldn't help but read what your going through, and would like to briefly tell you my story.  I had a benign nodule twelve years ago taken out, right lobe only.  Was fine for the whole twelve years. Never needed meds, never had any problems, but I now have two nodules on the remaining nodule, and we are keeping an eye on them.  So your doctor is probably right when he says the other half will probably have the same problem in about 10 to 15 years.  I kind of wish I would of had it all done years ago, but I have heard of people living their whole life with nodules, so who knows?  I just wanted you to know your doctor is not trying to scare you into the TT.  I know it is a hard decision, it was for me too!   Good Luck with what ever you decide.

490746 tn?1233253208
Thanks for sharing your story. It does make it hard when you hear of stories of people who have lived them with for years. Part of you thinks....Im fine...and then the other part says...what If?
Avatar universal
Hi Julie, I'm 25 female, suffering from major ear fullness and pain, and ringing. Along with MANY thyroid symptoms, I have 3cm Nodules along with 6 small ones. Did yoy ever get your issues worked out? I have two small babies and a very ill husband, so I gotta get fixed ASAP. Please help. Thank you...Brittney
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