"Causes of eustachian tube dysfunction remain unexplained at Dumfries And Galloway Royal."

About: Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / Ear, Nose & Throat

(as the patient),

Over the last year or so, I've been having terrible trouble with nasal congestion and the difficulty of equalizing the pressure in both ears, in particular the right ear, I've been referred, and have been examined by the ENT department in Dumfries 3 times, and each visit, it feels like there's a different story.

The first time I went, a procedure called a Nasal Endoscopy, and I was told that the Septum on the right hand side of the nose was twisted and needed straightened. I was curious, so asked about online and about, two doctors told me that Septum deviation wouldn't be the cause of my ear fullness, so decided against the surgery.

The second time I went to that department, another nasal endoscopy was performed, and I was told that the Nasal Septum on the right hand side of my nose was only slightly off centre, and that my sinuses were cleared, as were my eustachian tubes. I thought odd as the ear fullness was still there lingering.

My local GP showed me the results of my first examination, which clearly stated that I had Eustachian Tube dysfunction on both sides, my sinuses needed cleared, and a Septoplasty needed performed.

The GP then booked me with a nurse for a basic hearing test at my local doctors surgery which came back with me having hearing loss in both ears due to pressure differences on both sides of my ear drums.

I was then referred again to ENT in Dumfries, where a nurse performed a more advanced hearing test, and a test which tests the movement of the ear drum, the hearing test came back as having slight hearing loss in my right ear, and the test which tested the movement of my ear drums came back as normal, which I found odd as the ears on the day of examination were full of pressure, especially the right ear.

After the examination I was asked to go and see the doctor to discuss the next form of action, the doctor had a quick glance at my nose with an otoscope, and said that my nose was fine, and told me that there wasn’t much more the department could offer. No nasal endoscopy this time, which I found even more odd, as an otoscope can only see a fraction of the nose as far as I am aware, and cannot see the eustachian tubes to the back of the nose.

Is it possible to be referred back to the ENT clinic for a second opinion, if so how would I go about it?

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Response from Head of Patient Services, NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and I am sorry to hear you have continuing problems. I do think, based upon what you have said, the best course of action would be to speak to your GP about a referral for a second opinion. This will not be a problem to arrange. It would be most helpful if, when your GP is asking for a second opinion for you, they could list the doctors that you have already seen in each department.

I do hope you experience some improvement with your congestion and pressure.

Sally Talbot-Smith

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