I have a history of TMJ syndrome and had surgery in 1991. They did a scope on one side and arthrotomy on the other due to a ruined disk. Recently I have had a daily occurance of waking up and my ear canals are wet with fluid. Typically it will be worse on the side I have been sleeping on. It resolves almost immediately after getting out of bed and moving around. Could this be related to my TMJ syndrome or can you help me understand what is causing this?
Dr. Joshua’s Answer:
Someone needs to look in the ear canals (otoscopy). That will probably settle the diagnosis. Usually the problem is external ear infection, which can be treated with drops. Since you’ve had temporomandibular joint surgery, and the TMJ is so close anatomically to the external ear, it’s conceivable that a fistula (connection) might have developed as a complication of surgery. This should be evident in otoscopy as well. Have a doctor look at it.?
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