why does my right ear feel clogged
I suffered from a clogged ear after getting off a flight. Immediately after landing I got a sinus infection and my ear stayed clogged for a month. It was driving me insane. I wasn t attending social gatherings or going out because I couldn t hear or focus and I felt so off. After seeing an ENT, I was put on some very strong antibiotics for my sinus infection, steroids for possible eustachian tube swelling and steroid nasal spray. The sinus infection went away right away, but my ear stayed plugged. The ENT said that my ear could stay this was for 1-2 months. I was not going to put up with that!!! I was willing to do anything. I read up on some options. 4 weeks into my condition I had a lymphatic massage of my head, neck, ears, shoulders and chest. This type of massage encourages drainage. During the massage I could hear my ear popping and clicking. Before I even got up off the massage table, I could feel liquid moving in my ear, but my ear and hearing were still blocked.
Later that day I went to an acupuncturist. He asked me a lot of questions about my overall health. He inserted needles in areas that were meant to help ears and sinuses and other general health issues. When I left the office, I was feeling more movement in my ear. Once I got home I could feel even more drainage. My nose started running a lot. I blew my nose and could feel my ear opening up. It would squeal and release air. It still felt blocked but it was getting better. By the end of this evening my ear is 80% clear. I realized my other ear had blockage too. It just was so much better than the left ear it seemed fine. I am hoping by tomorrow my hearing is back to 100% and all drainage is complete.
Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Mondays, it s pediatrician Asked by Nerisa from New York I had a terrible cold that lasted about two weeks, and my right ear is still clogged with congestion. I find that it gets worse throughout the day, and I get that popping feeling when I blow my nose.
Should I be on antibiotics? Expert answer Thanks for your question, and sorry to hear about your continuing discomfort. The short answer to your question is maybe, but probably not. If you have a middle ear infection (otitis media) or sinus infection associated with your symptoms, then antibiotics may help. Your doctor can make the diagnosis and prescribe antibiotics if needed. However, the scenario you describe sounds typical of a problem with the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear with the throat. I consulted Dr. Aaron Rogers, an otolaryngologist in Atlanta, to provide more information about the symptoms you describe. He shares the following: The ear feeling clogged and the clicking during a cold or sinus infection are a result of the Eustachian tube, the ear s natural drainage tube, getting swollen shut or, more commonly, partly shut. That swelling can give you a clicking or popping noise, a feeling of ear fullness, a mild earache or even a sense of disequilibrium (being off balance).
The swelling can commonly last a couple of weeks. If the tube stays completely swollen for more than a couple of days, you could even begin to build up fluid behind the eardrum. In addition to colds, nasal allergies, sinus infections and even stomach acid reflux can cause the Eustachian tube swelling. A middle ear infection from infected fluid behind the eardrum will cause muffled hearing and usually severe pain. This is usually the end result of the Eustachian tube being swollen completely shut for several days. Usually, antibiotics are not needed for the sensation of fullness, clicking and mild pressure. In fact, for just plain Eustachian tube dysfunction (or ETD) without infection or allergies, we do not really have a proven medical treatment that is any better than just waiting it out. If there are other signs of a lingering sinus infection or the beginnings of an ear infection, antibiotics may be helpful.
Other medications such as prescription nasal sprays can at times help treat Eustachian tube dysfunction as well, especially if there is a lot of swelling in the nose from the remnants of a cold or allergies. Occasionally, some cold viruses can damage the hearing nerve and may mimic ETD. Other prescription medications may help if started quickly enough. Finally, try not to worry about the popping and clicking when you blow your nose that is just the Eustachian tube trying to open up to get the ear aired out again. These symptoms will go away once the Eustachian tube is working properly. If your ear congestion is not clearing in about three to four weeks time, then getting evaluated by your primary care doctor or an otolaryngologist may be helpful. If needed, hearing and ear pressure tests can be done to see if draining any fluid is needed or whether medications may help.
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