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Bad cold with cough, blocked nose and hearing loss with pain in ears. Sinuses inflamed?

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I am female, aged 48 and have had a bad cold for the past couple of days with cough and blocked nose. Today I have hearing loss and pain in my ears when I blow my nose. I presume my sinuses are inflammed - is there anything I can do to help myself? thank you!
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for the query

Do not worry, ear block during common cold is quite normal; this is because of the blockage of Eustachian tube (the tube connecting nose and the ear).

During an attack of cold there is inflammation in the nasal cavity because of which there will be swelling around the Eustachian tube. Due to blockage of this tube, there is negative pressure created in the middle ear giving rise to ear block with or without earache. And, sometimes due to impaired drainage following the Eustachian tube block, there is water accumulated in the middle ear giving rise to reduced hearing.

The pain and the pressure inside the ear following blowing of the nose are due to the inflammation of the nasal end of the Eustachian tube. Also, there will be inflammation of the paranasal sinuses following an attack of cold. If there is only watery discharge from the nose, it could be just a viral rhinitis, whereas if it is associated with thick nasal discharge then there could be sinusitis.

Usually the common cold is due to viral infection, which will subside after a few days, but if it gets infected, then you will require antibiotics to get rid of the infection. The signs of infection are thick discharge from the nose which can be yellowish or greenish, with or without fever and headache.

I would suggest you to consult an ENT specialist for a thorough check-up and further management accordingly. As a home remedy, you can do steam inhalation, drink plenty of warm water, use saline nasal drops 3 - 4 times/day, avoid coffee and chilled food.

Hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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