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Throat discomfort, ear blockage, bumps at the back of the throat, smoker. Causes for symptoms?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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Hi, Ive recently quit smoking-on a cessation program, doing well-down to 1-2 per day, im 46 , no priors no allergies (known) just had a yearly physical with blood/urine/stool sample,bp, all came out ok, I thought i had a sore throat with a cold, so I didnt tell my dr. any of this-
I have a very dull ache in my throat, (going on two months)not constant-gets irritated if i do smoke- but also feel a little pressure under the ears- not pain, not discomfort-if i move my jaw around, no pain, but just slight more-almost pressure-feels a little like your ears almost clearing/popping in a plane- again, no pain
the ear thing is very recent-Ive changed my diet dramatically(7 days ago)- no sweets, less meats- more fruits, and veggies
if i swallow- no pain, doesnt even feel like a lump, just a slight ache- lower right in my throat-I cant feel any lumps or bumps- I have started a work-out program 10 days ago- I still have my tonsils- I do sleep with mouth open- I do sleep on an uncomfortable couch- usually 5-6 hours a night sleep
Im 46 male 5-11 225 (am losing everyday)
the dull throat ache, has been better since the new diet and working out, but the slight pressure under each ear hasnt gone away(not tender to the touch)
I drive alot in my job and im on the computer alot at home- im usually looking down at a computer screen

I havent experienced any strength loss, sharp pains, no cough, no blood

Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 13 hours later

Thanks for the query and an elaborate history.

The slight throat discomfort and the ear block that you are currently experiencing are due to smoking. The bumps like thing which you have noticed over the pharyngeal wall (i.e. the back of the throat) are also due to smoking.

Here is a detailed explanation of the same:
Due to smoking, there is damage to the mucosa and nasociliary clearance of the nose because of which there is dryness of the nose and the throat, and blockage of the Eustachian tube (the tube connecting nose and the ear). Due to blockage of the Eustachian tube, there will be pressure inside the ear and popping sensation of the ear happens due to repeated opening and closing of the tube.

There are similar consequences over the mucosa of the throat also. The mucosa of the throat is damaged due to constant smoking causing burning and foreign body sensation in the throat.

The best remedy for both of the above problems is to quit the smoking completely. Drink plenty of warm water to keep the nose and throat hydrated; avoid coffee and chilled beverages. Do steam inhalation 3-4 times a day for a week, this helps in relieving the congestion around the eustachian tube and reduction of the ear discomfort.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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