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After waking up there is a loud pop and the hearing improves. Looking for suggestion

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Posted on Tue, 7 Aug 2012
Question: When I wake up in the morning the hearing in my left ear is impaired. Some short time after getting up there is a loud pop and the hearing improves - but not quite back to normal.
I also find that finger pressure below the ear or in front of the ear can impair my hearing. This is not always present and does not always occur at the same location
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (2 hours later)
Hi XXXXXX

Thanks for the query.

The symptoms that you are describing can occur due to different conditions. One of these is Eustachian tube dysfunction.

The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the back of the throat. It is responsible for clearing and drainage of secretions from the middle ear to the pharynx (back of the throat) and also for regulating pressure and ventilation (aeration) of the middle ear. Abnormal Eustachian tube function (impaired opening or closing / impaired clearance of secretions) can cause changes within the middle ear which can lead to hearing loss, fullness in the ears, muffled sound, popping noise, pain, ringing in the ears, problems with balance and other complications. Excessive mucus production as a result of a cold, flu, sinus or allergy can lead to this Eustachian tube dysfunction. Careful examination of ear, nose and throat is needed to identify the cause.

This condition is not serious though and usually resolves on its own. There are some Eustachian tube exercises which you may have already been doing without realising. These include swallowing, yawning, chewing gum, blowing with mouth shut and nose blocked. You can also add steam inhalation with menthol for added benefits.

In addition, I would encourage you to consult an ENT specialist for physical examination to identify the cause if you remain concerned. He or she may prescribe a decongestant with antihistamines.

I hope this information is helpful to you, feel free to ask any additional questions.

Warm Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

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After waking up there is a loud pop and the hearing improves. Looking for suggestion

Hi XXXXXX

Thanks for the query.

The symptoms that you are describing can occur due to different conditions. One of these is Eustachian tube dysfunction.

The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the back of the throat. It is responsible for clearing and drainage of secretions from the middle ear to the pharynx (back of the throat) and also for regulating pressure and ventilation (aeration) of the middle ear. Abnormal Eustachian tube function (impaired opening or closing / impaired clearance of secretions) can cause changes within the middle ear which can lead to hearing loss, fullness in the ears, muffled sound, popping noise, pain, ringing in the ears, problems with balance and other complications. Excessive mucus production as a result of a cold, flu, sinus or allergy can lead to this Eustachian tube dysfunction. Careful examination of ear, nose and throat is needed to identify the cause.

This condition is not serious though and usually resolves on its own. There are some Eustachian tube exercises which you may have already been doing without realising. These include swallowing, yawning, chewing gum, blowing with mouth shut and nose blocked. You can also add steam inhalation with menthol for added benefits.

In addition, I would encourage you to consult an ENT specialist for physical examination to identify the cause if you remain concerned. He or she may prescribe a decongestant with antihistamines.

I hope this information is helpful to you, feel free to ask any additional questions.

Warm Regards