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Getting popping sound and discomfort in ear. What could be this?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2000
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I'm trying to get my diving certification. On my first open water dive, I started descending and was trying to equalize using the Valsalva manuever. I couldn't equalize my left ear and discontinued the dive due to discomfort. Now several days afterwards I can "pop" my right ear but my left will not "pop" at all with the Valsalva. I can get a few "crinkle" sounds with swallowing or moving my jaw. I think I need to be able to Valsalva with both ears to dive. What would be the reason for not being able to do it on both sides?
Posted Thu, 7 Mar 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sudhir 32 minutes later

The possible reason would be blocked Eustachian tube on left side.Common cause of blocked tube is inflammation due to infections or allergies.These tubes connect oral cavity with middle ear and Valsalva these tubes open up to equalize pressure in ear giving us pop up feeling.Use of antihistaminics can help to open up the tube.A clinical evaluation may be consider if ear infection is suspected.

Hope this answers your question.Please ask if there are doubts.Regards.
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