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Have ear pain, pressure with slight changes in altitude and noise while swallowing. What is going on?

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Practicing since : 1991
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I have been having issues with my ears for over a year: pain, pressure with slight changes in altitude, and noise upon swallowing, and constant white noise. A week ago, I woke up with a squishy sound inside the canal and behind the external ear. What night be going on?
Posted Wed, 28 Nov 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 3 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. Get your ear drums examined by an ENT Specialist, first to rule out a traumatic ear drum perforation as you heard a squishy sound inside the canal and behind the external ear, have constant white noise (Tinnitus) in the ear and a slight earache. If the ear drum is intact, a fluid level may show up behind the eardrum, which may be dull or congested. The white noise heard in ear is known as Tinnitus. The noise on swallowing is normal due to the movement of muscles, cartilage and air.

2. The simplest way forward is to get a ear examination done and a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) and Tympanogram (Impedance Audiogram) done.

3. Regular steam inhalation is one of the best and simplest ways to keep the Eustachian Tubes healthy and functioning. An anti-inflammatory, an anti-allergic, a steroid nasal spray and OTC decongestant drops may help. However these should only be taken under strict medical supervision and avoided if you are hypertensive.

4. You may wait a few days before you proceed to see if spontaneous recovery takes place. Kindly share the test results here. If they are normal, no treatment is necessary. If they are abnormal, I will be able to recommend further treatment. If you wait very long, the trapped fluid may thicken to a glue like consistency and not be able to drain into the nose.

5. There is no cause for worry. Eustachian tube dysfunction is very common.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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