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Ringing in ear,numb,warm ears,heavy head

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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I have a ringing in my right ear with a numb feeling inside and it also feels warm. It gets worse when I talk or have sound direct to the right ear. My head also feels heavy. This started about two hours ago and at first the ringing was constant. Now i only hear it when i talk or direct sound to the ear. What could this be?
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for the query

The symptoms you have mentioned a) sudden onset of ringing in the ear with numbness, b) heaviness of the head and c) worsening of the ringing sensation on speaking, could be due to Eustachian tube catarrh or Impacted wax in the external auditory canal or a rare condition called Sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
1.     In Eustachian tube catarrh there is sudden blockage of the Eustachian tube (the tube connecting nose and the ear) at the nasal end, either due to common cold or sinusitis. This blockage induces negative pressure inside the middle ear leading to fullness of the ear and the head associated with ringing sensation in the ear. Due to the blockage whenever the intensity of the sound increases in the surrounding region, the waves irritate the ear drum and hence the ringing sensation.

2.     In impacted wax there is blockage of the external auditory (ear) canal causing fullness of the ear, ringing sensation, reduced hearing and also heaviness of the head.

3.     Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is a rare condition of the ear wherein there is sudden weakness of the auditory nerve in the inner ear due to unknown cause. And, this gives rise to the above mentioned symptoms along with hearing loss.

As there are various causes which can manifest in the similar fashion, it is indeed difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. A thorough examination of the ear and nose can aid in making a correct diagnosis. Hence I would suggest you to consult a good ENT specialist for the same.

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
Follow-up: Ringing in ear,numb,warm ears,heavy head 9 hours later
I went to the doc today and was prescribed prednisone, a pill for motion sickness and flonase. Do these sounds like the proper medication? The ringing is slightly less but I find myself feeling akward....I feel jittery and am thinking it is because of the medicine. I trust the doctor I went to but all she did was look in my ear with a scope. She said if things arent better in 5 days, she will refer me to an ENT specialist. I guess my question is, does the medicine she prescribed sound like the ideal medicine for what I earlier decribed?
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 34 minutes later
Thanks for the follow up.

Did your doctor make any mention about the status of the eardrum and the nose? It is very important to know, as it helps in ruling out the various conditions causing this problem.

Prednisolone and the pill for motion sickness (? cinnarizine) is given in conditions suspecting sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Flonase is a steroid nasal spray given to reduce the congestion in the nose and around the opening of the eustachian tube. So, it suggests that your doctor is still not very sure about the diagnosis.

Certain tests like tympanometry and audiometry can also aid in differentiating the various causes and arriving at a diagnosis. It would have been better if you had consulted an ENT specialist. If you do not have any other choice, you can take these medicines for time being.

The pill for motion sickness can cause slight discomfort and drowsy.

Wish you good health.

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