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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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What causes popping sensation in the ears?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Arnab Banerjee

Critical Care Specialist

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 1291 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 6 Sep 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: I have been having trouble with my ears and sinus. I am 63 yr old and every afternoon and night I have problems with my ears. They start by popping like if you were on an air plane the only relief I can get is to apply pressure to my ears or along my neck. I can put my finger into my ear and it helps. This seems to happen in the afternoon or evening when I lay down to take a break. at times it goes away this is when alligey factors are lower. I have this while in Indiana or in Florida. I take viconden for back pain and it does nothing for the pain I have in my ears. any help may keep an ice pick out of my ears it is getting that bad.
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Answered by Dr. Arnab Banerjee 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
ENT specialist consultation required for thorough Mid-Inner Ear examination

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXX, Welcome to HCM,

I've gone through your query and understand your concern..

Seems like it's bothering you for quite a while now..

From your description it's quite apparent that it's a pathology of middle ear and / inner ear along with a persistent blockage of the eustachian tube (the small tube that connects our mid-ear to the throat)..

Initially it can be suspected due to ear wax also, but since it's persisting even after ear cleaning, I'd suggest you to please schedule an appointment with a ENT specialist to get the ears checked out thoroughly (otoscopy examination under direct vision), this will identify the involved area and pathology related to this..

Chronic Sinusitis can also be an attributable factor in this regard (considering the allergic factor and climatic changes)..but that's secondary, the primary reason for this is in the Mid-inner ear only..

Yes, all those popped out noises, feeling high up in the air, comfortable feeling after blocking the ear canal with fingers/cotton balls - are due to pressure changes & persistent blockage in side your eustachian tube of the mid-ear..

I'd strongly advice you Not To Put any foreign bodies like cotton balls, as they are quite prone for causing further irritation in side the ear canal, increases risk of infection, can even partially dislodge deep in side the inner ear and can even damage the ear drum, please don't do it..please don't put your fingers too, it's almost equally risky..

Start taking Steam inhalation three to four times a day, it'll help sooth the upper respiratory passage as well as act as decongestant..

Deep breathing exercises several times a day will be helpful, take a deep breath from your nose (as deep as you can), hold it inside for several seconds and exhale slowly from your mouth, keep doing it 8-10 times a day, you'll see the benefit..

Avoid dairy products, cold/fizzy drinks which increases secretions..

If you feel that outside weather in Indiana or Florida is worsening the problem, then try to stay indoor, inside the air-conditioning as much as possible..

No, unfortunately vicodin won't help in these, as the cause of pain is different here(most likely an inflammation/infection or any structural pathology), so first of all the exact root of cause has to be narrowed down, then the treatment and further management will become much easier..

So please get the ENT have a thorough look in to your Ear to detect the exact pathology, rest all management from there will be much quicker and specific..

Taking simple Tab PARACETAMOL (TYLENOL) 650 mg SOS (not to exceed four times a day) after food will help reducing the pain to some extent..

There are lot of complex theories, possible causes which i'm not going in to details (for obvious reasons, I hope you'll understand)....

If allergic etiology is found along with sinusitis of the para nasal sinuses, then you'll be needing long term anti-allergic support for that too, but that can be decided later on after the clinical examination..

I've made it as simple as possible for you to understand, please let me know if anything's not clear..

Any further queries are most welcome..

Let me know how you stay in the due course..

Take Care
Kind Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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