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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Severe ear pain, clogged sensation, pressure in ears, unable to pop ears. Cure?

I recently traveled from in a car and I woke up with a severe pain in my ear. It feels clogged and there is a lot of pressure it feels like. Usually holding my nose shut and blowing out to pop it works, however, it doesn t seem to be working and it is very painful. I was wondering how to get rid of this!
Wed, 13 Feb 2013
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi Maggie,

This may be because of some sort of inflammation which may be casuing swelling in the mucosa, where the eustachian tube is opening.
I wonder if this is first time that you are having this problem or this is one of the episode of the ear problem you are having, as this type of problems are more common in people who are having chronic conditions of sinuses and have some allergic condition which precipetate the condition.

This also some time happen with air travelling when we face the pressure difference in the air when going up and descending done, but having this problem with car travelling can also happens if you are ascending and the altitude is high in the mountains.

This may be because of some sort of blocking because of sleeping posture and it should be relieved in few days, or I would advice you to have warm saline garggle to releive the congestion if any and if not relieved than have an appoinment with ENT doctor.

Thanks and hope this will help you.
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ENT Specialist Dr. A.K. Srivastava's  Response
Welcome in H.C.M.
I read your query for your blocked ear and severe pain, which is not getting relieved by blowing your pinched nose against closed mouth.
As you are telling previously you are getting relief in clogged ear by above procedure, I think your Eustachian tube is blocked to a larger extent. Normally such blockade in ears occur whenever there is sudden change (increase ) in air pressure in atmosphere as happens when aircraft descends for landing. You usually have this blockade even in travelling by car suggest your nasopharynx is having some pathology may be infection/congestion/oedema (swelling) due to allergy/polyp etc.
Regarding treatment you may take antibiotics, antihistaminics and decongestants and steam inhalation for getting immediate relief but as I said you may be having some nasopharyngeal pathology so it will be better to contact an E.N.T.specialist to find out real fact and treatment.
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