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Suffering from congestion and cough. Ear started popping. Should I consult a ear specialist?

My son (8 yrs old) has had some congestion for a week or two now along with a cough and today said his right ear popped and then was very painful after, enough to cause some crying. I gave him some ibuprofen and now is not complaining anymore. Do I need to take him in to the doctor to check for an ear infection or is it just part of this upper respiratory cold he has?
Asked On : Wed, 28 Nov 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  60
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Diseases and Conditions
Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hi there,

Thanks for your query.

The problem is not due to infection.

Lot of secretions (mucus fluid) is produced in the sinuses, nasal cavity and throat during an acute attack of common cold.

There is a tube connecting the internal ear with the back of the nose. This helps maintaining the air pressure in the internal ear as same as the atmospheric pressure.

During common cold, this tube (called Eustachian tube) gets blocked due to secretions, leading to rise in internal ear pressure, which causes pain and popping in the ear.

Nasal decongestant drops will open up the tube and the problem will disappear instantly.

Consult your doctor and apprise him of my opinion. I am certain that he agree with me and prescribe nasal decongestant drops in appropriate doses.

If you find my response helpful and informative, do not forget an “excellent” rating to my answer, to encourage all doctors- engaged in social service- to render sound advice to the FREE queries.

Have a nice day,

Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Answered: Thu, 21 Nov 2013
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