Ear pressure ranges from an annoying need to pop your ears to pain from severe pressure and fullness because your eustachian tube is clogged. The experienced board-certified doctors at Beach Cities ENTS in Torrance, California, offer a range of treatments that successfully restore eustachian tube function and eliminate your ear pressure. If you need help with ear pressure or pain, call the South Bay area office or schedule an appointment online today.
While a middle ear infection can cause ear pressure, in most cases, the underlying problem is eustachian tube dysfunction. Ear pressure builds up when the eustachian tube is either blocked or doesn’t open properly. This is common in children and adults alike.
Your eustachian tube is a narrow tube connecting your middle ear behind the eardrum to the nasal cavity in the back of your nose. The tube’s job is to equalize the air pressure on both sides of your eardrum, ensuring that the pressure inside your ear is the same as the air pressure in your environment.
The eustachian tube opens when you swallow, yawn, or chew. This motion allows air to flow into the middle ear. At the same time, any excess fluid in the middle ear can flow out to the back of the nose with the rest of the mucus in your nose.
The most common causes of a blocked eustachian tube are:
These health conditions cause inflammation and swelling that can prevent the eustachian tube from opening. It’s also possible for the lining inside the tube to become swollen.
While feeling pressure is the primary symptom, you may also experience:
Many patients also describe a feeling of fullness in their ears. The combination of pressure and fluid accumulating in the middle ear often lead to ear pain.
Eustachian tube problems can be much worse when flying on an airplane, driving through altitude changes, or diving or snorkelling.
You may be able to open the eustachian tube and relieve your ear pressure by closing your mouth, holding your nose, and gently blowing air against your closed mouth and ears. Yawning, chewing gum, or rinsing your nose with saline and blowing your nose may also help.
Your doctor at Beach Cities ENT may recommend decongestant sprays or pills or even antibiotics or steroids to treat underlying colds, infections, and inflammation. If allergies are behind the problem, then you may need allergy testing and treatment.
When your ear pressure continues despite conservative measures, your Beach Cities ENTS doctor may suggest a procedure such as eustachian tube balloonplasty, myringotomy with ear tube insertion, or endoscopic sinus surgery.
You may also need surgery to remove enlarged adenoids or polyps if these are contributing to your ear pressure.
You don’t need to put up with uncomfortable ear pressure. Call Beach Cities ENTS or schedule an appointment online today.