Congestion in the ears - a variant of the norm or a symptom of a disease? Together with ENT specialist Elena Chekaldina from the clinic
we figure out where the unpleasant sensations come from, what they can testify to and how to deal with them.
Many have encountered congestion in one or both ears. Sometimes congestion
is accompanied by
dizziness, hearing loss or discomfort in the ear (pops, popping, ringing) or an unpleasant feeling as if the ear was full of fluid.
Congestion occurs if the pressure in the middle ear is different from the pressure in the environment. This happens, for example, during take-off or landing of an airplane, during diving or when climbing mountains.
But there are situations when the ears are laying for no apparent reason.
Most often in such cases the “faulty” Eustachian tubes are to blame. So called special canals connecting the middle ear and nasopharynx. When a person swallows or yawns, the Eustachian tubes open and the pressure in the ear and in the environment equalizes. Under such conditions, the eardrum is free to vibrate, and we are able to distinguish sounds without discomfort.
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If the Eustachian tubes become inflamed, the air channel that communicates the ear and the environment is “blocked”. As a result, the pressure in the middle ear drops below atmospheric, so that the eardrum begins to “retract”. The membrane cannot vibrate normally, the hearing decreases, and the very unpleasant sensation arises, which we describe as “stuffiness” in the ears.
If the inflammation lasts a long time, fluid begins to accumulate in the ear, which is produced by the mucous membrane lining the cavity of the middle ear.
The second way that fluid can enter the middle ear is from the nose, even before the tube closes completely.
In second place are infectious diseases affecting the nasal cavity, nasopharynx and Eustachian tubes.
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In healthy people
The Eustachian tubes clog for a short time and the discomfort passes by itself. For the hearing to return to normal, it is enough to swallow, drink water, dissolve the lollipop or chew gum.
Another way to increase pressure in the middle ear is to perform a simple procedure called the Valsalva Maneuver.
If the maneuver succeeds, you will hear a slight popping in your ears. This means that the eardrum has returned to normal.
Unpleasant sensations should pass immediately. Sometimes a maneuver is required to be performed several times in a row.
Ears, throat and nose are not isolated organs from each other, but a single interconnected system. Because of this, with a cold, the mucous membrane can become inflamed not only in the nose, but also in the Eustachian tubes.
If the problem is really associated with a cold, congestion in the ears will pass in 7-10 days.
It is necessary to consult a doctor in the following cases:
Such inflammation may have
there are many reasons
, some of which are not at all obvious. For example:
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With this disease, people often
of severe and unpredictable dizziness and ringing in the ears, and congestion usually occurs in only one ear. Nevertheless, approximately
in 15% of patients
have both ears laid at once.
Where the disease comes from, scientists have not fully figured out.
Symptoms are thought to be due to the fluid that builds up in the inner ear and affects the organs located there that are responsible for hearing and body position in space.
It is difficult to diagnose Meniere's disease, because the symptoms characteristic of this condition can be associated with many other diseases - from infection of the inner ear to dehydration.
It is very difficult to figure out what exactly caused the inflammation of the Eustachian tubes. Therefore, if your ears are stuffed for several days in a row, you need to contact the otolaryngologist as soon as possible.