Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Pressure Refuses to go Away After Blow to Ear

04/08/2010

Question:

Hello,

After a nasty ear infection when I was 18, the pressure in my left ear has always been weird, and to fix it, I have to quickly exhale through my nose and slightly tense up my back neck muscles, this happens several times a day, and it is a very slight movement...I kind of just got used to doing it and my ENT never really provided me with a clear answer as to why it occurs.

Anyways, about a month ago I was struck on the left side of my head and my eardrum ruptured, it was also accompanied by a constant feeling of pressure and fullness, as well as a slight "hiss" as if I am putting my ear to a sea shell. It also had a small amount of fluid leak from it, but this only happened once.

I got on ciprodex eardrops within days of the incident and saw my ENT about two weeks later... the perforation seemed to have healed up to the point where he could not see it, yet some type of computer test indicated there was still a small hole, he therefore looked again and said he could see what looked like a small "dark spot" which he said was the eardrum`s version of a scab.

A hearing test was done and it revealed that the problem was indeed with the eardrum and not with the little bones or anything in the middle ear. My ENT said everything should heal on its own and I should return in two months for a follow up.

The next day, and to my relief, the pressure randomly released in my ear, my hearing immediately improved...it was not 100% but definitely better. To keep the pressure from "clogging" my ear again, I had to resort back to my old tactic of slightly tensing my neck and quickly exhaling through my nose...this worked for about two days, but then my condition relapsed for some reason. Now I cannot "clear" my ear of pressure using my old method, and my hearing has declined back to where it was before the improvement.

I am wondering if this action of "clearing" the ear of pressure has somehow re-opened the perforation in my ear. There is no pain when I try to do it however, and it is not forceful at all. For example, it is no where near the force I would use to blow my nose, which I have not done since the incident occurred.

The constant pressure is what is really bothering me, and even when I can slightly "clear" it, the pressure returns in less than a second. I have tried using decongestants and nasal sprays like Afrin, but nothing seems to help.

I have heard that constant pressure in the ear can degrade the middle ear bones and that will permanently affect hearing...so I do not know what to do. Should I completely stop trying to clear my ear of pressure and see if it clears on its own? It has been exactly 1 month since the blow to my ear occurred.

What could the problem be? From my understanding, the Eustachian tube regulates pressure in the ear, not the eardrum. Any help would be greatly appreciated as my follow up ENT appointment is still a long time away. Thank you so much.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, NetWellness experts try to answer general questions about health. Only a health professional performing a thorough clinical exam is able to evaluate your symptoms. However, NetWellness may have some general information available that you can access through our search feature. Feel free to write back if you still have questions or need an explanation.

For more information:

Go to the Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

NetWellness Staff
NetWellness.org