What You Need to Know About Ear Pressure Abnormalities

Man,Suffering,From,Ear,Pain,On,In,RoomDo your ears sometimes feel full or like they need to pop? Have you ever felt sharp ear pain while flying or driving up a mountain? These symptoms may be caused by pressure abnormalities in your ears. Understanding the basics of ear pressure can help you identify issues and prevent discomfort.

How the Ears Work Naturally

Your ears are impressive organs that allow you to hear and maintain balance. The ear canal and middle ear are connected and work together. Air normally enters the ear canal and reaches the middle ear, where tiny bones pass sound vibrations to the inner ear. This system relies on a careful balance of air pressure. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of your nose and throat. It helps regulate pressure by allowing air to flow in and out to equalize differences.

What Causes Abnormal Ear Pressure?

If the Eustachian tube becomes obstructed or fails to open properly, pressure cannot equalize between the outer ear and the middle ear. This produces uncomfortable symptoms. Colds, allergies, and respiratory infections can cause temporary Eustachian tube dysfunction. The tube may swell shut, trapping air in the middle ear. Pressure changes during flights are also notorious for causing ear pain and “clogged” sensations. As the plane gains altitude, the surrounding air pressure decreases. The ears struggle to offset this rapid change.

Finding Relief from Ear Pressure

In many cases, ear pressure resolves on its own. But you can also try quick tips to encourage the Eustachian tubes to open. Try yawning, swallowing water or spit, or chewing gum to activate the tube muscles. Tilt your head back and pull the outer ear up and back to change airflow. Use nasal decongestant sprays to reduce swelling. Or try special earplugs designed to allow pressure equalization gently.

Visit An Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor

See an ENT doctor right away if you have severe ear pain, drainage from the ear, or sudden hearing loss. These require prompt evaluation to prevent permanent damage.

While annoying, most ear pressure issues are harmless and temporary. Understanding the cause empowers you to find relief faster! For personalized care, call Del Rey, MD, in Long Beach, at 562-774-0844, Bakersfield at 661-695-8627, or Marina Del Rey/Los Angeles at 310-773-5986 to book an appointment.

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