What Is Ear Pressure?
The ear is an organ that helps in listening and balancing. The ear has a part, known as the Eustachian tube, that maintains the pressure inside the ear. This tube extends from the junction of the throat and nasal cavity to the middle of the ear. The Eustachian tube opens when the person performs the activity involving air, such as swallowing or yawning. It helps in normalizing the pressure. However, there is a narrowing or blockage in the Eustachian tube due to several reasons. It results in excess pressure inside the ear.
What Is The Prevalence Of Ear Pressure Disorder?
Building ear pressure is a common condition. The eustachian tube is thin, and there are high chances of blocking or narrowing the tube. There are several causes of ear pressure. Some of them are common, while other is uncommon. Most people suffer from abnormal ear pressure at least once in their lifetime.
What Are The Effects Of Ear Pressure?
Apart from the fullness or pressure in the ears, the patients may experience several other symptoms depending upon the underlying cause. Some of the symptoms include:
- Pain and irritation
- Ear drainage
- Swelling, redness, and warmth
If there is an ear infection, the patients may also experience the below symptoms:
- Earache, congestion, sore throat, and cough
- Severe headache
- Tenderness over the bone behind the ears
What Are The Causes Of Ear Pressure?
There are several causes of ear pressure. Some of them are:
- Sinusitis: Sinuses are the hollow spaces preset in the face. Inflammation in these void spaces is sinusitis. Swelling of sinuses results in ear fullness and pressure. hollow
- Cold: Cold results in nasal inflammation and congestion. It interferes with the activity of the Eustachian tube resulting in creating an ear pressure.
- Allergies: Allergic reactions also result in the development of congestion and mucus accumulation. Inflammation due to allergy in the nasal cavity is known as allergic rhinitis.
- Change in Altitude: The outside air pressure changes with altitude. When you travel in an airplane, moving up on the mountains, or lifting on a high-rise building, there is a sudden change in the air pressure. Eustachian tube has little time to adjust, resulting in building the ear pressure.
- Ear Infection: Infection in the ear may also result in increased ear pressure in fullness. Swelling and accumulation of fluid may also occur in people with infections due to swimming.
- Wax Build-up: Ear pressure may also build up in people in which there is n accumulation of ear wax in the ear canal.
- Foreign Object: Obstruction may be caused due to insertion of some objects in the ear. It results in pain and the development of ear pressure.
- Acoustic Neuroma: Increased ear pressure may occur due to acoustic neuroma. This condition involves the formation of a benign tumor on the eighth cranial nerve. This nerve is responsible for transmitting the hearing signals to the brain. It is a rare condition and generally results in hearing loss.
- Cholesteatoma: There is a growth of skin in the middle ear. It results in ear drainage, hearing loss, pain, and building of ear pressure.
- Other causes: There are several other causes for building ear pressure. They are Meniere’s disease, Fungal Ear Infection, Chronic Otitis Media, and Temporomandibular junction disorders.
When To Consult A Doctor?
It is necessary to visit the consultant for determining the cause of ear pressure and seek adequate treatment. You must consult the doctor if you have severe pain, drainage from the ear, and ear pressure. Delaying the diagnosis and treatment may adversely affect the hearing ability and other complications. If you are concerned that there is something stuck in the ear of your child, immediately consult with the best ENT specialist in India.
How Does The Doctor Diagnose Ear Pressure?
There are several methods through which the doctor diagnoses ear pressure. Some of them are:
- Physical examination: Your doctor may comprehensively evaluate your eardrum health and its position through an otoscope. The doctor may determine if the eardrum is inward or outward regarding its normal position.
- Insufflation: The doctor may also push air into the ear to determine the presence of any fluid build-up or blood in the ear.
What Are The Treatments For Ear Pressure?
Treatment of ear pressure depends upon the underlying cause. Some of the treatment options are:
- Medicines: The doctor may prescribe you medicines for treating the conditions responsible for ear pressure. These medicines may include antifungal drugs, antibiotics, and anti-allergic medicines.
- Topical applications: The doctor may advise you to administer topical formulation to clear the accumulated ear wax.
- Removing foreign objects: If ear pressure is because of foreign object obstruction, the doctor removes the object.
- Change in Altitude: Change in altitude may also help in equalizing the pressure. Swallowing or yawning may also provide comfort.
- Surgery: In some cases, the doctor may also recommend surgery. The surgery may include a myringotomy and placing of ear tubes.
What Are The Complications Of Persistent Ear Pressure?
Persistent ear pressure may result in complications. Some of them are:
- Recurrent ear infections
- Problem speaking
- Inflammation of bone near the ear
- Facial paralysis
- Permanent hearing loss