I have been having problems with my left ear for a couple of days now. It feels as if there is a pressure change going on inside my ear. The sensation is similar to when being on an airplane while it is descending, or when on a train and going into a tunnel (the ear "pops", hearing becomes temporarily impaired). But it isn't permanent; I usually only get it in the mornings and it goes away by noon.
What could be the reason for this?
My diet for the past few weeks consisted of ground chicken (contains potassium lactate), ground turkey, beef, shrimp, tilapia, flounder, cauliflower, spinach, butter, ghee, EVOO, and almonds. I am on a diet to control my psoriasis (it has improved immensely). What could be the connection between what i'm eating and the problems I'm having with my left ear drum?
Sensations of pressure, popping and decreased hearing in your ear are usually caused by eustachian tube dysfunction. This can either be an acute or chronic process. Your eustachian tubes connect your middle ear with your nose and throat. Being connected to your upper airway, eustachian tubes are subject to some of the same conditions--such as inflammation, allergies and infection--that can affect the rest of your upper airway.
If it's painless, it's probably not an acute bacterial infection. Thus, immediate medical attention may not be needed.
If it's only been 2 days, it could just be a common cold virus. You can try your home remedy of choice--netti pot, zinc, etc.--and see if that helps.
Alternatively, it could be an allergic problem. Morning symptoms suggest that there could be allergens in your bedroom and/or bedding, such as mold spores, house dust mite, or ragweed pollen granules. Exposure can be reduced by frequent cleaning of your room, and hypoallergenic mattress and pillow covers. If you don't object to meds, you can try a non-drowsy allergy medicine such as fexofenadine (Allegra). It's possible, although unlikely, that you may have recently developed an allergy to something in your diet. The most common allergy-inducing foods in your current diet are shellfish, nuts and dairy. You can try eliminating those foods for a while and see if that helps.
If you develop pain, fever or ear drainage, or if you aren't improving in 2 weeks, then seek medical attention.
Eustachian tube dysfunction is incredibly common -- the eustachian tube does not open properly to keep ear pressure normal. However, there is something that seems the same symptomatically called patulous eustachian tube defect. You can tell if you have it by putting your head down and seeing if the feeling clears. With patulous eustachian tube defect -- the tube stays open too often. The usual prescription for antihistamines that can help symptoms in eustachian tubes that do not open properly can actually make patulous worse. I have the chronic patulous and can clear the symptoms by putting my head way down -- sometimes if I'm in a store and it happens, I will pretend to shop for something on a low shelf to get relief. Downsides to all eustachian disorders is they can cause dizziness, disequalibrium. My symptoms come and go too. Can be triggered by barometric changes, heavy exercise, allergies, etc.
I didn't realize that ear infections could give intermittent symptoms -- but the other posters say it can happen so it's best to get to an ear doc for a check. Eustachian tube defects generally give intermittent symptoms though and absent drainage or pain or fever, sounds likeit could be a eustachian tube defect.
If you can, get to a doc to be sure. But in the interim, next time you get that feeling -- don't try to equalize the pressure by holding nose and blowing gently as one would if eustachian tube doesn't open properly. Instead, put your head way down -- top of scalp facing floor -- hold for a little while. You should feel it clear if that is going to help or check by talking in the upside down position. That underwater sound should be cleared if it's going to clear like that. If it does -- it's patulous. Don't take antihistames or anything that could dry you out inside the ear. Go easy on caffeine or if you love coffee/tea then be sure drink adequate water too. Good luck!
I would have the doctor check this. It sounds like it might be an inner ear infection. I had one in high school that resulted in waking up one morning to no more pressure, and a bit of dried blood in my ear. The drum had ruptured. I did not have the usual ear aches with that infection, just a pressure feeling. FWIW, the eardrum healed, and my hearing has been mostly normal since, but I have difficulty when there's lots of background noise.
Also possible is that your ear canals are impacted due to wax buildup, resulting in something like swimmer's ear. If you're sleeping with your ear down and you have narrow ear canals or simply generate a lot of ear wax, it's possible that your ear-wax is getting slightly impacted, and then when you rise in the morning and your body heat increases, the wax begins to "settle" and the symptoms dissipate some. If it's only now started, try gently using a q-tip and see if you can clear out some wax. Usually, if you catch it early, you should be fine.
If it gets worse, a trip to the doctor easily fixes this, as they "flush out" the ear with some high-pressure water. Avoid using over-the-counter solutions for swimmer's ear, as that can make it worse. You can try some diluted hydrogen peroxide and one of those tear-drop-shaped things that help you squirt water into the ear to aid in flushing it out, but I've found that if the ear is really impacted, a trip to the doctor is the only way to unblock the ear canal.
As an aside, I haven't gotten this after going more strict paleo, so it's possible that diet is somehow related. The couple years prior, I had to get my ears flushed once or twice a year because of this.
I have had this since July myself! I have been to 2 different ENT specialist, have had a MRI and Ct scan. Mine gets the feeling in the afternoon though. The Dr's have no idea nut it really is annoying! At least I am starting to get used to it.
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