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Muffled hearing, occasional popping, and a feeling of pressure inside t...
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Muffled hearing, occasional popping, and a feeling of pressure inside the ear.

Hello all, so I have had this problem for nearly 3 years and a half. Going on 4 years it seems. I have finally decided to see if the online community has experienced similar issues or KNOW anyone that has had a similar issue. I am desperate for any information of familiarity with my problem.

This began, as I noted, 3.5 years ago. I simply woke up one morning and noticed that my hearing was muffled in my left ear. I had no other symptoms. No cold, no flu, in fact I rarely ever experience such things!

I went to a general doctor the first time. I do not have insurance, and the doctor suggested something over the counter. She told me to take Mucinex DM 3 times a day, and Affrin nasal spray 3 times a day for a week. The nasal spray back fired, and made my condition worse, as it says on the box, it shouldn't be used for more than 3 days straight. The Mucinex did help clear whatever fluids were in my ear, and helped my hearing. However the problem persisted.

I went to another doctor who prescribed me ear drops, Affrin, and antibiotics. I felt like the antibiotics helped, but I felt like the ear drops wouldn't go in my ear because no matter how long I'd lay my head it would always pour out. But again, my hearing still stayed muffled. It only got a little better.

Then another year I finally went to an ENT after 4 trials of antibiotics with the last doctor. The ENT stuck that camera up my nose to see the canals.  He said he sees some light congestion, but he said he did not know what the issue was. He recommended I do a saline rinse every day and close my nose and blow air.

So, I have not been doing the saline rinse the other day, but when I do, my ear begins popping. Not sure what this means.

However, TWO DAYS AGO, I was doing the saline rinse (in one nose and out the other) and when I blew my nose to get the mucus out I felt an excruciating pain and it felt like mucus or the water or SOMETHING went up the eustacian tube or some tube, and now my ear is even MORE muffled than usual. I tried to "suck out" whatever happened in there, but my hearing is still worse than usual.

I cannot go on like this. It is TOO annoying, stresses me out, and makes me very anxious. If anyone has any input or suggestions, please let me know. I do not have insurance, so I do not plan on going to the doctor soon, but I would love tips if someone knows what I should be asking the ENT about for when I do save money.
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Avatar dr f tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

There are tubes called 'Eustachian  tubes' which connect the middle ear to the throat, this balances the air pressure in the ears. This tube can get  blocked due to infections of the throat, which can give lead to a feeling of fullness in the ears. This can also result in infection of the ears. The blocked ears can be opened up by the valsalva maneuver, where air is blown into the cheeks against a closed nostrils, this sometimes helps to open up the tubes. Steam inhalations can help clear the tube. As it is occurring repeatedly check for Eustachian  tube dysfunction.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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