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10932422 tn?1413919579

Permanently (living memory) blocked ears

HI all,

I have been reading a few posts to find out more about my issue but I haven't been able to find anything just like it, however my ears are permanently blocked. I mean for as long as I can remember (so could have been caused by something when I was very young) my ears are blocked like your ears are when you fly in a plane.

From what I can tell it is exactly the same; I yawn and they clear (but are blocked again within less than a minute), but the rest of the time they are blocked. I have been manipulating the muscles (?) for so long that I can unblock my ears without yawning (but they still reblock).

To reblock, if I want to, I cover my nose and breath in. It feels like the pressure inside the drum decreases and the membrane collapses in towards the canal. The practical result of this is that I am slightly deafened (the decreased flexibility of the drum is responsible for this, I would guess).

I use this to my advantage at times, for example late at night sometimes all you can hear from your neighbour's party is the bass sounds, however I can increase the amount of block until I am almost deaf (or at least a greatly reduced amount of sound being picked up, and it cuts out the deeper sounds).

I have been to a number of doctors about this, but none have seen fit to refer me to a specialist, and in fact I get the impression that some of the doctors believe it is all in my head, so to speak :)

It is not painful, apart from times like now when I get a frequent, if irregular, stab of pain in my drum/canal area. This occurs every 2, 3, sometimes 6 months and does not seem to have any identifiable cause. These episodes of pain last maybe a week, and during this time I can expect to have a sharp stab of pain, lasting no more than a second or two each time, every 5, 10, or 30 minutes.

It is difficult to gauge, with any accuracy, the timings of the pain as I am usually a bit of a mess (akin to some sort of torture that, while it is not overt in it's measures of pain definitely makes up for it with the psychological irregularity of the stabbing pain attacks!).

I can still function, however when I have a stab of pain it is apparent to those around me as I suddenly suck in my breath in an involuntary response, I grimace in pain, and I reach to hold my ear.

These attacks used to affect either ear, but never both ears, however lately have just been focussing on one ear (my left).

My dentist has recommended I visit an ENT specialist, which I shall do, but I am more here to find out if anyone else has ears like mine, and to find out what they did, if they found out what the cause was, if they had the same stabbing pain, and the cause and treatment of that, and also to provide assistance to anyone else out there who first thought everyone had ears like them only to find out that no-one else has ears like that.

My history; I had a number of middle ear infections when I was a teenager (however I had already been living with blocked ears for years, to the point where I presumed everyone had ears like mine). I also have been to my dentist this time after theorising that the pain could be related to am impacted tooth moving things around and having a flow on effect to my ear (she has all but ruled this out as a cause).
4 Responses
10932422 tn?1413919579
In addition to the above I should add that I am 42.
Avatar universal
This sounds like a problem with your Eustachian tubes.  I would follow this up with an ENT Specialist for sure.

Forget about the doctors that can't or didn't help you............"this is all in your head" attitude is typical for physicians who can't figure the problem because:  1.  It's difficult for their simple mind or 2. It's outside their realm or 3.  It's something so rare that it won't be easy to diagnose.  It just saves time to label you "crazy" so they can move on to something easier to figure out.
Avatar universal
Much of the problem you describe is similar to Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. The medical profession has not found an effective treatment for ETD, so if that is the problem, it would explain the runaround you are getting.

Still, go to an ENT. It might not be ETD, and an ENT is most likely the doctor to find the best treatment.
10932422 tn?1413919579
Thanks for the replies so far. Looks like I am on the right track going to the ENT. Will update as I have them.
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