This began about 2 years ago. It should be noted that I have had problems with ear pressure throughout my life, many times being in severe pain while flying in airplanes. Ok, here goes...
2 years ago I went swimming and dove down to the bottom of a pool multiple times. I felt some pressure in my right ear but thought nothing of it at the time. Afterwards it felt like I had water stuck in my right ear but was confident it would resolve on it’s own. About a week later, it still felt the same so I went and got it looked at. There was no water in it, or wax, and no perforation to the ear drum. As time went on, I began to notice other things on top of the ear itself feeling plugged. Here is a list.
1 - I noticed that the sound coming into the right ear sounded dull. It it mostly unnoticeable but I notice it the most when I rub my ear lobes. The rubbing sound on the left sounds bright while the right sounds very dull. I also sometimes notice when I change the direction I’m standing facing a noise, the sound changes slightly. This has not changed in the last two years.
2 - Several different forms of tinnitus. Sometimes it’s the more typical higher frequencies but the most annoying type would be clicking. There are two types of clicking: One is a softer click that happens less frequently. The other is a louder, more sporadic click that has a sound I would equate to a static shock, or an old tv being turned off. Some days it doesn’t happen at all. Sometimes it goes all day or night. It may be related to my stress levels but this did not start until after I dove in that pool. There is also a static sound which is very noticeable when I lay my head on a pillow on my right ear.
3 - The softer clicks often keep the same rhythm with my breathing. If anyone has ever had a plugged nose and it softly clicks in time with your breathing, this is the same thing, but with the ear instead.
4 - Often when I hiccup or have a sort of subverted inward burp the sound changes drastically, almost like I’ve put my ear up to a seashell. There is a sensation like something is pushing on something else and it only happens in the right ear. The sound changes are much more significant when I am near a noise, such as running water.
I have also seen an ENT with a the standard tests that go along with that, as well as an MRI that both came back clean.
I am unable to do the Valsalva maneuver properly, due to a deviated septom. In the past, when I’ve tried, all it’s done is make the left ear feel blocked and strange temporarily. The toynbee maneuver has helped in the past with flying but has absolutely no effect with this.