what causes ear pressure

What Causes Ear Pressure?

Ever wonder what causes pressure in your ears? Especially when it is terribly uncomfortable? Your ears feel full, or there’s something in your ears, and you continuously yawn or swallow just to alleviate the pressure. There are a number of things that could cause your ears to feel full or that there’s pressure in your ears. Read on to learn more about ear pressure.

Why do we get pressure in our ears?

There are several reasons why we get pressure in our ears. Naturally, our ears are responding and regularly equalizing pressure behind the eardrum and outside of the eardrum. When there are changes in pressure on the outside of the eardrum, it causes changes in pressure behind the eardrum.

Equalizing the pressure in the inside and outside of the eardrum is healthy. However, some pressure in the ears may not be related to the pressure altogether but is related to other conditions such as hearing loss, ear infection, or sinus infection. Changes in the eustachian tubes can also affect pressure behind and outside of the eardrum.

What changes the pressure behind the eardrum?

There are little tubes that are connected to the middle ear space and sinus cavity called Eustachian tubes. The Eustachian tubes help normalize the pressure behind the eardrum so that the ears are comfortable and not feeling full. When yawning or swallowing, even chewing helps open the eustachian tubes to continue regulating ear pressure.

If the eustachian tube becomes infected or if there’s an underlying condition, it could cause the tubes to not function well, causing abnormal pressure behind the eardrum. This can give the feeling of needing to “pop” your ears” or your ears feeling full or stuffed.

What Conditions Causes Pressure In Ears?

There are underlying conditions that could cause pressure in the ears. There are common types of ear pressure, and there are types of ear pressure that requires medical attention.

Such typical ear pressures could be related to a cold, allergy, changes in altitude, wax build-up, or even an ear infection.

The type of ear pressure that your doctor may require further evaluation is the type related to hearing loss from chronic ear infections or other infections or diseases. Balance issues may be associated with an inner ear disorder such as meniere’s disease, and even tumors such as acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma may also need to be evaluated by the doctor.

How to Alleviate Ear Pressure?

If you feel you do not have any serious medical condition related to ear pressure, as mentioned earlier, there are ways to alleviate your ear pressure. If ear pressure is related to changes in altitude (flying on an airplane, for example), yawning or chewing gum helps keep the eustachian tubes open and functioning properly.

Some doctors recommended nasal spray to help with ear pressure, especially for those with allergies or sinus issues. Please seek medical attention before using a nasal spray to alleviate ear pressure.

When to see the Doctor for Ear Pressure Issues?

If you’re constantly experiencing ear pain or fullness of your ears and you tried popping your ears, but it’s not helping, seek medical help.

If you’re experiencing some hearing loss or balance issues, even dizziness or tinnitus (ringing of the ears), in that case, seek your primary care physician or an ENT physician for a further evaluation and hearing test.

Do not wait too long until the symptoms subside, as you may never know if the symptoms are severe or mild. If your symptoms persist for more than a week, consult with your primary care physician or ENT physician for medical treatment for ear pressure.


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