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Can Anxiety Cause Ear Pressure?

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Lately, I've noticed that whenever I'm anxious - my ears get pressure and I get the 'airplane' ear. However, when I'm relaxed, no stress, and not anxious, then I don't think I have ever observed my ears plugging up.

Anyone ever experience such a thing?
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First Helper futurelovers
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replied March 21st, 2007
Experienced User
Anyone?
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replied April 23rd, 2007
I sometimes have the same feelings, went to a doctor who checked my ears, said it's fine.
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replied April 23rd, 2007
Experienced User
I went to a doctor and he said I have Eustachian tube dysfunction.

I was looking around and found a connection between anxiety and ETD.

I don't have a solution yet but hopefully I will figure it out soon.
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replied June 20th, 2014
years ago I had a doctor tell me that stress can kill, and if I let it, it would do it piece by piece. And I believe it, I have had a lot of stress of the years. And I am getting more and more health problems. And the most recent one is with the ears. The same thing you are describing and I was told the same the same thing. But I too have noticed that when I get upset or stressed out the more my ears hurt.
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replied April 27th, 2007
Yea, I have heard of this and know of someone who experiences it when anxious. It can also constribute to dizziness.
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replied May 3rd, 2007
Check out my thread I just posted... maybe it can help you

I think that is definately possible

http://ehealthforum.com/health/topic91901. html
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replied September 21st, 2009
I recently had the same syptoms along with feeling as though I couldn't get oxygen to my brain. I felt like passing out. The more I would swallow or try to blow my nose and blow my ears out the vacuum feeling would become horrible. I became very desperate and after going to 2 ER's, 4 Dr. appts., 1 ENT with not much luck for any explantion other than they all made me feel I was just going through anxiety and depression; I was determined to not settle for this diagnosis. I became very frantic and very persistent with my own search. With the results being Miraculous. I discovered that with my TMJ Disorder (in my jaw joints)was linked to my ear problems. The joint is located right in front of your ears and when misaligned it can create a pressure and sensation of the ears are full and wont pop. It was creating a blockage in my eustation tubes. I literaly thought I would lose my mind. I was introduced to Chiropratic Therapy for this condition and received immediate relief. The Chiro was the only Dr. compassionate and knowledgeable enough to know just what to do for me. My whole system was being compromised and I was not even breathing correctly reducing a lack of cirrculation to my brain. After the first treatment I felt like a new person. My whole family even noticed a difference in me as well. Hope this is helpful for anyone suffering the same syptoms.
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replied June 29th, 2013
Thank you so much for this information. I suffer with these same symptoms and have suspected for YEARS that it was related to TMJ. I went to an ENT as well and they said I was fine. I'm going to try your solution and see how it works for me. I can't thank you enough for the information
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replied June 29th, 2013
Also, could you give me an update on your treatment and situation to let me know how you're doing now? That would be great. Thanks, again.
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replied April 19th, 2010
Severe ear pain for months
im too suffering from ear pain with no diagnosis.
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replied September 7th, 2010
I have a non-stop pressure in both ears and ENT says my ears and throat are fine. I am very confused as to what I should do. He wants me to do a MRI tomorrow so see if it's something w my brain but since having this (3months)I have had serious anxiety. I've struggled with it in the past but been attack free for almost a year. I have went to 4 doctors about this and no ideas?? Can anxiety really do this to your ears?
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replied March 17th, 2011
Inner ear dysfunction CAUSES anxiety!
Please check this out-
There is a Dr. Harold Levinson, Great Neck, New York, that has done much research on this subject and written several books. There IS a connection between inner ear dysfunction and anxiety disorders. But, the inner ear dysfunction CAUSES the anxieties and other symptoms! He describes in his books the "cerebellar-vestibular (cv)- based diagnostic/treatment for anxiety, Phobic disorders, OCD, dyslexia......
For me,...my allergy to mold caused the ear pressure and brings on Panic attacks. For my son,some sort of allergy during the winter (oct.-march) makes him desperatly misserable and brings on severe OCD. But, don't expect GP, ENT or any other doctor to be open minded enough to consider this to be true!!! (Also goggle Dr. Albert Robbins in Florida) Hope this helps someone! (: Hang in there.
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replied June 29th, 2013
I've had the same type of feeling. I have a fluttering sound/feeling in my ears, particularly the left one. I think that there are a million symptoms that anxiety can cause. It is so difficult to live with this type of extreme anxiety sometimes. My mother did it and I wish I'd had more sympathy for what she was going through. I had no idea.
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replied July 12th, 2013
Hi all,

I've experienced a whole host of physical symptoms as a result of an extensive history with depression/anxiety.

More recently I've had what you've all been describing above: pressure in my ears.

While for some anxiety sufferers there may be an organic biological issue, as symptoms tend to come and go (chest pain, breathing, dizziness, panic attacks, stomach pain etc) and anxiety/depression remains, I'd stress dealing with the anxiety should be the main priority.

As I've been through the endless medical specialists and eventually realised that treating anxiety/depression through a CBT/pharma/analysis route was so incredibly effective in dealing with both issues, I did some quick research.

This paper in Psychological Medicine 41.3 (Mar 2011): 555-63 (full citation below - well worth a quick look) analysed patients suffering anxiety, depression and panic attacks that were repeatedly referred to secondary care with medically unexplained symptoms. Around 1/3 of patients referred from primary to secondary specialist were for medically unexplained symptoms.

"Patients repeatedly referred to hospital with symptoms that specialists assess as medically unexplained have a high prevalence of depression, anxiety and panic disorders. They also have a higher prevalence of more severe depression and of panic than patients who have been referred as often, but for symptoms deemed to be medically explained. Furthermore, many of these patients do not receive minimum effective treatment from their general practitioners for these psychiatric disorders".

They suggest that "these patients should be specifically assessed for depression, anxiety and panic disorders and, if found, these disorders should be vigorously treated".

I've found that my most useful resource has been finding a trusted therapist who could walk me through the various symptoms and navigate various remedies (mindfulness, pharma, counselling etc.) for the anxiety/depression.

My experience of anxiety/depression and bodily symptoms change all the time. However knowing that it is extremely probable that it is just a physical manifestation of my anxiety is really comforting, though doesn't help the symptoms too much Very Happy

Hope this is of some use. Solidarity!

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replied July 18th, 2013
It's nice to know that i'm not the only one going through this. Every time I'm stress my left ear gets blocked up. I told my doctor and he looked at me as if i was stupid.

I then get this very bad habit of moving my jaws like a crazy person to relieve the pressure.

I wish there was a cure...not sure how much more of this I can take Sad
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replied August 30th, 2013
I've had this same problem for the past year, with sudden nerve deafness in my left ear and pressure in both ears. The ENT's can not explain why the pressure or how to relieve it.
I have noticed through reading so much about it that the left ear is affected more often than the right. ENT's said they hadn't noticed that.
Will look into TMJ for the pressure and possibly chiro therapy.
Thanks for the tips.
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replied September 12th, 2013
Re: Can Anxiety Cause Ear Pressure?
futurelovers wrote:
Lately, I've noticed that whenever I'm anxious - my ears get pressure and I get the 'airplane' ear. However, when I'm relaxed, no stress, and not anxious, then I don't think I have ever observed my ears plugging up.

Anyone ever experience such a thing?

Did find anything about this cuz i have the same problem
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replied March 31st, 2014
I have it and yes it's anxiety related.
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replied May 12th, 2014
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction / TMJ Disorder
I have this too.
I have seen 3 ENT's and 3 TMJ / TMD specialists about this.
The ENT docs could find nothing wrong with my ears. The TMJ specialist did MRI scan and said my Jaw joint is out of place hence my Eustchian Tube issues.
He made me a splint which I am wearing (to not much avail).
The truth is that when I am stressed, my symptoms are much worse and when I am relaxed they are virtually non existent.
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