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Eustachian tube dysfunction & air pressure in ear

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For the last four months my right ear has been plugging up with pressure (feels like the airplane ear) and I always have to do the jaw motion (hollow swallow) to try to open it again. Now I'm starting to feel a little bit of pain in my right ear from constantly trying to relieve the pressure...

I've seen an ear/nose/throat doctor three months ago, he examined my both of my ears, and said that they are both OK and that there are no problems with them whatsoever. He said that the reason my ears might be plugging up is because I lost a lot of weight really quickly (about 20lbs) and that my ear channels have remained bigger but my body grew smaller, thus causing pressure in my ears. But I have been gaining my weight back, I'm about 142lbs now and I was 154lbs when I started losing weight.

I have been using Nasonex for the last two weeks but with no luck. Any idea what might be going on? I don't even remember when was the last time my right ear was NORMAL. Thanks for your help.


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replied March 26th, 2007
Ear, Nose & Throat Disorders Answer A2503
The middle ear is connected to the outer ear via the Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the pharynx, and through pharynx makes contact with the outside air. This means that the air pressure outside the body and the air pressure inside the middle ear are equal. Equal air pressure is very important for the normal function of the eardrum. the Eustachian tube opens whenever you make a jaw movement. Sometimes, when the pharynx is inflamed (usually because of infection), the Eustachian tube gets stacked due to the swelling of the surrounding tissue. Then, trapped air in the middle ear starts to be absorbed by the mucosa lining and air pressure drops. Because the Eustachian tube is obstructed, air can’t enter the middle ear to equalize the pressure. Decreased ear pressure in the middle ear causes a vacuum and the secretion of serous liquid in the middle ear from its mucosal lining. That’s why you feel pressure in your ear and decreased hearing on that ear. An Obstructed Eustachian tube due to inflammation is called a "catarrh" of the Eustachian tube.
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