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Ears stopped up, stuffy nose, hard to hear

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Over the last 48 hours my ears have been stopped up. I have had a cold during the last week with a sore throat and stuffy nose. The sore throat went away about 2 days ago. I still have a stuffy nose, but it is not near as bad as earlier in the week. I have been taking nasal decongestants, but it has not helped my ears. I have also tried to hold my nose and blow to pressurize, but that hasn't worked either. It is not really painful, but it is hard to hear, and it is very hard to sleep. What could the problem be? What can I do about it?

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replied May 29th, 2007
Ear, Nose & Throat Disorders Answer A2803
According to the symptoms you report wherein you're hard of hearing, have a stuffy nose and history of a sore throat you could be experiencing inflammation of the Eustachian tubes, also called the catar tube auditive. Eustachian tube inflammation is a common complication of sore throat (nasopharyngitis) because the Eustachian tube is a communication channel between the middle ear and upper pharynx (nasopharynx). The function of the Eustachian tube is to equalize ear pressure between the middle ear and pharynx. When an infection from the throat spreads to the tube, communication between the middle ear and throat is interrupted. In other words, air becomes trapped in the middle ear. In time, the air is absorbed and serous liquid fills the middle ear. Fluid in the middle ear causes difficult hearing. You can consult an ENT-specialist for an appointment, diagnosis, and treatment alternatives.

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