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I flew in last night from jersey into texas and my ears popped really bad. It felt like there were needles pocking my ear canals. I was able to unpop one side, but the other just feels stuffy and i hurts, as well as hearing funny. I thought id sleep on it and maybe it would go away, but it hasnt and im not in my home state, what can i do?

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replied March 12th, 2010
Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Answer A10637
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned by the stuffy ear with ear pain and hearing problem after airplane travel.
Eustachian tube maintains the pressure equal on both sides of ear drum during air travel. Sometimes, the eustachian tube may malfunction. For example, when someone has a cold or an allergy affecting the nasal passages, the eustachian tube may become blocked by congestion in its lining or by mucus within the tube. This blockage will allow fluid to build up within the normally air-filled middle ear. Bacteria or viruses that have entered the middle ear through the eustachian tube can also get trapped in this way. These germs can breed in the trapped fluid, eventually leading to an ear infection also called as acute otitis media. If the fluid inside the ear is not infected, it is called as secretory otitis media(SOM). SOM usually heals on its own in few days. Some use decongestants though these have limited role. You must consult otorhinolaryngologist to find the specific cause and appropriate treatment. You should avoid exposure to cigarette smoke which is an irritant and further interfere with Eustachian tube function.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.

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