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I have pain in my one ear when I blow my nose or push on the tab of my ear. What could this be?

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replied May 18th, 2010
Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Answer A12154
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You are concerned about ear pain. This might be the beginning of ear infection. When you blow your nose, some of the fluid comes out, while some of it enters the ear through the Eustachian tube. Eustachian tube maintains the pressure equal on both sides of ear drum. 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.

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