Equalizing doesn’t fully open blocked ears

Posted by selwy @selwy, Jun 15, 2020

I’ve been suffering, For almost a year now, from the feeling of accumulated liquid inside both ears. Trying to equalize is supposed to relief this blockage but it doesn’t fully. Even when equalizing, left ear clears relatively better than the right ear. Overall all equalizing relieves max 50 or 60% of feeling of congestion. Took many medications but didn’t seem to help. Some doctors recommended placing tubes inside the ear to release the pressure. I’m very reluctant to do that given the sensitivity of the area and afraid could end up with a bigger problem. Any ideas/ suggestions on what can be done? Thx

Hi @selwy, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You may wish to join this discussion with @imallears @redhead63 and @dorothynoz45
– Eustachian Tube Dysfunction: tube is plugged https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/ear-dysfunction/

@chasmayhear also started this related discussion:
– Hearing Loss_Valsalva Improves_Need Information? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hearing-loss_valsalva-improves_need-information/

Selwy, how long has this been going on for you? Do you have to equalize often?

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Mild feeling, lasting for few years. Recently, 3 months, it’s become of moderate feeling. Yeah I try to equalize but honestly not that active as I lost hope it would be useful. Used to equalize like 10 times a day but now hardly couple of times

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I have had the same problem, mine started back in 2013. First it was my right ear. I had 3 tubes in my right Ear then I had a balloon inserted. Now 2 years later my balloon collapsed and my left ear tube is dysfunction. This happened on Christmas and I do have an appointment on July 13th to see if I can get ears fixed. I did not have a cold or any kind of respiratory problems, this just happen for no reason. My question to you: does this make you dizzy or do you staggered when you walk?
I do have fluid in my mastoids too. I was told that the fluid in my mastoids have no connection with my dysfunctional tube/balloon.

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No it doesn’t make me dizzy at all or any staggering when walking. So u kinda say even tunes may not actually work?

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Is using tubes safe, effective ?

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@selwy

Is using tubes safe, effective ?

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@selwy -I had a similar issue. I have not heard of much success with tubes. Have you been checked for allergies? Sometimes allergies can develop over time and cause issues in the Eustacian tube. Can also be from diet. I would start with Homeopathic routes first. Everything is connected. And from my experience ENTs have limited knowledge on what causes dysfunction in the Eustacian tube and they only provide one solution. Everyone has fluid in there ears. Something to look into, that not a lot of people associate with are the muscles that run up your neck and connect to the mastoid bone. These can become tight and cause a full ear feeling.

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Constant ear plugging

I have been through CTs, MRI, X-rays, etc. in the morning, my ears aren’t as plugged as they get in the afternoon. When I lay down at night they do get better. The whole process starts over every morning. I use Mucinex, Zyrtec D, Flonase and a saline rinse every day. Nothing helps. I’m wondering if my adenoids could be causing this. Could the new balloon therapy help? The onset of this problem was sudden and non.traumatic. It came on leaving WY after a January snowmobile trip during the polar vortex in 2018. No ear problems prior to this time. I have been on steroids multiple time and they sometimes offer a brief period of comfort but nothing permanent.

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@havasudan Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

You have had fluid in your ears since 2018 and despite diagnostics tests and treatment you have not had relief.

You will notice that I moved you question to a discussion where members like @nrd1 @selwy @redhead63 are already discussing this topic.

Below I have linked an article from John Hopkins related to acupuncture.
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/acupuncture

May I ask if you have ever done acupuncture or other scientifically proved alternative therapies?

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@erikas

@havasudan Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

You have had fluid in your ears since 2018 and despite diagnostics tests and treatment you have not had relief.

You will notice that I moved you question to a discussion where members like @nrd1 @selwy @redhead63 are already discussing this topic.

Below I have linked an article from John Hopkins related to acupuncture.
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/acupuncture

May I ask if you have ever done acupuncture or other scientifically proved alternative therapies?

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No I have never tried acupuncture, but I am open to any all ideas. How long is the relief? Any other suggestions? Funny you would say fluid. I can use my finger and push in front of my ear and hear what I think is fluid. I have told my drs this. How come the fluid hasn’t shown up on the CTs, MRIs, etc?

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@havasudan

No I have never tried acupuncture, but I am open to any all ideas. How long is the relief? Any other suggestions? Funny you would say fluid. I can use my finger and push in front of my ear and hear what I think is fluid. I have told my drs this. How come the fluid hasn’t shown up on the CTs, MRIs, etc?

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@havasudan– there are many things that can contribute to the feeling of plugged, clogged ears, other than the obvious things. Sounds like you got all the tests that showed nothing. There are many different muscles in the neck and head. When these are tight, out of balance this can cause a feeling of pressure/disequilibrium of ears. I recommend seeing an osteopath/chiropractor to check your musculature in the upper neck, jaw, posture etc… Often jaw tightness can refer as ear pain/fullness. I’d be hesitant on balloon procedures, especially if you don’t know the root cause.

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@nrd1

@havasudan– there are many things that can contribute to the feeling of plugged, clogged ears, other than the obvious things. Sounds like you got all the tests that showed nothing. There are many different muscles in the neck and head. When these are tight, out of balance this can cause a feeling of pressure/disequilibrium of ears. I recommend seeing an osteopath/chiropractor to check your musculature in the upper neck, jaw, posture etc… Often jaw tightness can refer as ear pain/fullness. I’d be hesitant on balloon procedures, especially if you don’t know the root cause.

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Thank you so much

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@havasudan

Thank you so much

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@havasudan-you are welcome. Many people do not realize how closely the eustscian tube shares a tight space with the jaw. People who spend hours on laptop/iPhone, driving, bad posture start compensating in all kinds of areas in the head. The place where you feel the pressure/pain is not always the place where it originated from. That’s why a lot of adults end up at the ENT for ear issues. A good ENT usually educates patients on TMJ and referred sensation from there. Explore all options outside of the ENT office. And any ENT who is just pushing procedures without having real evidence to back up their reasoning, head the other direction.

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I have followed all of these discussions with interest. I had a cat scan that showed none of my sinus mucosa is optimally functional. I was suffering from a lot of discomfort and just didn't know what was wrong. Everyone told me, including my GP, that I needed a sinus washout, correction of my deviated septum etc etc. I was lucky enough to see an ENT who told me unless I had a real obstruction he did not want to do any procedure since it could well make things worse.. Essentially he was telling me he couldn't help me but this fact was empowering. He told me many people would have a similar cat scan and some weren't bothered and some were. So I just focused on self management and now things are much better. There is a lot of advice in these pages and some worked for me and some didn't. I do find daily irrigation helpful. It seems like some ENTs now acknowledge chronic sinusitis and perhaps Eustachian tube dysfunction are actually medical problems. But they are first and foremost surgeons and there is no "official" medical specialty to turn to.

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@bride

I have followed all of these discussions with interest. I had a cat scan that showed none of my sinus mucosa is optimally functional. I was suffering from a lot of discomfort and just didn't know what was wrong. Everyone told me, including my GP, that I needed a sinus washout, correction of my deviated septum etc etc. I was lucky enough to see an ENT who told me unless I had a real obstruction he did not want to do any procedure since it could well make things worse.. Essentially he was telling me he couldn't help me but this fact was empowering. He told me many people would have a similar cat scan and some weren't bothered and some were. So I just focused on self management and now things are much better. There is a lot of advice in these pages and some worked for me and some didn't. I do find daily irrigation helpful. It seems like some ENTs now acknowledge chronic sinusitis and perhaps Eustachian tube dysfunction are actually medical problems. But they are first and foremost surgeons and there is no "official" medical specialty to turn to.

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@bride-you are 100% correct. Your reply was so well put and it seems as though you have a thorough understanding of all of it completely. Fortunately you ended up with an honest ENT. And sharing your personal experience of how you were discouraged from surgery is very helpful. When people get referred to an ENT I don’t think they realize they are being referred to a “surgeon“. These ENTs expect that your GP has provided all of the medical management, options to help your situation, so by the time you end up in an ENTs office, they expect to be offering a surgery/procedure. They don’t get to “practice”operating unless a patient ends up in their office. These are elective surgeries so they have to “sell” you on the idea. Rarely someone who ends up at the ENT will “need” surgery. ENTs get very bored when someone presents with a symptom of ear issues as for a long time they were only able to offer procedure of tubes, which aren’t very affective, nor do they make that much of a profit. Balloon procedures have only just come to market recently and they are very profitable. So this will be a renewed interest in experimenting with eustscian tube dysfunction. Your sinus/nasal/ear bones are your skull structure that genetically developed to fit you. Many times when you begin to feel the subjective symptoms of discomfort, it is because there is an imbalance in the body that needs to be tended to. Stress, tension, diet, nutrients, immune system…these are all the ways the body talks to you to get your attention to make some changes and get more in tune with what is going on. When it is closer to the head, it is more distressful, leading to people to want a quick fix. The body is not a machine that can be picked and pulled apart for a quick fix. It is an entire amazing system that needs to work together to feel optimal. Again-@bride thank you for sharing real world feedback and not just “have you made an appt with your doctor?” Only you know your body the best. Not someone who meets you for 15 mins.

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