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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Ear Nose and Throat

Question: My Doctors were Quacks...


ravenous wolf - Fri May 04, 2007 10:50 pm

I had a problem with my ears being clogged. It was like being in an airplane and having your ears pop except when I had this problem, my ears wouldn't pop. Instead, I had this muffled sensation. I could still hear but it was muffled and it would often create Headaches for me.

In the beginning, it would only last for like ten minutes. Then it got longer and lasted for an hour. After that, it would last for hours and eventually it would last for days. I was miserable.

I went to my PCP. He looked into my ears and then recommended an ENT.

I went to an ENT and he said I needed a septoplasty. I knew that my nasal passages had always been blocked but I asked about my ears especially since he looked into them. He only said that I should stop using Q-tips and that was it!!!

Months later I called up that ENT to talk more about the septoplasty and I found out that he retired.

I went back to my PCP about the clogged up ears. He looked into my ears again and then recommended me another ENT that was actually in the same practice.

This time, this new ENT looked into my ears and the first thing she said was that I had ear wax build up. She then put a solution into my ears and then vacuumed it out.

That instantaneously fixed my my clogged ears problem and I hear fine and I can even sleep any way I want to (putting my head down in a certain way would immediately clog up a ear).

But what I was really pissed about was my PCP and the first ENT. They both examined my ears and they both listened to my explanation on what was wrong but they didn't have a clue what it was. And I lived through this misery for almost two years.

And then my brother tells me that he had the same problem except a nurse at his university immediately identified it and did the exact same thing to fix it.

I guess that I am just pissed that a doctor and a specialist couldn't identify something that was really simple.
Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:50 pm

There are several causes of the "need to pop" sensation in the ears. It may be related to clogged ear canals increasing the pressure on the outside fo the drum as in your case but generally it is a mixed issue.

The external ear canal can play a large role in this but generally the eustachian tube is also involved. It may be worthwhile discussing using a nasal steroid (commonly used to treat allergies) to see if any inflammation in the eustachian tube can be reduced allowing the middle ear (behind the ear drum) to drain better and more properly regulate the ear pressure.

Also, there are some home wax removal solutions that can be purchased over-the-counter that you can try if your symptoms begin to return.

Best wishes.

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