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blowing sound in ear
crisFNP posted:
When I hold my nose and lightly blow, as if to clear my ears, I hear air coming from my left ear. I have chronic mild aching deep pain in that ear also. There is also some pain to touch around the tragus, and I get severe itching in the canal. I sometimes wear foam ear plugs at night because my husband snores, and a few times felt a pain when I pulled them out - like a popping type pain. The pain was transient. I have had some problems with my left ear canal - irritation and inflammation from the ear plugs and have used hydrocortisone ointment on a q-tip (per my dr's recommendation). My question is, could this be a perforation in my TM? Is it possible to have a fistula between the ear canal and and one of the sinuses/or pharynx (not sure of the proximity of the anatomy)?


Cris, NP
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
You are probably blowing air up your patent eustachian tubes, but if you are clearly feeling that same air coming out of your ear, your eardrum most likely has an opening (rupture), perhaps present for a long time. It would not be likely that you have a fisula that would have that degree of patency. You would need to see a medical professional to get that ear examined, including a pneumatic otoscopy (air blown against the eardrum to check movement), or a tympanogram. Some perforation are subtle, on the margins of the canal, so if one is not found, seeing an ENT for a more detailed examination would be appropriate.

The itching in your ear canal is really entirely different problem. Using hydrocortisone would only help if this was due to atopic dermatitis (eczema), but it would not help if you have an infection, either bacterial or fungal. I have an FAQ on "itchy ears" -- there is a link located on the main page of this board.

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