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    Feels like a bubble in my ear!!!
    avatar
    MissMJ posted:
    About 2 weeks ago, I got over a terrible cold where I couldn't smell or taste anything for a whole week. Eventually, I got over the cold, and my senses have returned. Since then, though, my ear has been clogged with what feels like an air bubble inside my head. If I pull the clogged ear lobe, then the other one gets clogged. It's like I can feel the bubble moving over to the other ear and my head gets all congested. It feels like a balloon is being inflated in my head. I've tried everything from chewing gum to taking sinus pills, but nothing seems to help this problem and it's driving me insane because I can't hear. It is not painful at all, just very bothersome. Any ideas on what could be wrong and how I can fix this?
    Reply
     
    avatar
    Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
    You may have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD), but this is just a guess since I have no way of examining you...

    There are two tiny ventilation and drainage tubes that run from our middle ear space (the area behind the eardrum) to the back of our throats (near the adenoids) called the eustachian tubes. The main purpose of these ventilation tubes is to make sure the middle ear space is filled with AIR at the same atmospheric pressure as the outside atmosphere. As tiny as these little tubes are, they tend to do a great job. However, they are prone to becoming ?dysfunctional?. Colds, allergies, environmental irritants, sinus infections, tonsillitis, cigarette smoke, airplane flights, driving in a mountainous area, etc. all can the eustachian tubes to malfunction. When this happens, fluid and/or changes in air pressure will occur in the sensitive middle ear space. This will compromise your hearing (stuffy, full feeling), and your ears may feel a need to ?pop....and perhaps this is that "bubble" feeling you are having.

    Most cases of ETD will self-resolve in a week or so. Although controversial, decongestants (like pseudoephedrine) can help, but not all people can medically use them. It is always best to check with your own medical provider first. Prescription nasal corticosteroid sprays have also be used, especially in people with allergies.

    Either way, it will take TIME to resolve, so be patient and hang in there. If your symptoms persists longer than another week or so, or if you are having signs of infection (fever, sore throat, sinus pain, etc.), you need to inform your medical provider.
     
    avatar
    lunafortuna replied to Rod_Moser_PA_PhD's response:
    I too have this 'head in a bubble' scenario and even called an ENT today for appt. next week. I truly appreciate your insight and advice Dr. Moser; it has lessened my panic.


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