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Ringing & Blocked
Lori32223 posted:
Let me preface this my stating that I have not been sick or taking any medications. I have not been around extremely loud noises for an extended amount of time. I do workout at a gym regularly and listen to music via earphones, but the volume is not too loud. Last night I had the sensation of my right ear feeling "muffled, blocked" followed by a "ringing" (slightly high pitch noise) in the same ear. This did not affect both ears, only the right. This experience has happened to me numerous times over the course of my life, but typically only lasts a minute or less. The "muffled" feeling (as if you're ear is stopped up and a good yawn will pop it clear) and "ringing" have not gone away. It's not painful, but very annoying. I'm not sure which is more aggravating, the feeling of my ear being "stopped-up" and my hearing is "muffled" in one ear, or the nagging ringing in the same ear. I'm starting to get concerned that something serious is causing this problem. Any advise would be most helpful and appreciated! Thanks, Lori.
kate1156 responded:
The ringing in your ears sounds like Tinitus. I get the same thing, and yes, it is annoying. Your muffled hearing could be wax build up, or fluid in the ear. I too have muffled hearing all the time, and it's contributed to fluid in the ear amongst other ear issues I won't go into right now. In addition to a good yawn, try holding your nose and closing your mouth and pretend you are blowing hard out of the nose. That usually helps my ears pop. And an ent told me that this was not a harmful thing to do. I always thought it was. Good luck with your ears.

Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
There can be HUNDREDS of causes of tinnitus (ringing) and muffled hearing. Unfortunately, it is not possible for me (or anyone for that matter) to determine a specific cause...or a solution, based solely on soley on the limited details in your posting. Making an accurate diagnosis is a bit more complicated than this, so you are going to need to see a good ENT to determine the reason for your symptoms.

One question for you....are your symptoms related to or triggered by your exercise regime?
Lori32223 responded:
Thank you for the response. I realize it's not easy to offer a diagnosis with limited information, and in this format but I appreciate the post and expert opinion. To answer your question ~ no, the muffled hearing and annoying ringing have never been triggered or related to my excercise regime. The times this has happened in the past are very random and extremely short-lived. I was clearing the table when this happened last night ,and has continued today. At times the ringing sound is very low & almost seems to dissipate (though not completely disappear), but the muffled/blocked sensation has remained the same. It's only on the right side...very strange!
Lori32223 responded:
Kate, thank you for the post. I've tried "holding the nose & blowing" technique, but to no avail. I was initially afraid to attempt it because I assumed (like you) that it would be harmful or painful, but after many hours I was willing to try anything. My husband encouraged me to do it (he's retired military ), and they were trained to use the technique during certain simulated training maneuvers. I don't think it's build-up or fluid, but I could be wrong ~ hopefully it's something that simple. It looks like a trip to the doctor is in order. Thanks for your comments and advice!
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
Among the hundreds of causes, there is one related to exercise....

I encourage you to see that ENT. You deserve a good medical work-up.
bpears responded:

I was reading the posts regarding blocked ears and happy to finally find something related to exercise. Most days when I am in the gym, my ears become blocked and I cannot unblock them...yawning, chewing gum or even holding my nose and blowing doesn't help. What might this be and what can I do (if anything) to alleviate the problem?

Thanks so much!

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