Pressure in the ear may be a bothersome or annoying feeling. You may have experienced pressure in the ear at some point, but did you know that it can be a symptom of an ear infection? Ear infections can cause pain in the head and face as well as hearing loss.
What causes pressure in the ear?
Pressure in the ears can affect hearing and cause pain or discomfort too. There are many possible causes: colds, changes in altitude, having a sinus infection, ear infection, and even earwax buildup.
Colds: A cold makes the nose stuffy and slows down the drainage of fluids from the sinuses, which may lead to increased pressure in ears. Colds can cause nasal inflammation and congestion that can affect the eustachian tubes. As a result, the eustachian tubes are prevented from properly equalizing pressure in the middle ear.
Sinus Infection: When a person has a sinus infection, pus builds up around their sinuses causing inflammation that leads to swelling of tissues near any openings connecting these cavities with outer parts of head such as Eustachian
Change in altitude: The atmosphere becomes thinner as the altitude goes higher. This causes fluid to move more slowly through the body’s natural defenses against infection, including mucus draining from nasal passages into the throat or even going back into the ear canal. This can increase pressure inside the eardrum leading to pain or discomfort.
Sinusitis: The ears and sinuses are connected inside the head. Stuffiness and sinus congestion can affect the pressure in the ear. Treating the congestion may help ease the pressure in the ear. When the sinuses are clogged, a person can experience pain, muffled-ear sensation and dizziness.
Ear infections: These can happen when bacteria or viruses enter the ear canal and infect the middle ear. A person with an ear infection may experience pain in the ears, excessive discharge from one or both ears, pressure in ear, dizziness and fever.
A middle ear infection, also known as otitis media, develops when the eustachian tube isn’t draining properly. When the ears have fluid build-up, viruses or bacteria can grow and thrive.
Meanwhile, swimmer’s ear is an infection affecting the outer portion of the ear. This is caused by bacteria found in water. Although swimmer’s ear affects the outer ear, someone with this condition may feel pressure in the ear due to fluid buildup and swelling.
Earwax buildup:Earwax is naturally produced by the body to protect the inner parts of the ear. In most cases, earwax naturally moves down the ear canal and finds its way to the outer ear where it naturally flakes off. However, too much earwax production may cause a buildup, blocking the ear canal and eventually causes ear pressure.
Allergies: Allergies can cause inflammation and pressure in the ear. The immune system mistakenly reacts to harmless substances such as pollen, dust or pet dander with an inflammatory response that leads to a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum.
Foreign object: It’s not really a rare occurrence when a foreign object enters the ear. When this happens, pressure or pain in the ears may be felt.
When to see a doctor?
For some people, pressure in the ears is a symptom of an ear infection. If you have pain or discomfort along with persistent hearing loss and other symptoms like fever, headache, facial pain or swelling in your face or jaw (periorbital edema), see a doctor right away.
How to Relieve Pressure in Ears?
The treatment for pressure in the ears will depend on the cause.
For pressure in the ears caused by earwax buildup, a visit to a hearing clinic is recommended. Audiologists have special tools and equipment to remove the wax safely and efficiently.
Hearing Clinic MA
Bothered by the constant pressure in your ear? Atlantic Hearing Care can help. From diagnosing the cause down to providing treatment and hearing solutions, we can help patients find relief from pressure in the ear. Call us today to schedule an appointment!