Ear pressure can be caused by changes in altitude or the environment, or by abnormalities in the Eustachian tubes. Remedies to this condition may be as simple as chewing gum, or as technical as the politzerization method.
Pressure in Ears – Various Signs and Symptoms
Ear barotrauma is characterized by pain and stuffiness in one or both ears, dizziness, and slight hearing loss. Symptoms of more serious or persisting cases of pressure in ears include moderate to severe hearing loss, nosebleed and feeling as if one is underwater. One obvious sign of this condition is an inward pull or outward bulge of the eardrum. Sometimes confused with ear infection, serious pressure in ears may also cause bleeding behind the eardrum. It could lead to complications such as actual ear infection, ruptured or perforated eardrum and vertigo, which brings a sensation of whirling motion of the patient or his or her surroundings.
Ear Pressure Causes – Internal and External
Common cold, fluid or pus from respiratory infection clogs the Eustachian tube, or the auditory canal, resulting in ear pressure. High altitude, such as riding an airplane and going for a drive in the mountains, or sudden descent like in skydiving or scuba diving are also common ear pressure causes. Other external factors include intense weight lifting and being stuck in pressure-bearing structures such as elevators or a caisson. The very root of ear pressure causes is the pressure difference in the middle ear and that outside the body. This impairs hearing and if not addressed, could permanently damage it or cause the eardrum to burst.
Ear Pressure Relief – Simple Methods
Ear clearing can involve yawning, swallowing, or chewing gum or hard candy. Yawning and swallowing can help open the Eustachian tubes and balance the pressure in the middle ear and the external environment. Chewing gum or sucking candy is a popular form of ear pressure relief during sudden changes in altitude. Some people simply hold their nose and blow so that their ears will pop. Others have found that placing a cup with paper towels soaked in boiling water over their ears opens up the passageways. Decongestants and antihistamine drugs are also effective in clearing the sinuses and consequently, the Eustachian tubes.