My ear has been ringing on and off for three days. What can I do?
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There is absolutely nothing that you need to worry about as this is a very common treatable entity we come across. You have developed what we call eustachian tube catarrh, which has probably developed secondary to nasal inflammation. The eustachian tube ventilates the nose and the ear. In a situation where it does not function, a negative pressure develops in the side of the ear leading to a feeling of vacuum, on and off ringing sounds, feeling of fluid in the ear, and sometimes decreased hearing as well. You might not develop all the possibilities mentioned above, and for now, you might be just having trouble ventilating the tube, causing the ringing sounds. This can be treated by attempting to open the tube with the following advice.
1. Using decongestant nasal drops containing Oxymetazoline or Xylometazoline 3 drops 3 times a day for 1 week (this decongestant is given to access opening of the tube through the nose).
2. Tablet containing a combination of Phenylephrine and Levocetirizine one tablet two times a day after food 12 hrs apart for 1 week.
3. Doing Valsalva exercises.
4. Taking steam 3 to 4 times a day.
5. Refrain yourself from the use of earbuds.
6. Avoid having anything cold or spicy for the next 2 weeks.
7. Please take care to avoid dust exposure. All nasal allergies have to be treated in a proper manner, failing which the catarrh will recur.
8. Saltwater gargles 8to10times for the next 10 days
9. Refrain from smoking and alcohol consumption.
10. Maintain a strict diet, avoid spicy, oily, cold food and beverages.
This typically takes around 1 to 2 weeks for things to settle down. Once the nasal inflammation has settled down, the ringing sensation will also come down. There is absolutely nothing that you need to worry about as this is a very common treatable entity that we come across. I hope I have answered your query in detail. If there is anything more you need to know or enquire, do let us know, and we will get back.
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