Q. My ears are recurrently plugged after medications. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Syed Tehmid
and medically reviewed by Dr. Nithila A

Hello doctor,

I feel my ears plugged from last week, and nothing I am doing is helping. This happened to me about a month ago, and the doctor prescribed steroid nasal spray, Reactine, and Sudafed. It cleared up within two days, but it is doing absolutely nothing now. I do not feel as though my sinuses (nose) are plugged, but now I am getting a headache. I am getting worried, and is this something serious? Please help.

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Dr. Syed Tehmid

MS ENT., MBBS
Otolaryngology (E.N.T)

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

The symptoms of aural fullness or plugging of ears can occur due to acute otitis media most crucial cause for which is eustachian tube edema secondary to allergic or acute rhinosinusitis. Did you have symptoms of nasal stuffiness, sneezing? Do you have any earache and decreasing hearing? How long have you been taking medicines? What kind of headache do you have? Is it persistent, or does it occur in clusters? Is it associated with nausea and vomiting?

Thank you doctor,

I do not feel like I have nasal stuffiness, sneezing yes. I tend to get a lot of nasal issues usually, but it seems to be my ears more now, which is now. I do not feel that I have an earache, but I do have a decreased hearing. Sounds are irritating (I feel like my head is in a fishbowl) the headache just started in the last day, but the other symptoms have been for a week.

The headache feels like it is due to pressure. My face around my sinuses is a little tender to touch also. I have been taking the medication on and off since the symptoms started. I am not getting any ringing in my ears recently, but it does happen occasionally. It is probably worth mentioning that before three months, I had vertigo issues. They called it unilateral vestibular hypofunction.

Dr. Syed Tehmid

MS ENT., MBBS
Otolaryngology (E.N.T)

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

From the history, you have given, and the symptoms are bilateral, it most likely seems that allergy is the underlying cause for your symptoms of rhinitis, sinusitis and aural symptoms of plugging of ears, decreased hearing, the fullness of ears. It is due to edema of the eustachian tube that these symptoms are there.

Since you are already on oral decongestants, antihistamines, I would recommend using topical decongestants like Xylometazoline for a week or so. Also, continue with steroid nasal spray two puffs twice a day for 15 to 20 days and then once a day for next month or so. Have you done a CT Scan of the nose and paranasal sinuses?

Also Read Answers From: Plugged Ears Cetirizine Acute Otitis Media

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