Causes of ear congestion

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 29.11.2021

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

Very often, ear congestion develops due to a sharp change in the pressure of the external environment. For example, during the flight or when jumping into the water. For some people, even a quick descent / ascent of the stairs can cause discomfort.

Ear congestion during and after otitis

Otitis is the most common inflammatory disease of the hearing organs. The pathological process takes place in the middle ear and often has an infectious etiology. Inflammation occurs against the background of a weakened immune system, after and during the flu, cold. Another possible reason is the features of the anatomy of the nasal septum, which disrupt the normal discharge of mucous secretions. One of the most frequent complications of the disease is overlapping of the auditory canal, that is, ear congestion.

Since the organ of hearing has a complex structure, each part of it may be involved in the inflammatory process. Based on this, there are three main types of otitis:

  1. Outdoor - most often occurs due to injuries, hypothermia, getting dirty water in the ear cavity. It is manifested by painful sensations, congestion and a decrease in the quality of hearing. Possible swelling, unpleasant smell from the ear, rash, boils in the ear canal. It occurs in several forms: mild, diffuse, necrotizing and otomycosis.
  2. Medium is the most common form of otitis. Very often it is a complication of a cold, ARVI, rhinitis, antritis, measles, flu. The main symptom is pain, which can give to the teeth and head, a feeling of congestion in the ear. It has several stages: acute eustachitis, catarrhal inflammation, preperforative stage of acute suppurative inflammation, postderforative and reparative.
  3. Internal - Labyrinth can be a complication of influenza, measles, antritis, head injuries. Manifested by headaches and dizziness, impaired coordination, complete or partial hearing loss. It proceeds in a simple and exudative form.

Most often the pathological process is one-sided, but bilateral inflammation is also possible. The disease is distinguished by the type of pathogen: bacterial, fungal, allergic, viral, traumatic. Also found acute and chronic form, purulent and suppurative otitis media.

Ear congestion after otitis usually arises from the fact that the inflammatory process is not completely stopped. Hearing loss is possible with edema in the auditory tube, sulfur plugs, perforation of the tympanic membrane, cysts and tumor neoplasms. A painful condition can be accompanied by changes in voice, a sensation of noise and cracking in the ears, and headaches.

With proper treatment, discomfort disappears in 3-5 days. If the hearing loss persists for a longer period of time, medical care is required. For treatment, the patient is prescribed a course of medication and physiotherapy aimed at eliminating edema and normalizing blood flow in the ear cavity. If you let the disease take its course, it can lead to mastoiditis, which is characterized by severe pain and swelling of the skin behind the ear. There is also a risk of developing meningitis, that is, brain damage.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

Ear congestion after ARVI

Acute respiratory viral infection is one of the most common respiratory diseases. Transmitted by airborne droplets. Its main causative agents are adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, influenza viruses and parainfluenza. The nose, the paranasal sinuses, the throat, the larynx, the bronchi, the lungs, the trachea, and even the conjunctiva fall under the scope of infection. ARVI is accompanied by painful symptoms and can cause a number of complications. Ear congestion refers to the latter.

The mechanism of development of congestion of the auditory canal:

  • The nasopharynx is connected with the ear cavity by a special canal - the Eustachian tube. The air moves along it, mucus accumulated in the tympanic cavity is removed.
  • Normally, the auditory tube independently regulates internal pressure and adjusts it to atmospheric pressure. If the flow of air is disturbed, the pressure is lost.
  • With SARS, the nasal mucosa and the auditory tube swell, which causes problems with the normal movement of air. A person experiences discomfort when perceiving audio information.

Treatment begins with the restoration of normal nasal breathing. To do this, use vasoconstrictor drops. As a rule, this is enough to normalize hearing. In severe cases, the help of an otolaryngologist is required. If you leave an unpleasant symptom without treatment, it will lead to otitis, that is, the inflammatory process will go into the tympanic cavity. This is a dangerous partial or complete hearing loss.

trusted-source[6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12]

Ear congestion for colds

The common cold is a disease caused by more than 200 respiratory viruses. It manifests itself as a sore throat, runny nose, increased tearing, coughing, fever, headaches, general fatigue. It is characterized by gradual development with increasing symptoms. It is because of this that the first symptoms remain without proper attention and the disease progresses.

The congestion of the ears during a cold is caused by an inflammatory lesion of the throat and nose. All three organs are interconnected.

  • The external ear canal ends the eardrum. On the back of the membrane is the middle ear.
  • Pressure in all parts of the body should be the same. It is controlled by the auditory tube that connects the middle ear airbag to the pharynx.
  • If the auditory tube functions improperly, this causes a disturbance in the perception of sound information.

The overlapping of the auditory canal very often occurs on the background of a long cold. In the nasal passages, mucus accumulates, which disrupts air circulation. During blowing, the pressure in the tympanic cavity rises and lays the ear.

In order to eliminate discomfort, you should cure a cold. It is also recommended to wash each nasal passage with isotonic solution and to use vasoconstrictor drops (only as prescribed by a doctor). Do not be superfluous to massage the outer ear. In this case, it is contraindicated to warm the affected area or pick an ear stick. Proper treatment of colds will prevent the initial stage of otitis media - eustachitis.


Congestion in ears without cold

In addition to the common cold, there are many other causes and factors that cause hearing impairment. An unpleasant condition occurs on the background of a weakened immune system, with a long cold, a strong cough.

Sharp pressure drop at high altitude or depth, so causes discomfort. In such conditions, our organ of hearing cannot change quickly and because of this, the eardrum begins to be pressed into the Eustachian tube. After a while the congestion disappears, but there may be a slight tingling in the ears.

Ear problems may be associated with diseases of other organs. This may be sinusitis, pathology of the cardiovascular system, coronary heart disease, hypertension, traumatic brain injury and much more. In order to establish what exactly caused the hearing loss and fix the problem, you should seek medical assistance from the otolaryngologist.

Ear congestion after flu

Influenza is an acute upper respiratory tract infection caused by viral agents and pathogens. One of the hazards of influenza infection is its complications. These include a decrease in hearing acuity, earaches, itching, congestion, and a sensation of noise.

For the treatment of hearing impairment after the flu, you first need to get rid of a cold. It is the stuffy nose and persistent smygany that can cause pain in the ears. To do this, use vasoconstrictor drops, wash the nasal sinuses with isotonic solutions.

You should also take care of strengthening the immune system. Vitamins C, B, E, balanced nutrition will be helpful. Do not forget about preventive measures and vaccination to prevent influenza infection.


Ear congestion in osteochondrosis

Cervical osteochondrosis is a pathology in which the thinning of intervertebral discs occurs. The degenerative process affects structures in the region of the cervical vertebrae. Because of this, compression of the spinal nerves occurs, which control blood circulation and metabolic processes in various tissues of the head and neck.

Problems with the perception of sound information arise from the disruption of the blood supply to the nerves responsible for the innervation of the components of the auditory analyzer. The impairment of nerve impulse transmission leads to an imbalance of internal pressures on both sides of the eardrum. This in turn causes a spasm of the auditory tube and a feeling of congestion.

Special exercises, anti-inflammatory drops, ear blowing and other methods of treatment of otological diseases are not effective. To normalize hearing, it is necessary to restore the damaged structure of the nerve fiber and cure osteochondrosis. If you leave the disease state without medical care, then there is a risk of serious complications.

trusted-source[15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20]

Congestion of ear with a cold

The middle ear is anatomically connected with the nasopharynx, as it is located behind the eardrum. Infection from the maxillary sinuses can get into the middle ear. As a result, an inflammatory process occurs that provokes swelling of the auditory tube.

  • With a cold in the nasopharynx, a large amount of mucus is formed, which disrupts the normal circulation of air in the Eustachian tube. This causes a complex of painful symptoms, including congestion, noise and itching in the ears.
  • Also among the possible causes of hearing loss in the common cold include an increase in lymph nodes in the nasopharynx, the formation of sulfuric plugs due to increased production of aural secretion. Another possible cause of the disorder is inflammation of the facial nerve.

The treatment consists of washing the nose of mucus and eliminating the edema of the inner membranes with vasoconstrictor drops. Acupressure helps to relieve a painful condition, which improves microcirculation and relieves swelling, facilitating nasal breathing and hearing.


Ear congestion for sinus

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the paranasal maxillary sinuses. They are small cavities in the maxilla, located on the sides of the nasal passages. Normally, they are ventilated during breathing. But with the penetration of infection, the mucous membrane of the sinuses inflames and swells, blocking them. This entails further development of the infection.

Symptoms of sinusitis include pain in the ears, hearing loss, pain in the forehead and temples, a feeling of constriction in the sinuses, general weakness and indisposition, and toothache. If it lays ears, this indicates a progression of the disease.

The treatment is aimed at eliminating the pathogenic microorganisms that cause sinusitis. To do this, use antibacterial and antiviral agents, drops, compresses, physiotherapy procedures. The danger of this pathology is that without timely medical care there is a high risk of developing acute forms of otitis, meningitis, bronchitis, abscess of the orbit, blood poisoning, and pneumonia.


Ear bumps after flying in an airplane

Many people say that in the plane lays their ears. An unpleasant symptom occurs during climb and landing. Impaired hearing is caused by changes in atmospheric pressure in the aircraft.

During takeoff / landing, the pressure in the tympanic cavity decreases, and the process of its oscillation during sound perception is disturbed. After a couple of minutes, the pressure in the tympanic cavity adjusts to atmospheric pressure and hearing is normalized. But some people still feel stuffy for a certain period of time after the flight.

If several hours have passed after the flight, and the hearing has not recovered, then you can use one of these methods:

  • Close your mouth and squeeze your nostrils with your fingers. Slowly blow. This contributes to the equalization of pressure in the auditory tube. The procedure should be carried out carefully, because if you overdo it, you can damage the eardrum.
  • Pinch your nose and take a couple of sips of water or simulate swallowing movements. This method restores pressure in the middle ear.
  • A warm compress would be helpful. Take a handkerchief and hold it in hot water. Well squeeze and attach to the ear.

In order for the next flight in the plane did not cause problems with the ears, even before takeoff, drip the vasoconstrictor drops in your nose. They will reduce the swelling of the mucous. Use earplugs to reduce air pressure during flight. Chew the cud, yawn, open your mouth, make swallowing movements.


Ear congestion after bathing

Very often, after swimming in the sea, the pool and even in the bathroom, lays the ears. The problem occurs when the head is completely immersed in water. During immersion, the liquid enters the external auditory canal and is retained in it. Water is in contact with the eardrum and disrupts its normal vibrations when it perceives sound waves. This is manifested by hearing loss.

In order to extract water, it is enough to tilt your head to the side and jump on one leg, sharply pressing and pulling the palm of the ear from the ear. You can lie on your side, swallow a few times or move your ears. Also, accurate cleaning of the auditory canals with the help of a cotton wool shoe will help.

If you do not get rid of water in the ear, you should contact your otolaryngologist. Prolonged nasal congestion may indicate swelling of the sulfur plug due to large amounts of fluid. In this case, the ENT will get the cork and clean the ear canal. If you leave this problem without treatment, there is a risk of developing inflammation, the appearance of painful sensations and even the exudate from the affected organ.

trusted-source[24], [25]

Ear congestion in sinusitis

Sinusitis is an infectious inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. The disease proceeds with edema of the mucous membrane and overlapping of the fistula between the nasal cavity and maxillary sinuses. Gradually, the mucus takes a purulent, viscous consistency.

Most often, the disease develops due to bacteria and viruses that enter the maxillary sinus through the nose or blood. The inflammatory process may be a complication of acute respiratory viral infections, influenza, infections of the sick teeth, allergic reactions.

Hearing problems and pain in the ears are one of the symptoms of sinusitis. There are also shooting pains in the head and eyes, weakness of the general state of health. Treatment is aimed at eliminating the pathogen, cleaning the nasal cavity and reducing its edema. In the process of therapy, antibacterial and antihistamine preparations, antiseptic solutions and physiotherapeutic methods are used. As a rule, hearing is restored within 5-7 days from the moment of treatment.

trusted-source[26], [27], [28], [29]

Ear bumps in the IRR

Dystonia is a complex of disorders and disorders caused by pathologies of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for the functioning of internal functions and maintains internal dynamic equilibrium. Manifested by noise and congestion of the ears, headaches, palpitations, panic attacks.

Since the violation of the perception of sound information is one of the signs of the IRR, then there are such causes of an unpleasant symptom:

  • Panic attacks - during the adrenal crisis, the vessels are highly compressed and the nervous system is very active. Because of this, there is tinnitus, which leads to the fact that the ears are laying. If a person has a blood circulation problem, the hearing loss occurs on a regular basis.
  • Hypertension - at elevated pressure, the vessels are spasmized. The ear arteries lose their tone and do not allow enough blood to flow to the head. Because of this, pain, noise.
  • Diseases of the central nervous system - the increased sensitivity of nerve endings acutely reacts to any irritation, causing various pathological symptoms.

On this basis, the instillation of the ears with congestion due to the VSD is not effective. To normalize hearing, it is necessary to eliminate bad habits, balance nutrition, avoid stressful situations, and promptly treat any abnormalities in the body.

trusted-source[30], [31]

Ear congestion for sore throat

Acute tonsillitis or tonsillitis is an acute infectious-inflammatory disease. Most often occurs due to streptococcal infection, which affects the palatine tonsils. Due to the action of pathogenic microorganisms, the tonsil mucosa becomes inflamed and swollen. The inflammatory process extends to the oral mucosa, throat and other adjacent areas.

The overlap of the auditory canal is one of the symptoms of angina. Prolonged inflammation in the ear can cause otitis. Drug therapy is carried out with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory drugs for treatment. Hearing returns to normal within 5-7 days from the start of treatment. With the development of otitis on the background of angina, the therapy is longer and there are complications.

trusted-source[32], [33]

Ear congestion after pressure chamber

Oxygen pressure chamber is a medical device, similar to the bathyscaphe and used for therapeutic purposes. Inside the pressure chamber capsule is oxygenated air. The patient is placed inside the device for a certain time during which he breathes pure oxygen. The procedure is aimed at restoring the functioning of the body at the cellular level.

Some patients note that after the pressure chamber it lays their ears. An unpleasant condition develops due to hyperbaric oxygenation. You should also consider the presence of contraindications for oxygen therapy, which can cause pain in the ears: hypertension, disorders of nasal breathing, inflammatory processes, acute respiratory diseases. Special treatment is not required. A couple of hours after the procedure, hearing is restored.

trusted-source[34], [35], [36], [37], [38]

Ear bulls after diving

Divers are most susceptible to otological pathologies. This is due to the fact that the hearing aid does not cope with the rapid change in pressure that occurs in the process of immersion.

The overlap of the auditory canal after diving is due to the fact that the middle ear has air-filled spaces. They are connected to the Eustachian tubes and nasopharynx. In the process of immersion there is a strong rupture of pressure. This is what causes barotrauma.

There are several methods of pressure equalization, consider them:

  • Pinch your nose and swallow a couple of times. The muscles will open the auditory tubes, the movement of the tongue will increase the flow of air into the middle ear.
  • Tighten the soft palate and throat muscles. Move your jaw forward and down, yawn.
  • Pinch your nose and tighten your muscles, making the sound "K". Such an exercise raises the back of the tongue, and the compressed air opens the Eustachian tubes.

The above exercises should be performed before and after the dive. Dive your feet down, throwing your head up to open the auditory tubes. Avoid nicotine, ethyl alcohol and dairy products before diving. The latter provoke an increased secretion of mucus. If improperly immersed, there is a risk of developing barotrauma and decompression sickness of the inner ear.

trusted-source[39], [40], [41]

Ear bumps when blowing your nose

When blowing out, the pressure increases, which affects the Eustachian tube connecting the middle ear and the nasopharynx. If you blow your nose, there is a risk that mucus can enter the auditory tube, causing inflammation and swelling. Another cause of hearing problems is improper cleaning of the nose, when a person does not pinch nostrils alternately.

In order to eliminate the problems caused by blowing your nose, you should perform the following procedures:

  • Apply dry heat to nose.
  • Make a spirit compress for the ear.
  • Use vasoconstrictor drops for the nose and drops for the ears.
  • Crouch, mouth wide open.
  • Swallow a couple of times saliva.
  • Tightly attach to the ears of the palm and sharply remove them.
  • Cover your nose with your fingers and draw in the air.

If the above methods do not help, and hearing problems are supplemented by pain, then you should contact your ENT doctor. Without timely treatment there is a risk of complications: sinusitis, sinusitis, otitis media, and more.

trusted-source[42], [43]

Hypertension in ears

Hypertension is a disease in which blood pressure exceeds normal levels. This disorder has several stages: mild, moderate and severe. In most cases, the pathology is hereditary. It can also develop due to stress, bad habits, excess salt in the body, obesity, with neurogenic disorders, due to taking certain medications.

Violation of perception of sound information, noise and pain in the ears and head, rapid heartbeat are the main signs of hypertension. During an attack, a dull and pressing headache, a feeling of pulsation, lays down the ears, vision becomes blurred, and the face is hyperemic.

Treatment of the disease state is complex. Get rid of the otological disorder without the normalization of pressure is impossible. Patients are prescribed vasodilators, sedatives and diuretic drugs, vitamins and minerals. Particular attention is paid to prevention, which consists of physical activity, a balanced diet, psychological relief and rejection of bad habits.

trusted-source[44], [45], [46], [47], [48], [49], [50]

Ear congestion after membrane damage

The eardrum is located at the end of the ear canal, separating it from the tympanic cavity of the middle ear. The membrane consists of several parts and performs a protective function, preventing the ingress of water, air, foreign objects and pathogens into the middle ear. She is also responsible for sound conduction. Sound vibrations from the eardrum are transmitted along the auditory ossicles to the sound-perceiving apparatus.

Damage to the eardrum occurs due to mechanical, physical, thermal, or chemical factors. The pathological condition is manifested by pain and laying of the ear, a sensation of noise, a decrease in hearing. The severity of symptoms depends on the strength of the injury and the degree of damage. The danger is that injuries can cause its complete or partial destruction, rupture, violation of the integrity of individual structures.

In case of ear congestion after slight damage to the eardrum, special treatment is not required. In more severe cases, prescribe drops for instillation into the ear cavity, anti-inflammatory and other means. At rupture, surgical treatment is performed - myringoplasty, tympanoplasty. Healthy hearing is restored as the membrane heals.

trusted-source[51], [52], [53], [54], [55], [56]

Ear congestion after nasal septum surgery

ENT operation is indicated for patients with curvature and trauma of the nasal septum. Surgical treatment is aimed at correcting the deformities of the bone and cartilage structures, restoring nasal breathing, and improving overall well-being.

The indications for the operation on the nasal septum include impaired smell, chronic sinusitis, otitis and eustachitis, frequent headaches, sleep problems, snoring, sleep apnea, bronchitis, inflammatory diseases.

Many patients note that congestion may occur after surgery. The painful condition is caused by swelling of the nasal mucosa and passes independently as nasal breathing recovers. If the overlap of the auditory tube persists for a long period of time and is supplemented by pain, then you should seek medical help. Since the painful symptoms can be one of the complications of the operation.

trusted-source[57], [58], [59]

Translation Disclaimer: The original language of this article is Russian. For the convenience of users of the iLive portal who do not speak Russian, this article has been translated into the current language, but has not yet been verified by a native speaker who has the necessary qualifications for this. In this regard, we warn you that the translation of this article may be incorrect, may contain lexical, syntactic and grammatical errors.

You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.