1

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Problems with ear drum

Answered on April 04, 2016
Created October 16, 2011 at 5:28 PM

I have been having problems with my left ear for a couple of days now. It feels as if there is a pressure change going on inside my ear. The sensation is similar to when being on an airplane while it is descending, or when on a train and going into a tunnel (the ear "pops", hearing becomes temporarily impaired). But it isn't permanent; I usually only get it in the mornings and it goes away by noon.

What could be the reason for this?

My diet for the past few weeks consisted of ground chicken (contains potassium lactate), ground turkey, beef, shrimp, tilapia, flounder, cauliflower, spinach, butter, ghee, EVOO, and almonds. I am on a diet to control my psoriasis (it has improved immensely). What could be the connection between what i'm eating and the problems I'm having with my left ear drum?

0e9ddbd345ed53954d2c3eb4edc954c9

(203)

on December 06, 2011
at 09:12 AM

Wow! I think you've just nailed my problem. Head down gives temporary relief. Thanks so much.

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 09:39 PM

I really hope that it's a sign of detox. Thank you for your input. Thank you EVERYONE for your ideas and suggestions! I really appreciate it.

73b72d74565dcf088158a97e39ae1d5e

(48)

on October 17, 2011
at 09:05 PM

I get that when my body is doing big detox - though for me it lasts for weeks and does not clear. No pain involved. Your body may be clearing whatever you were eating before. Full detox usually takes like 2-3 weeks.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on October 17, 2011
at 05:32 PM

FWIW, Casein sensitivity has done that to my ears (the pressure/no pain). Good luck!

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on October 17, 2011
at 04:54 PM

Can attest to what you say about OTC remedies. Used to use this basic hydrogen peroxide in some inert oil solution -- came with a rubber syringe for flushing, pretty sure it's still available. For w/e reason, I thought you were supposed to put the drops in, leave them for about 15 mins, then immediately flush them out w/ the syringe. What almost ALWAYS happened to me was first I'd get frustrated (b/c it seemed to take 2-3 days B4 any wax would loosen), by which time I'd usually be well on my way to a bad case of swimmer's ear, from irritation caused by drops + aggressive flushing. Be careful!

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on October 17, 2011
at 04:47 PM

Jay -- thanks for clarification. Agree -- Ed's post is great info.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on October 17, 2011
at 02:40 AM

Peroxide may help if it's an earwax problem, which can make your ear feel "stopped up." If it feels more like a "popping" or pressure change, then it's more likely to be a eustachian tube issue.

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Ooh. Sounds painful. It does not hurt. I just feels like I'm losing pressure in my left ear sometimes. I've never had an ear infection before, so I'm drawn more to the food allergy possibility rather than it being a virus. But thank you for your input.

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:41 AM

Thank you for your input. I'll get it checked out.

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:41 AM

Do you think putting 3% diluted hydrogen peroxide solution in my ear might help?

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:40 AM

you had an MRI?!! What did they tell you to do?

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:40 AM

I hope not! But I have been eating a lot of kerrygold recently.

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Thank you so much for your input. I will give that technique a try.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on October 16, 2011
at 10:02 PM

I'd just add that if you develop pain and fever, don't try to tough it out. I learned the hard way, with a trip to the ER and blood running down my neck. (Two ruptured eardrums later...) Hope you feel better without intervention!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 16, 2011
at 09:54 PM

rarely a need for antibiotics for ear infection....have to determine if its bacterial or viral though and monitor, well Ed's post pretty much covers this.

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8 Answers

best answer

5
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on October 16, 2011
at 07:33 PM

Simon,

Sensations of pressure, popping and decreased hearing in your ear are usually caused by eustachian tube dysfunction. This can either be an acute or chronic process. Your eustachian tubes connect your middle ear with your nose and throat. Being connected to your upper airway, eustachian tubes are subject to some of the same conditions--such as inflammation, allergies and infection--that can affect the rest of your upper airway.

If it's painless, it's probably not an acute bacterial infection. Thus, immediate medical attention may not be needed.

If it's only been 2 days, it could just be a common cold virus. You can try your home remedy of choice--netti pot, zinc, etc.--and see if that helps.

Alternatively, it could be an allergic problem. Morning symptoms suggest that there could be allergens in your bedroom and/or bedding, such as mold spores, house dust mite, or ragweed pollen granules. Exposure can be reduced by frequent cleaning of your room, and hypoallergenic mattress and pillow covers. If you don't object to meds, you can try a non-drowsy allergy medicine such as fexofenadine (Allegra). It's possible, although unlikely, that you may have recently developed an allergy to something in your diet. The most common allergy-inducing foods in your current diet are shellfish, nuts and dairy. You can try eliminating those foods for a while and see if that helps.

If you develop pain, fever or ear drainage, or if you aren't improving in 2 weeks, then seek medical attention.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on October 16, 2011
at 10:02 PM

I'd just add that if you develop pain and fever, don't try to tough it out. I learned the hard way, with a trip to the ER and blood running down my neck. (Two ruptured eardrums later...) Hope you feel better without intervention!

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Ooh. Sounds painful. It does not hurt. I just feels like I'm losing pressure in my left ear sometimes. I've never had an ear infection before, so I'm drawn more to the food allergy possibility rather than it being a virus. But thank you for your input.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on October 17, 2011
at 05:32 PM

FWIW, Casein sensitivity has done that to my ears (the pressure/no pain). Good luck!

best answer

4
27361737e33ba2f73ab3c25d2699ad61

(1880)

on October 16, 2011
at 11:43 PM

Eustachian tube dysfunction is incredibly common -- the eustachian tube does not open properly to keep ear pressure normal. However, there is something that seems the same symptomatically called patulous eustachian tube defect. You can tell if you have it by putting your head down and seeing if the feeling clears. With patulous eustachian tube defect -- the tube stays open too often. The usual prescription for antihistamines that can help symptoms in eustachian tubes that do not open properly can actually make patulous worse. I have the chronic patulous and can clear the symptoms by putting my head way down -- sometimes if I'm in a store and it happens, I will pretend to shop for something on a low shelf to get relief. Downsides to all eustachian disorders is they can cause dizziness, disequalibrium. My symptoms come and go too. Can be triggered by barometric changes, heavy exercise, allergies, etc.

I didn't realize that ear infections could give intermittent symptoms -- but the other posters say it can happen so it's best to get to an ear doc for a check. Eustachian tube defects generally give intermittent symptoms though and absent drainage or pain or fever, sounds likeit could be a eustachian tube defect.

If you can, get to a doc to be sure. But in the interim, next time you get that feeling -- don't try to equalize the pressure by holding nose and blowing gently as one would if eustachian tube doesn't open properly. Instead, put your head way down -- top of scalp facing floor -- hold for a little while. You should feel it clear if that is going to help or check by talking in the upside down position. That underwater sound should be cleared if it's going to clear like that. If it does -- it's patulous. Don't take antihistames or anything that could dry you out inside the ear. Go easy on caffeine or if you love coffee/tea then be sure drink adequate water too. Good luck!

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Thank you so much for your input. I will give that technique a try.

0e9ddbd345ed53954d2c3eb4edc954c9

(203)

on December 06, 2011
at 09:12 AM

Wow! I think you've just nailed my problem. Head down gives temporary relief. Thanks so much.

1
Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on October 17, 2011
at 01:36 PM

Also possible is that your ear canals are impacted due to wax buildup, resulting in something like swimmer's ear. If you're sleeping with your ear down and you have narrow ear canals or simply generate a lot of ear wax, it's possible that your ear-wax is getting slightly impacted, and then when you rise in the morning and your body heat increases, the wax begins to "settle" and the symptoms dissipate some. If it's only now started, try gently using a q-tip and see if you can clear out some wax. Usually, if you catch it early, you should be fine.

If it gets worse, a trip to the doctor easily fixes this, as they "flush out" the ear with some high-pressure water. Avoid using over-the-counter solutions for swimmer's ear, as that can make it worse. You can try some diluted hydrogen peroxide and one of those tear-drop-shaped things that help you squirt water into the ear to aid in flushing it out, but I've found that if the ear is really impacted, a trip to the doctor is the only way to unblock the ear canal.

As an aside, I haven't gotten this after going more strict paleo, so it's possible that diet is somehow related. The couple years prior, I had to get my ears flushed once or twice a year because of this.

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on October 17, 2011
at 04:54 PM

Can attest to what you say about OTC remedies. Used to use this basic hydrogen peroxide in some inert oil solution -- came with a rubber syringe for flushing, pretty sure it's still available. For w/e reason, I thought you were supposed to put the drops in, leave them for about 15 mins, then immediately flush them out w/ the syringe. What almost ALWAYS happened to me was first I'd get frustrated (b/c it seemed to take 2-3 days B4 any wax would loosen), by which time I'd usually be well on my way to a bad case of swimmer's ear, from irritation caused by drops + aggressive flushing. Be careful!

1
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on October 16, 2011
at 05:51 PM

Hi Simon,

I would have the doctor check this. It sounds like it might be an inner ear infection. I had one in high school that resulted in waking up one morning to no more pressure, and a bit of dried blood in my ear. The drum had ruptured. I did not have the usual ear aches with that infection, just a pressure feeling. FWIW, the eardrum healed, and my hearing has been mostly normal since, but I have difficulty when there's lots of background noise.

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:41 AM

Thank you for your input. I'll get it checked out.

0
23405aa4aff3b8983662232063265895

on April 04, 2016
at 01:31 PM

If you've had a change in diet as described then most likely it is caused by the foods you have been eating. In Pakistani herbal medicine all the foods are divided into 2 categories: "Garam" and "Tandey" - Hot and Cold. Most of the foods you have listed are classed as Garam-Hot. When you consume too much Garam foods you can develop a condition called "Khushgi". One of the symptums of Khushgi is the conditon of the ears as you have described. You need to add some Tandey-Cold foods in your diet so its more balanced. Thats why many Physicians don't recommend Atkins diet especially as a long term solution, because a healthy body needs both Hot and Cold type of foods.

Mahboob, Huddersfield.

0
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on October 16, 2011
at 10:33 PM

casein intolerance is a possibility

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:40 AM

I hope not! But I have been eating a lot of kerrygold recently.

0
19ba72a662a871cb6394dc69c27f3d4e

(408)

on October 16, 2011
at 09:07 PM

I have had this since July myself! I have been to 2 different ENT specialist, have had a MRI and Ct scan. Mine gets the feeling in the afternoon though. The Dr's have no idea nut it really is annoying! At least I am starting to get used to it.

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:40 AM

you had an MRI?!! What did they tell you to do?

0
0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on October 16, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Def sounds like a possible ear infection -- which you'll need an antibiotic for. Not worth toughing those out -- see a doc.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 16, 2011
at 09:54 PM

rarely a need for antibiotics for ear infection....have to determine if its bacterial or viral though and monitor, well Ed's post pretty much covers this.

48f88cfbc4d95abdaf0fd4e1acdcba83

(358)

on October 17, 2011
at 12:41 AM

Do you think putting 3% diluted hydrogen peroxide solution in my ear might help?

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on October 17, 2011
at 04:47 PM

Jay -- thanks for clarification. Agree -- Ed's post is great info.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on October 17, 2011
at 02:40 AM

Peroxide may help if it's an earwax problem, which can make your ear feel "stopped up." If it feels more like a "popping" or pressure change, then it's more likely to be a eustachian tube issue.

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