About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ear Barotrauma

My left ear has not popped since my flight from Poland.

It has caused some significant amount of pain and discomfort.

I tried a number of things to get it popped - all the usual things and some unusual ones - but to no avail.

In actual fact, these things caused the ear to become inflamed a little.

So, I find out that I have Ear barotrauma

Ear barotrauma is discomfort and possible damage in the ear due to pressure differences between the inside and outside of the eardrum.

It is caused by the air pressure in the middle ear is usually the same as the air pressure outside of the body. The Eustachian tube is a connection between the middle ear and the back of the nose and upper throat.

Swallowing or yawning opens the Eustachian tube and allows air to flow into or out of the middle ear, keeping the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum equal. If the Eustachian tube is blocked, the air pressure in the middle ear is different than the pressure on the outside of the eardrum. This causes barotrauma.

Many people experience barotrauma at some time. Barotrauma commonly occurs with altitude changes, such as flying, scuba diving, or driving in the mountains. If you have a congested nose from allergies, colds, or an upper respiratory infection, you are more likely to develop barotrauma.

Blockage of the Eustachian tube could also be present before birth (congenital), or it may occur because of swelling in the throat.

My personal symptoms have been dizziness, ear discomfort or pain in the left ear, slight loss of hearing and sensation of fullness or stuffiness in the ears.

The treatment I have tried to relieve ear pain or discomfort or try to open the Eustachian tube and relieve the pressure:

1. Chew gum
2. Inhale, and then gently exhale while holding the nostrils closed and the mouth shut
3. Suck on candy
4. Yawn
5. Clasping my ear with my palm and trying to pop it like a toilet plunger.

When flying, do not sleep during the descent. Use these measures frequently to open the Eustachian tube. Allow infants and children to nurse or sip a drink during descent.

Since my self-care attempts did not relieve my discomfort within a few hours, I sought medical intervention.

I was given some decongestants taken by a nose spray without steroids.

These medication I was told may relieve nasal congestion and allow the Eustachian tube to open.

Well, after about 3 times of spraying it up my nose, the ear has finally popped and I feel relieved but there is a slight discomfort which is likely now due to the slight inflammation that I have caused by trying to unclog my ears like a toilet plunger.

All is well now though.

Take care and be well.


Ser said...

Interesting what the 3 stooges are trying to do to help, in one of those trying moment...

Nil said...

The three stooges way for a while seemed to be the best way to pop my ear but I could not find 2 other stooges to do it :P

Ser said...

Who would be the other 2 stooges...in case if they are to be found (just curious)...?

Nil said...

2 other stooges would be between Ah Boon, Kupps and Muniandy lor. Over here, no stooges lah.