New Health Guide

Pressure in Ear

Oct 23, 2014

Do you frequently experience pressure in the ear? It can be caused by a myriad of reasons that will be discussed in this article. For instance, it is normal to feel pressure in the ears after alighting from the airplane which normally clears after a while. People who have recently had an allergy or a cold may also experience ear congestion, which relates to nasal congestion. The treatment measures also different according to the causative condition. In case of hearing difficulties, it may be due to buildup of wax. It is important to seek medical help in case symptoms last for more than two days and are accompanied by pain.

Causes and treatments of pressure in ear

1. Ear barotrauma

Condition description

This is caused when the Eustachian tube is blocked causing air imbalance in the outer part of the eardrum and the middle ear. This condition is experienced by a majority of people when they change altitudes through activities like scuba diving, driving in mountainous areas and flying. It can also be caused by throat swelling and is common before birth.

Symptoms include dizziness, pain and discomfort in one or both ears, loss of hearing and feelings of stuffiness and fullness in the ears. In severe or prolonged cases, symptoms include nose bleeding, severe or moderate hearing loss, ear pain as well as feeling pressure in the ears.


  • Breathing Exercise. Treatment of barotrauma involves inhaling and exhaling while blocking the nose and mouth.
  • Yawning opens the Eustachian tubes allowing pressure into the middle ear and equalizing air pressure.
  • Sucking candy and chewing gum allows Eustachian tubes movement relieving pressure in the ears.
  • Applying warm paper towels. Dip a few wet paper towels in warm water and place them over your ear while lying on your side. The affected ear should face upwards. The heat of the towels allows the ears to unblock.
  • Recommended medication includes steroids, antihistamines and oral or nose spray decongestants.

2. Ear congestion

Condition description

This is caused by Eustachian tube inflammation and is characterized by the accumulation of fluids or mucus in the middle ear as a result of infections or allergies.

Symptoms include difficulty in hearing, pressure or fullness feeling in the ear, cracking or popping in the ear, ringing, muffling of noises, and balance maintenance difficulty.

Risk factors: ear congestion is more common in children than adults since their Eustachian tubes are shorter. Smoking and Obesity are other risk factors.


This condition will normally disappear by itself. However, besides the remedies listed in ear barotrauma, one can try these strategies to ease the congestion.

  • Use gravity as congestion is normally caused by fluids trapped in the Eustachian tube. For fluids that are trapped, stand on one foot and tilt your head on the blocked side. Hop on one foot steadily. This dislodges fluids in the ear canal. Lying with the congested side facing downwards for an hour can also pull the fluids from the ear.
  • Medical help. If the congestion persists for more than two days, it is advisable to see a doctor. Depending on the cause, the doctor will know the measures to take or medication to prescribe.
  • Prevention. Treat colds, flu or sinus infections promptly to avoid mucus production or infection in the Eustachian tube.

3. Eustachian tube dysfunction

Condition description

Causes: this condition is normally caused by a cold. It can also be caused by other reasons and may at times last longer. It happens when the Eustachian tube blocks or due to swelling of the tube lining. This condition also happens when the Eustachian tube does not open adequately for air to move through.

Symptoms: the main symptom of Eustachian tube dysfunction is dulled or muffled hearing. Ear pain is also common because of the stretching and tension in the eardrum. Other symptoms include dizziness, tinnitus as well as ear fullness.


Treatment will depend on the cause of the dysfunction. Chewing, swallowing, and yawning can correct the problem. Decongestant nasal drops or sprays, antihistamine tablets as well as steroid nasal spray can be prescribed by your doctor.

Sinus infection

Condition description

Causes: this condition is caused by the swelling of the sinuses lining. When sinuses are filled with fluids and blocked, the growth of germs that cause the infection is encouraged. Common colds, nasal polyps, deviated septum as well as allergic rhinitis are also causes of sinus infections.

Symptoms: they include nasal stuffiness, facial pain, loss of smell, nasal discharge, fever, congestion, fatigue and bad breath. Acute sinusitis is characterized by thick yellow discharge and other symptoms.


  • Take medicine. These can be oral antihistamines, pain killers and nasal decongestants. They are available over the counter and reduce the symptoms.
  • Use honey. This is a cough suppressant that is soothing to the throat. It can be mixed with herbal tea for best results.
  • Humidify. Running a humidifier while sleeping eases breathing. Add eucalyptus in the water. This reduces congestion.
  • Increase water intake. This thins the mucus and prevents dehydration. This can be in from of soups or pure water.
  • Prevention: Treating colds and allergies, avoiding pollution, cutting on smoking, taking a lot of water and maintaining great hygiene are also great ways of avoiding future sinus infection.

Watch a Video for Reliving Ear Pressure Pain:

Other remedies for pressure in ear

  1. Create a vacuum. Put the index finger in the ear and move the finger upwards gently. Create a vacuum by moving the ear around. Suction the fluids out of the ear.
  2. Steam. Pour steaming water into a bowl and cover your head above the steam with a towel. This thins the mucus.