So about a year and a half ago, my left ear started feeling full. After a month or so, my hearing started to decrease in that ear as well. Then about a year ago, I went to an ENT, who saw nothing wrong in my ear, but did a hearing and pressure test. My hearing came back within normal levels. But more importantly, when they did the pressure test, the pressure forced into my ear popped that ear for the first time in months. There was even a ripple on the graph right at the start that was obviously my ear equalizing. It stayed popped for about 5 minutes on my way back to my car, then plugged again and has persisted ever since.
I’ve tried everything I can find online to fix the issue. It’s not earwax, I’ve had my ear flushed at my GP. I also don’t think it’s just straight up hearing loss, because I’m 22 and I don’t listen to anything very loudly (just about half volume on an iPhone when I’m using headphones), and there weren’t any loud noises that I can remember around the time that the issues started.
Here’s a list of things/techniques I’ve tried to no avail:
- Using decongestants/nasal sprays
- Swallowing, yawning, chewing gum
- Valsalva (holding nose and blowing gently)
- Toynbee (holding nose and swallowing)
- Frenzel (holding nose and making “k” noises)
- Edmonds (Valsalva but also pushing my jaw forward)
- All of these techniques while pulling my ear lobe down and out, and tilting my head
- Otovent (tried the water swallowing technique and using decongestants at the same time, didn’t work)
However, one important thing to note is that when I do these techniques like the Valsalva, I do feel some pressure in there. I can feel the air go into my middle ear and feel my eardrum move a bit and both ears sound fuller until I swallow or open my jaw. There’s also often some clicking noises in the affected ear. But when my ears are back to “normal”, the left one still feels full and the problem isn’t alleviated at all.
Another thing is that sometimes when I’m doing the Valsalva and there’s pressure in my ear, if I hum or make noise in my head, I can feel my eardrum vibrating quite a bit in that ear to the point that it tickles a bit, and the humming is very loud in that ear. If I hum during my normal state, my internal humming sounds louder in my right ear than my left.
I’m not sure if this is even the best place to get advice on what might be causing this, but I’d appreciate any ideas on what it is or solutions to it or even just someone else experiencing the same problem. It’s driving me nuts.