Is Ear Pressure A Sign of An Ear Infection or Something Else?
If you feel pressure in your ears often, you may be wondering why you have it. In most cases, it's the result of an ear infection, sinus infection, or even hearing loss. Since treatment depends on the cause, it's essential to figure out why you're experiencing ear pressure. Let's dive deeper into the most common causes of pressure in the ears.
What Does Ear Pressure Feel Like?
Most people face ear pressure at one time or another. If you have this condition, you probably won't feel any pain. Instead, you may feel like you just got on an airplane that has taken off. The feeling is usually described as full or stuffy.
A sinus infection is almost always the cause of ear pressure. If you are living with a sinus infection, you may experience some pressure in your ear drum that may be accompanied with fluid. This is because nasal congestion can obstruct the drainage pathway.
Other Causes of Ear Pressure
While a sinus infection is the main cause of ear infection, there are other reasons it may arise. Do you have ear pain and hearing loss? If so, you may have an ear infection and notice some ear pressure. If you have issues with your TMJ or the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull, you may believe you have ear pressure.
The reality, however, is that you're likely facing teeth clenching or grinding rather than ear pressure. Hearing loss can also give you the feeling of ear pressure, especially if it has to do with the fluid that affects your eardrum.
Additionally, a swimmer's ear may lead to ear pressure. This condition occurs when water is stored in the ear canal and often seen in swimmers or those who spend a lot of time in water.
How to Treat Ear Pressure
Often, ear pressure subsides on its own in a week or less. If your ear pressure persists, however, it's a good idea to consult an ENT doctor. They can perform a thorough investigation and figure out the root cause. Depending on the cause, a decongestant or nasal steroid may help.
A night guard may be an option if you have TMJ and grind your teeth. Fortunately, ear pressure is rarely a serious problem and can be treated effectively through conservative measures.