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Why do my ears get blocked?

Q: I am a 22 years old man having a problem of colds and nasal blockage. My ears are almost always blocked, as they would normally be when a person travels by air. However, when I swallow my saliva, my ears open up sometimes. But then as time passes it goes back to the same position. My total hearing loss is minimal but there is still a noticeable loss. How can I cure this? Please note that I have extra mass on one side of my nostrils, from which I cannot breath. However, I can breath from the other nostril.

A:There is a tube, which connects the pressure in the middle part of air and the back of the nose. Normally it is open and it maintains the air in the ear at normal pressure. This tube closes and opens periodically during swallowing, yawning or blowing nose and thus keeps the air pressure in the ear normal. When you travel by air the pressure outside changes considerably from high to low and low to high depending on whether you are ascending or descending. Because of these pressure changes the tube opens and closes. The pressure inside the middle ear changes. If the pressure is too much or too less, there is pain. If the pressure is abnormal because the tube has not opened, then the hearing becomes muffled and dull. In this situation, if one swallows repeatedly, the tube opens and closes and the pressures become normal and there is relief. So, when you are landing, don't sleep, pop in a chewing gum or a toffee, keep swallowing and enjoy the flight. If you have a cold and you are traveling, instill ordinary nasal drops in the nose half hour before the flight works.


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