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David asked...

I am having problems with ear pressure.

Hi, I starting scuba diving but I am having problems with ear pressure. My GP says I have blocked eustachian tube. I have been to see an ENT who told me I have a smal nose and so small eustation tubes.. I do get mild hayfever so my question is do I try to see another ENT or an allergologist?? I know this may be a minor problem to most but I have always had trouble clearing my ear pressure when I fly (which makes me wonder it is hayfever releated as I have only had Hayfever in the the last 3 years) What do I do?

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The answer

Your eustachian tubes are a pair of small tubes, which connect your middle ear to the back of your throat. This allows you to equalise the pressure inside and outside your middle ear, between the two sides of your eardrum. If these tubes get blocked, you can’t equalise the pressure and can get blockage and pain. It’s similar to the pain people suffer if they dive suddenly or the pressure in an aircraft cabin changes. It is possible that your symptoms are related to hay fever. Although hay fever mostly causes inflammation of the lining of the nose and eyes, it can also cause irritation of the throat. However, most people suffer from hay fever for only a few weeks of the year. Although symptoms can be very debilitating when they have them, it’s less likely to be a cause if you’ve suffered problems with your ear pressure throughout the year. A regular hay fever tablet may help, perhaps in combination with a nasal spray. If you’ve tried one or two sprays with no effect, Dymista nasal spray, which contains two active ingredients which work in different ways, may help.

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