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Nasal congestion and ear fullness.

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I have had some sort of virus for the past five days that has include nasal congestion, a sore throat, fever, cough and earache. I finally went to a clinic this morning and got put on two prescriptions addressing the cough and my nasal congestion. As of this morning, my ears were not bothering me and the nurse I saw said they looked fine. Later this afternoon, my right ear became very full and painful. I cannot hear out of it currently and trying the valsalva maneuver does nothing. Is there anything else I can try to relieve the pain and pressure? I am not getting any sleep because of how painful it is.

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 21 Doctors Online


It seems like you had a viral rhinitis that can cause both ear fullness and nasal stuffiness. The nasal congestion due to rhinitis causes the closure of Eustachian tube. Eustachian tube is the connection between the ear and nose .This helps in equalization of pressure. When closed, can lead to ear fullness and sometimes collection of fluid in the ear called otitis media.

I suggest you do the following things.

1) Use Nasal spray Afrin a.k.a oxymetazoline thrice a day to prevent nasal congestion.

2) Meanwhile continue the use of anti histamines Tab.citrizine and also consider starting steroid nasal sprays.

3) Try to avoid excessive exposure to dust and pollen and consider using mask wherever possible. Avoid places like gardens and dusty fields.

4) If the symptoms persist consider having a nasal smear or a RAST to check for what you are allergic to.

5) Beware, excessive usage of the Afrin nasal spray can cause rebound increase of rhinitis once the spray is stopped. Hence do not use the spray for long.

Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
Dr. John Monheit and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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