Ear full with what feels like liquid? Advice needed.

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Good morning all, 

I wanted to ask some advice regarding my ear. I’m really frustrated. 

I have been popping my ears all my life - I.e. manually doing it and never really had a problem. It’s a bad habit, I guess. 

About two weeks ago I noticed my left ear wouldn’t pop fully and felt like there was pressure still in my ear. Since that point I have been popping my ears constantly but have now found that they will pop, but left ear has liquid in it as there is a bubbling sound and hearing is muffled. 

I’ve done some research online and it points toward the fact that it could be ETD. I have tried sudafed and it helps a little. Have not yet been to the doctor. There is no real pain - it’s just really frustrating.

I have become highly anxious as I’ve read that this from other posts that this could go on for months to years... 

Do you think my popping continuously essentially made the problem worse?  Any advice you could give? 


0 likes, 7 replies


7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey! I've no idea if it's made it worse, just wanted to say I do exactly the same thing! 

    Started after a nasty cold last November. I've had a ETD ever since. I too scare myself silly looking online at how long it can go on for! 

    I get very distressed if I can't  unblock my ear, and it's made travelling for me a complete nightmare, as altitude really exasperates it. 

    So I'm sorry I have no answers, just wanted to say I know what you're going through. And would be interested if anyone comments with advice 😊

    • Posted

      Hi Kirsty, 

      Thanks for responding. I’m sorry to hear about your ear issue. I can sympathise given the last two weeks. 

      Have you been to the doctor regarding your issues? Any advice or treatment given? 

    • Posted

      Hi, I've been a few times as it drives me nuts! All they can give me is sprays, which don't seem to do all that  much? They did say ETD's are notoriously hard to treat, and can go on for a while, but assure me it will sort itself out! 

    • Posted

      Have they given you at ETD diagnosis then? May be good to see an ETN specialist if you’ve had it for a long time? 

      I’m have a GP appointment today, hopefully they can shed some light on the issue. 

  • Posted

    That's what they've said it is. After these nasal sprays they say they can refer me, but there is so little that can be done for it. The specialists would more than likely give sprays also. It's so annoying as there's no easy answer.

  • Posted


    I am not sure if popping your ears have made anything worse but I wouldn't recommend doing it anymore at least until you see a doctor. To help the stuffed up feeling I would try Flonase and zyrtec. That is what I am currently on and it seems to be helping unclog my ears. Sorry I am not much help!

  • Posted

    Hi all.

    Just thought I would update you as it may serve as a good reference point for others experiencing similar problems.

    I was diagnosed with ETD and slight external ear infection by the nurse. I’ve experienced constant ear ringing since that point... couldn’t sleep or do much else as it was so loud! Went to see a doctor at the weekend who looked inside my ear again and said I actually had an inner ear infection due to a swollen ear drum. She said ETD was secondary and that it should all clear up.

    It’s been almost 3 weeks since problems started. Ear ringing is reduced, ear feels less full and headaches are less frequent. Hopefully it will resolve completely soon! 


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