Ears have been clogged for months...I want to give up

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hello all,

I started having problems with my ears after taking hormonal birth control medication. I had so many side effects from the medication that I had it taken out after only a few months of using it. Although some side effects did go away after stopping it, today I still feel like I have this constant brain fog, extreme exhaustion, and my ears have been clogged for 3 months now. I can also flex something in my ear that can make this clicking/crackling sound that others can hear. It's really frustrating as the ear pressure and clicking make my head all congested. I don't have a runny nose, I know this is all from the birth control, I was hoping it would go away after stopping it but 3 months after and it's still here. I've become super depressed because I feel terrible physically. I wake up and all I can think of is "here we go again". I had to stop working as my job is a physically demanding job and requires me to be in high altitudes all the time (soooo perfect for my ears). I have no motivation, no energy, broke up with my boyfriend as I can't take care of anyone right now if I can't even take care of myself. All this is making me depressed and to be honest, suicidal. I don't know if this is my new normal and I can't accept that. I've been to my gp, Neuro, and an ENT...all say that I look perfectly fine. Blood work is normal, CT and MRI scan of my brain both came back normal. ENT says my eustachian tubes are fine, but when I asked him to listen to the clicking sound in my ear that I can control, he was baffled. Now I don't know what to do. I'm only in my 20s and I had my whole life ahead of me, now it's like someone just took everything from me...career, relationship, and my future. I know hormones can affect your ears. What is that sound in my ear if my ENT says my ears look fine?!?!

I'm going crazy and I can't stand this any longer.

0 likes, 17 replies

17 Replies

  • Posted

    Good morning Archie,

    Well, this is a strange one, that birth control pills can cause eustachia tube dysfunction.  However, none of us truly know the side affects of mediacation.  At least you seem healthy after all your tests, so that's a bonus.  However, ETD is one of the most awful things ever to suffer from.  Not sure if you've read others peoples exeriences suffering the same on this Forum.  I'm one, and I'm pretty sure mine is due to allergies and sinus issues (Rhinitis) Your tubes are obviousy stuck together and they can take forever to clear.  Are you sure you didn't catch a cold whilst on your mediaction for birth contol ?  It could be just a coinsidence this happened while on the tablets.  Have you looked up side affects from taking the pills.?  All I can suggest is doing regular steam inhaltions (with towel over your head) then try popping your ears.  I started to suffer the misery of ETD in the 1980's and still suffering to this day.  I take a daily antihistamine and Flixonase (steroid based) aqueous nasal spray.  I've had several perforated eardrums over the years due to the pressure build up.  The clicking is normal and sometimes tinitus is experienced too.  Your ENT consultant cannot see the other side of your eardrum by looking into your ears, so you'll have to find away of trying to un-stick your tubes.  Called Glue Ear in children.  Google Eustachian Tube Dysfunction to read what else you can do to try and help yourself.  If it is the meds that have caused this, I suppose it's a waiting game to see if it reverses itself.  Failing that maybe you could ask your doctor for a course of Prednisolone Steriod tablets they will definitely get rid of any possible inflammation and the stickyness that's blocking your ears.  I have no choice but to take these every other year to help me, as I couldn't live with this condition without some relief.  I finished a 20 day reducing course this year and I've enjoyed having my smell and taste return, sinus issues gone and post nasal drip too and ears completely clear....these are usually the conditions that causes ETD.  I won't be holding my breath that my ears will be clear permanently, due to allegies, however, the relief for the past 3 months has been wonderful.  Some people have grommets (tubes) put in their ears, or have the balloon dialation. I'm guessing you haven't flown, as we all know how ears react with pressure and block.

    So I know exactly how you are feeling and hope you'll find relief soon.

    Kind regards

    Anne (England)

    • Posted

      Hi Anne,

      Thanks for replying to my message! I'm part of a support group for those women severely affected by this birth control and some did experience ear fullness. For some of these women, it did go away after 6 months or a year, but they say that theirs is on and off clogging of the ears, whereas mine is everyday. I didn't have a cold when this first happened, I just remember I was driving home and then my hearing decreased and when I woke up the next day, both ears were clogged. My ent did the pressure and hearing test, both came back normal. He stuck that camera up my nose and said it looks fine. But I can't seem to get rid of this clicking sound in my ear. Which makes me wonder if it's the eardrum that I'm moving, or a muscle in my ear. Also, when I try to do the valsava, my ears make this screeching noise like air wants to come out of my ear but it just won't. It's like a balloon that would inflate, but won't pop, so it just deflates back. Do you think that's my eardrum? I want my ENT to put tubes in my ears just to see if that would help.

      This has been driving me insane and I don't know how to live with it. In constantly doing the valsava but it doesn't even help.

  • Posted

    To Archie and all.

    ?It's been two weeks since surgery and I'm going for my follow up with Dr. Undavia tomorrow 7/20/17. To be honest I haven't had much relief from the symptoms prior to surgery and I'm hoping this is normal and part of the process. I've read everything here from instant relief to 4- 6 weeks b4 any relief at  all and unfortunately some who had surgery with negative or no relief at all. I'm trying to stay optimistic and continue with my anti anxiety meds to help me along. I'm hoping DR Undavia has some good news for me tomorrow and what I'm experiencing is part of the process. I will keep you posted on Thursday or FRiday with his prognosis. Keep the faith !!!!!!!!!


    • Posted

      Hi Merlin!

      May I ask what kind of surgery you had with your ears? And what are your symptoms? Hoping that your ears are just taking its time to heal!



  • Posted

    Clicking sound thats audilbe.it could be high blood pressure, anemia or allergies.I got fluid in my inner ear and it flutters or thumps every once in a while.One sunday it kept going all that evening into the late very late hours.I went insane for real.I started taking Cetrizine( zyrtec).And it calmed downed.....for now..still thumps a little
    • Posted

      Hi Tasha,

      Are you symptom free now? Oh how I wish my ears just had an infection or fluid in them! But I don't have any of those. Which makes me wonder if what I'm moving is my eardrum or a muscle in my ear.

    • Posted

      nope...this nightmare got started this month.Just the tinnest thump or flutter and my heart goes to 90 mph.i have no insurance (expensive)and im already on a payment plan for 400.00 just from and emergency room to look into my ears.i been having a awful year....i started having ill intentions to end it all.
    • Posted

      and its still clogged and no one can help me
    • Posted

      Have you seen an ENT? If it's fluid then it's an easy fix I believe. They can drain the fluid by inserting ear tubes? I have no fluid or an infection so I doubt tubes will work for me but i might just beg my ENT to put the tubes in to see if that'll alleviate the pressure

    • Posted

      Hey Archie, I've been going through the exact same problem. Clicking/crackling when yawning and swollowing and can also make the noise by moving a muscle. Had it for 6 months now and I 100% believe it is because of sticky mucus in the Eustachian tube that won't drain. 

      Had tubes put in today to suck out/help ventilate the stick mucus. 

      How are you going ? 

    • Posted

      Hey Cameron,

      I'm still having ear issues. I'm waiting to see another ENT next month. Did you have any elevation change issues with your ears too? I know it's too early to tell but are the tubes working? Do you feel a difference?

    • Posted

      Yeah I believe the issue is sticky mucous in the middle of the Eustachian tube. I don't think the tubes will help drain it although may help ventilate the area. I think to solve the problem of the sticky mucus we have to look at our gut. Going on a strict diet, taking probiotics and plenty of fluids may help reduce the sticky mucus production and eventually become thin and move/drain the sticky mucus out of the tube. I'm at a wits end, really effecting my life. How long have you had the grommets in now? How did the feel for the first week after surgery? What are your main symptoms? 

    • Posted

      Were you sick when you first developed etd? I wasn't. And they checked my ears hundreds of times but there's no fluid. I don't know if it's air trapped inside that's making the noises. And I haven't had tubes placed in my ears yet. Waiting to see my new ENT to ask for tubes. I don't mind the popping/clicking much...I just want my ears to equalize when dealing with elevation changes. How are the tubes working for you? Did the popping and fullness decrease?

  • Posted

    It's now been over 2 months and I'm experiencing the same thing 

    Eating dinner one night out of nowhere my right ear blocked.

    I went to the GP and was told it's probably ETD give nasil spray, didn't help.

    I then started getting ringing in my right ear.

    GP sent me for CT scan and all clear 

    ENT also did hearing tests and looked in my ear took my money and said probably ETD come back in 6mths if no improvement.

    My anxiety has become out of control and I'm not functioning well. 

    I've seen a 2nd ENT he's also said my ears are fine but thought maybe it was stress causing my neck muscles to be the problem blocking my ear. Took muscle relaxants for 4 nights and told to use hot packs and bath treatments massage and excerises ...it's been 2 weeks since that and no change.

    I can also hear a funny boing sound in my ear coming from maybe my middle ear or the middle of my head, if I move my head back when shampooing my hair I can make the sound everytime.

    I also find when trying to work out or even slightly lift my heart rate the pressure in my ear/head worsens.

    I'm 41, female used to workout 3 / 4 times a week and now I can't bring myself to carry on with my old routines

    I also find laying down reduced the ear/head pressure but never takes it away 

    Please if anyone has any new answers I really need some help 

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