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jamesfoley jamesfoley

Sudden ringing in my left ear along with a slight full feeling and pitch change

So about a week ago when going to sleep I noticed I had a constant ringing in my left ear, which I thought nothing of. It wasn't until the morning when the ringing hadn't gone that I started to worry. That was also when I noticed the fullness and slight hearing loss, so I instantly thought it was wax and tried a couple of days of ear drops to try and shift what ever was in there.

A week later and I'm still experiencing the same issues. I saw a doctor yesterday who informed me I had a slight external ear infection in the ear which he gave me drops for, as well as eustachian tube dysfunction. Apparently it was the eustachian tube dysfunction that was causing the ringing and fullness. At the time that made sense, as the ear just feels like I need to pop it, and it never pops when I hold my nose and try and blow, but today I was able to pop the left ear, though nothing changed.

Does popping the ear not give instant relief of ear ringing? It is really starting to worry me that I have some how caused permanent damage to my ear.

116 Replies

  • ashleigh92337 ashleigh92337

    Hi, did you have a cold or anything before the ringing started? Certainly your eustachian tube would cause the symptoms you describe. Sometimes popping your ear does not give relief- most of the time it does but not always, it depends how congested it is. Also it may not be the tube causing the ringing- if you have an ear infection or fluid behind the eardrum which can cause any infection then you will have the ringing.

    Or before you noticed the ringing where you exposed to any loud noises?

  • jamesfoley jamesfoley

    I don't believe I was around any loud noises when I first noticed it. I listen to the odd loud song on my computer now and then, but I work in a quiet office environment and never go to concerts. This is the first time I've ever had issues with my ears.

    I did have a slight sore throat and stuffy noise at the time, which backs up the fact that I may have eustachian tube dysfunction. My other ear has felt a bit blocked, but hasn't been ringing like my left ear.

    What is worrying me the most is the fact that most of the pressure sensation has gone, and if I do feel any pressure I can usually relive it by yawning or inhaling steam, yet the ringing still persists. I have also been able to hear liquid in the ear once or twice, but I'm not sure if that is because of the steam inhalations or not as I can't hear it anymore.

  • ashleigh92337 ashleigh92337

    Ok so you can rule out the ringing noises or any hearing damage due to loud noises.

    You say you have sore throat and stuffy nose-your eustachian tube begins in the nose and ends at the back of the throat.

    It sounds to me like eustachian tube dysfunction which if they are congested due to viral infection or allergy or swollen, it would produce the symptoms you describe.

    It is either that or fluid behind your eardrum which can happen if the eustachian tube isnt working properly.

    Ringing is a symptom of this and even when ears are popped the ringing can continue if they are still congested/infected.

    How is your hearing overall?

    I would get another doctor to have a look or an ENT because if fluid stays in your ear too long it can cause an infection and pain, and you may need antibiotics.

    Also I would start if you havent already, a course of strong decongestants- but not Sudafed- get decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine- this is stronger than Sudafed and some others that contain only phenylephrine.

  • jamesfoley jamesfoley

    I'd say my overall hearing is pretty good, though the left ear does sound strangely distorted, kind of like it being underwater. Higher tones sound out of pitch, and lower tones seem to sound a lot lower. Shaking my head also produces some strange wobble sound in that ear too, though I don't know if that's just in my head.

    Could I still have fluid behind the eardrum even though I am able to equalize the pressure and I'm able to hear? Everything I've read makes it seem fluid behind the ear results in a noticeable hearing loss. The pressure does eventually build up again though, and if left will start to cause some discomfort.

    I've an appointment booked for Wednesday to see another doctor, at this point I will have finished my ear drops to clear up the infection I have in the ear canal. This will be the third doctor to take a look.

    As for decongestants, last week I was slowly going through a pack of "Sudafed Decongestant Tablets" which are Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, though things hadn't improved. I was told not to take these for more than a week as they'd potentially make things worse.

    It might actually be worth mentioning that in the past I have suffered quite a lot with hay fever, but never encountered issues with my ears. Would it be worth taking an antihistamine?

  • jamesfoley jamesfoley

    None at all so far, but I've a blocked nose and sore throat again, and I can feel the fullness in the ear again too, so it could still be related to a cold or something.

    Saw a doctor on the 12th who said I need to wait for my infection in my ear canal to be gone completely before looking into other causes.

    I'm still under the impression that it is eustachian tube dysfunction, due to the fullness feeling, ringing, and muffled / distorted hearing. Also, when I swallow, the ringing ear with either make a squelch noise, or make a loud pop sound a couple of times, but I never get the popped ear relief feeling that I get in my good ear. I'm also still unable to pop the ear by holding my nose and blowing through it.

  • ryan1984 ryan1984

    Hope you get better soon.

    I started off with a sore throat 2 1/2 months ago, that led to an ear infection (inflammation/redness in my ear canal) to an ETD.

    I've had the ringing in my left ear from the start, and all of the other symptons have gone more or less, still not quite right but better. I have the squelching sound too in both ears when i swallow/yawn

    and for the last 5 weeks it has been really loud.

    Maybe the mucus has been breaking down, hence the loudness, but who knows.

    It sounds like your in the early stages, hopefully it will clear up quickly for you.

    I've tried most things like steam baths, decongestants, steroidal a nasal sprays, etc. Nothing has really helped other than time.

    I know two other people who have had it for 4 months, one chap has got better though after 4 months. Their symptons have been practically the same as mine, we are from the Kent area. Maybe it's a virus, or something.

    I'm having an MRI scan to rule out anything else before I can see an ENT doctor.

    Just remember to stay positive, and stay in touch.


  • jamesfoley jamesfoley

    Are you able to recommend anything I could buy without a prescription?

    So far all I've tried are the Sudafed decongestant tablets, and although they clear my nose, they don't do much else.

  • ryan1984 ryan1984

    To be honest nothing really worked in the early stages, because there is nothing you can get from a pharmacy designed to work on an ETD.

    But it might be different for you. You just need to try different things, drinking lots of water helps thin the mucus making it easier to expel and your E tubes have the same lining as nose, it may help.

    Time is the only thing to have helped me.

    Take care.


  • jamesfoley jamesfoley

    Not much has changed to be honest, still have the ringing and slight hearing loss/distortion, and I still feel pretty run down.

    There have been the odd couple of moments where I can yawn enough to make my ear kind of open I guess, it makes a lot more crackling noises, and sometimes I feel the ringing changes when this happens, but returns back to the way it was before pretty quick.

    I have to admit that the ringing doesn't bother me half of the time, its the pitch distortion that is more annoying, though that is no where near as bad as it was when I first noticed it.

    Going to give it another two or three days to see if anything improves before I contact a doctor again.

    • heidi 55703 heidi 55703 jamesfoley

      Hi James, absolutely everything you are saying is the same as me, what is happening to us...i just went to bed one night and there it was,....i am in purgatory, its miserable, i now have an appointment at a London hospital for ent, i have constant tinnitus with all the horrible sensations too, its been two and a half months of hell, and what's weirder is the whole thing stopped about three weeks ago for 24 blissful hours, but then all the crappie symptoms came back.....what's happening?


    • emma86290 emma86290 heidi 55703

      Hello Heidi my names emma I was wondering if you still are suffering? I hope your feeling well. I have been suffering for the 4 months with all kinds of different things from ringing pulsating blocked left ear constantly weird feeling in ears. Noise sensitivity it's very hard to deal with it all. I was wondering how things have been for you and I'm hoping your better now. Thank you for your time in reading this .

    • lucy65512 lucy65512 emma86290

      Hi Emma, 

      i have had exactly what your describing for a long time it’s annoying drives you insane I have had pain squelching crackling pulsating high tones, stickyness in ears  and trickerling of fluid finally it is improvin* if you want  to ask me anything please do. 



  • jamesfoley jamesfoley

    Still no sign of improvment which is slightly worrying. Both ears are still very clicky, my left being far more than the right. Continuous ringing in my left ear, though sometimes it feels quieter. The ringing does seem louder if sounds around me are louder, or if I yawn. I still have the bass sound distortion, as well as sounds seeming higher pitch in my left ear and the feeling of slight fullness.

    I've been told to give it 3 months to go away, if I'm still having issues after that I'd be referred to an ENT.

    • heidi 55703 heidi 55703 jamesfoley

      Hi James. I have exactly the same symptoms as you do, i went to bed one night and had ringing in my ears, tried not to worry about it at the time but over the following two weeks a feeling of something being stuck down inside both ears was there, i had my ears looked at by the doctor and was told i had a lot of ear wax, i did the whole putting oil in my ears for a week then had them syringed, i was convinced that this would stop the ringing, but after having it done, nothing changed, i went back to the doctors and he said i had fluid in my ears and was suffering with Eustachian tube dysfunction, he told me to inhale steam and blow through my ears by pinching my nostrils, he said it could take a couple of months for it to go away, i did everything he told me and more, i read everything i could on etd, i have seen a ent consultant and he was totally useless, all he has done is refer me for a hearing here i am three months on, no better, still ringing, still fullness, still pressure and feeling very very down, i am thinking i am stuck in this horrible place now forever, my happy life ended that night this started and now i live a different there hope ? i don't know, but it does seem that there is a lot of us out there all suffering i share your unhappiness, and if I hit on a miracle cure i will share it with you.


    • alice77221 alice77221 heidi 55703

      Hi Heidi, I have also had this prob most of my life and just recently after bout of flu but I believe you can get little grommets (hope this is spelled right!) inserted in the ear drum to allow fluid or something called glue ear, to be released. Haven't had it done personally but I know it seems very successful

    • heidi 55703 heidi 55703 alice77221

      Hi alice, thankyou for your reply, actually after i saw my doctor last, he told me that when i see the specialist he will probably suggest grommets, so this gave me some comfort, as i thought after having them inserted all would be well, but unfortunately on the day i saw him my ears had drained quite a bit so no fluid could be seen, so as far as he was concerned i didn't have anything wrong with ears and was just experiencing tinnitus, i left his office in tears.....his bedside manner was sh*t, so tomorrow, after a week of feeling really low, tomorrow i shall be ringing my doctor again and tell him what happened.....also the specialist ( i will use this term loosely) said that all the discomfort, pain, pressure and weird sensations was me putting all my energy to my basically saying i was causing these sensations myself......what a sh*tty thing to say to someone...anyway, thankyou again for your reply.

      Heidi x

    • sean60709 sean60709 heidi 55703

      8 months.  Ringing in right war only. Loud at times. Almost two different levels of ringing. Worse in evenings. Had ENT look. Had hearing test. Fullness in right ear on occasion.  Ear drum spasm in occasion. ENT talked about tinnitus but had blood tested for auto immune disorder. Waiting for his results on that.  Had CT Scan of head. All normal. Hearing test proved affected ear slightly worse than left ear.  This is troubling for sure. Some days are worse than others.  Wish someone could tell me something about how this can happen suddenly and then just not go away.  Never exposed to loud noises ever.  

    • alice77221 alice77221 heidi 55703

      Hi Heidi, sorry to hear you had such a strange specialist!  Pity they couldn't experience some of these symptons as I feel they would be a little bit more understanding.  Anyhow, I personally purchased a 'Nutribullet' which pulses fruit and vegetables and I take this every day to boost my immune system, especially over the winter when lots of viruses around.  I have done this many years with a simple juicer (which extracts juice from fruit and veggies) and it really helped.  Alice x

  • francesco1993 francesco1993 jamesfoley

    hello. I say now that I'm Italian and I live in Italy. I registered solely because your symptoms are identical to mine. congested nose, left tinnitus, yawning or swallowing noises inside the ears, sore throat, fever, and sometimes I even purulent mucus. are in these conditions for 3 months. I am 20 years old, no patalogia septal etc. .. perfect body .. all but I started and after the use of wax cones. I hope to be able to understand. I shall see if I can solve hear.

  • SG66 SG66 jamesfoley

    Hi, i  am in US and got the problem in the left ear in Feb 2014, it suddenly started ringing. I met with the first doctor who cleaned little wax and gave me antibiotics but still there was ringing. I showed to another ENT doctor who recomended hearing test and that was 95% good, little hearing loss but i do not feel anything. I took eardrops, some old grandmother formulas but nothing helped. In the evening the pitch is high... no clue what to do!! I finally had MRI and the results were fine with no major issues. I am still looking for someone who can give solution to ringing in the left ear.. Doctors say!! " you have to live with this" .

    If you come thru some solution anywhere in the world, let me know.

    They say Its "Tinnitus"  Anyone who can advise the remedy please!!

    • alice77221 alice77221 SG66

      Hi James, just to say I also suffered (many years ago) with a ringing in my right ear which was due to a virus.  Honestly I went to this man who prays for the sick and the noise disappeared!  I used to try and get to sleep at night with the radio on beside me.  After the noise went everything was lovely and peaceful!  Alice x


    • ramesh 97445 ramesh 97445 SG66

      same here its came to me when i gone for swim on beach after 2 days im on war zone with my self on friggin ears it was 2016 april 24th as i remember still its been riging like hell! ive done the same things! as  u done! got done CT scan on brain ! and done 2 saparate hearing tests and 95% is hearing ok but when i plug ear phone on my ear its get low on left ear but right ear is doing just fine!

      ive taken some pill ent gave me named *Ginko Ibola* 

      its been  a almost a year any help ?

  • redskyatnight redskyatnight jamesfoley

    Hi, i have had this condition on and off (mainly on) for a few years now, i have something called otitis externa, my doc always gives me anti-biotic drops which work for a while, she has said i may lose soe hearing, which i already have, my symptoms are blocked or fullness in the ear and high pitch whistling/ringing. Never used head phones, but i get it more if i go swimming or go on a plane. So now i use swim plugs, and flight plugs. its a horrible annoying condition which my doc has said it is one of those things but to always attend the doc if it hurts. As i sit here my ear is full feeling and ringing....

  • sean88968 sean88968 jamesfoley

    Hello James,

    I have the exact same symptoms as you and ironically starting on the exact same date. I have gone to 2 different ENTS. The first treated me for ottitis externa in both ears, using Ciprodex for 10 days. That help with the itching, and wet feeling, however the ringing has still persisted. I also have cracking and popping every time I swallow, which I'm assuming is related to my Eustachian Tube. I have some high frequncy hearing loss, but nothing abnormal. I also went to a dentist 2 months after being treated for Ottitis Externa. The dentsit said I had severe bruxism and fitted me for a occlusal guard. He also stated that my jaw was slightly misaligned. You may want to see a dentist if you cannot find answers. However this had not helped with any of my ear issues yet.

    My ringing is still there, it's high pitch and in both ears, sounds like a ringing and a hissing sound. 24/7, doesn't stop.  

    I am wondering if your ringing has gone away or if you have found out what is going on with you. Pleaset let me know.

  • Outhwaite Outhwaite jamesfoley

    I've had it in the left ear for years and during my recent holiday it became much worse and aggravating. I read on here about Ephedrine nasal drops being used to successfully stop it, so decided to try it and after 3 nights use it has stopped. You can only use it for 7 applications, so I am hoping against hope that it has finally gone for good...anyhow it's not expensive (although I found it hard to get and chemists kept offering my Sudafed, but I finally managed to order it from an independant chemist who ordered it for me) and am just keeping my fingers crossed that it has stopped for good...worth a try..!!

    • Outhwaite Outhwaite diane 04057

      Unfortunately it came back with a vengeance and also now suffering from acute dizziness as well. Am seeing ENT doctor on Thursday, as the drops he gave me for my nose make my eyes blurry and I already suffer from ARMD and damage caused to optic nerve after a stroke. So, I am a wreck at the moment.  The vertigo was so bad yesterday after taking an anti-sick pill, that I couldn't walk unaided. So no drops and no anti-sick pills. Will have to put up with scabby bunged up nose and bad tinnitus.

    • diane 04057 diane 04057 Outhwaite

      Wow, so sorry to hear. Really hope the ENT can help. I just have the ringing in my left ear for about 5 weeks now following a headache. Have requested to see an ENT and waiting for referral. Noticed that my ears crackle when I swallow now which seems to be an issue with a lot of people. We all just keep searching the Internet for some for of "answer" that doesn't seem to be there. Best of luck.

    • sukasuki sukasuki veneese 80256

      help help...I just experiencing it an hour ago...and it was really worried me....only left ear though but it really gave me uneasy feel... a year ago I just felt blocked and go to ent and my problem solved as the ent clear my wax away..but just an hour suddenly blocked and ringing but I still can hear with my left ear when I rubbed my fingers...someone?

    • Buffy990 Buffy990 arpit9

      I have all of the symptoms listed above. Fullness, ringing, dizzy bouts. I was diagnosed with menieurs disease. Unfortunately no cure but you can manage the triggers.


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