I can’t clear my ear, also described as ear fullness or ear pressure, can be very disturbing for the person who has it. There can be several precipitating factors that lead to inner ear closure which we will discuss in this article. Essentially, it feels like you are ascending or descending in an airplane and you are waiting for your ear to “pop,” but it never does.
Closure of the eustachian tube may be uncomfortable or it may be painful, it may occur in one ear or both, and it may be short-lived (acute), intermittent, or chronic. This is a symptom of eustachian tube dysfunction.
There are two eustachian tubes; each is a very narrow canal that connects the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum) to the very back of the nasal passage on the same side. If one (or both) of these canals become blocked, a person may experience fullness or pressure in the ear (or ears).
Later in this article, we will outline an underlying neurological cause that can be related to an upper cervical spine injury.
Causes of Eustachian Dysfunction-Why is My Ear Blocked
Two muscles line the inner ear called the tesnor veli palatini and the tensor tympani. Both are controlled by the trigeminal nerve. When these muscles lose their normal tone the eustachian tube can collapse and clog.
Often the trigeminal nerve is affected by an upper cervical spine misalignment resulting from whiplash trauma. In combination with a neurological deficit of the trigeminal nerve other factors can precipitate its closure. Many people suffer from this condition in the spring when allergies are at their height. Other people suffer from this following a cold or flu. And yet others notice it was precipitated following a neck whiplash injury.
Conditions Associated with Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
- Vertigo - many people that have eustachian tube dysfunction also suffer from vertigo. Vertigo is the feeling of spinning without causation.
- Meniere’s Disease - is a terrible syndrome in which people suffer from drop vertigo attacks, tinnitus, cognitive fog and the feeling or inability to clear their inner ear.
- Tinnitus - people who suffer with ringing in the ear often also suffer from eustachian tube dysfunction. Tinnitus can range from periodic ringing in the ear to constant and unrelenting. Some of the research literature has correlated inner ear muscle spasticity to the genesis of tinnitus.
Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Los Angeles - What Is It?
One-quarter of our patient load suffers from a vestibular disorder. There is a direct link between many people who suffer from vestibular disorders and upper cervical spine injury. The upper cervical spine, when injured, can produce aberrant signals in the central nervous system that directly relate to eustachian tube dysfunction and many balance disorders.
Blair upper cervical chiropractors are specially trained to locate neurological disturbances caused by a spinal misalignment in the upper neck region. This is done through extensive testing. Once a problem has been located precise imaging is used to determine the exact direction and magnitude of spinal misalignment.
The information that is gleaned from the x-ray is then used to make a precise spinal correction that includes no twisting popping or pulling. Everyone that is under the care of a Blair upper cervical chiropractor receives a unique correction that is individual to patient. Because each person’s anatomy is different, and each person’s injury is different it is essential to find the individual pattern of misalignment that is unique to everyone.
Once a spinal correction is performed the patient is then monitored over time to determine whether further corrections are necessary. The goal of Blair upper cervical care is for the correction to hold in its normal range of motion for as long as possible.
Healing happens because of normal joint motion and relief of interference to the central nervous system. Healing is a ½ marathon, not a 50-yard sprint. We hope that this information was helpful to those that are suffering from eustachian tube dysfunction and hope that you find an answer to your health issues soon.
Our office does offer a FREE consultation in either of our Los Angeles locations. Our LA number is 213 399-7772 or our south bay Carson number is 310 324-6172. Hope to see you soon!