What are the Most Common Causes of Sinus Pressure in the Ears?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2019
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The most common causes of sinus pressure in the ears are sinus infections, cold, flu, ear infections, and allergies. Ear pressure is caused when the Eustachian tube, a narrow passage between the middle ear and the back of the throat, gets blocked by tissue swelling or from increase mucus productions. When the Eustachian tube is clogged, there is compression in the middle ear, resulting in that feeling of clogged ears and possibly pain. The blocked tube can also trap bacteria and viruses inside the middle ear, leading to an ear infection and an even greater feeling of pressure.

When the body is invaded by a foreign body, like bacteria, viruses, or allergens, it produces an immune response. Mucus membranes swell, containing and isolating the foreign body, helping to prevent the spread of the infection. Swollen mucus membranes also boost mucus production in an effort to carry away the foreign body. All of this is helpful in most parts of the body but, in the ear and the Eustachian tube in particular, this system sometimes backfires.

The Eustachian tube regulates the pressure inside the middle ear and drains mucus out of this area and into the back of the throat. An immune response produces swelling and mucus production, which can easily cause a partial or complete blockage of the narrow tube, especially in children. Sinus pressure in the ears is the result.


Sinus pressure gets magnified when trapped bacteria or viruses cause an ear infection. An infection will usually appear a few days after a sinus infection, cold, flu, or a prolonged and severe allergic reaction. It is characterized by fairly extreme ear pain and pressure, fever, and dizziness.

An uncomfortable pressure in the head often accompanies sinus pressure in the ears. This is because the sinuses are located in the forehead, behind the cheekbones, between the eyes, and behind the eyes. Swelling and mucus can quickly lead to a feeling of pressure.

The best way to relieve the pressure is to use a decongestant, which will reduce swelling in the mucous membranes and decrease mucus production. These drugs will typically reopen the Eustachian tubes and relieve the feelings of pressure. If the pressure continues, worsens, or signs of an ear infection are observed, then antibiotics may be needed. Surgery to insert tubes into the middle ear is common for children who suffer frequent ear infections.


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Post 3

Nasal septum is deviated to left with bony spur. Nasal turbinates appear unremarkable.

Mild mucosal thickening is seen in right maxillary sinus without any loss; pneumatisation.

Rest of paranasal sinuses are clear with normal aeration. Bony walls on all sinus are intact.

Ostiomeatal units are patent bilaterally; visualized nasopharynx is unremarkable.

Impression MDCT findings reveal, DNS to left with mild right maxillary sinusitis.

This is my CT scan.

I was having ear fluid issues on right ear which is now fine(but not as before). Now I am having the same fluid issues on my left year with the usual pains and liquid feeling.

Tympanometry report: bilateral otitis media with effusion; LT and RT “B” type.

Audiometry report: RT and LT

Bilateral, Mild degree, conductive, hearing loss.

My ENT suggested endoscopic sinus surgery.

Kindly suggest what should I do as I have been facing ear problems for three months. I don't have headaches or other issues, only ear and below ear neck pain on the left side.

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