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Ear pressure - no pain - anyone else?

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2019

I am a little over 3 years post treatment for SSC of the left tonsil. Other than the burn mark on my neck I have very few side effects. I have developed a clogged ear that I used to be able to clear by holding my nose and blowing softly. That no longer works. I can sometimes hear air escaping from my ear. It always feels clogged and that affects my hearing. I have gone to our local ENT that has actually done research on the affects of radiation on the ear. She says the tube is becoming less flexable which is causing these problems but since there isn't any fluid there's nothing to be done at this time. It's driving me crazy. Has anyone else delt with this issue?


I have searched the forum for others already but I've never had an ear infection and there is no pain or ringing so I couldn't find anything similar to my problem.



phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4721
Joined: Mar 2012

I talked to my ENT about it also because sound is muffled in that ear. He told me to try Flonase nose spray....I thought he was crazy, but I did it anyway. Sound is still muffled, but the pressure lightened up considerably.


Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2019

I will try that. I use it during allergy season but quit when fall rolled around,  maybe that's why is getting worse! 

Posts: 316
Joined: Mar 2017

I'll try that too! Thanks!

William@Jr.'s picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2019

First symptom that something wasn't right was my  right e-tube was plugged about 30 %. Ent said hold nose and blow along with Flonase aboy 15 months ago.  It's been about 20 % plugged since then and I'm living with it.

MemphisTn's picture
Posts: 44
Joined: Sep 2016

2.5 yrs out and just started having ear fullness and some other new pains and tweaks, mostly on the side that was not radiated directly. I am assuming since the radiation was so close to my spine at the base of my neck, the side that was not treated is starting to show signs of neurological issues, possibly stemming from nerves in the upper cervical spine. For me this would be c1 to about c4 that were affected most indirectly. Of course radiation doesn’t just stop where they direct it, so no telling how many gy’s the untreated side recieved. Anyway, from what I can tell, the damage can affect hearing, facial nerves, spine, temple pain and sinus pain. The muscles in my upper shoulders can get tight complicated by a feeling of ‘balled up’ muscles at the base of my neck in the back, just where your skull ends and the neck muscle begins. This tension seems to drive a lot of discomfort and pain. It also seens, at this point, to contribute to the ear pain, feeling of fullness, temple pain, vision issues and sinus pain and sinus fullness.

I type all this only to say, the ear issues, from my own research are part of the ‘gift that keeps on giving’ post radiation (I refuse to refer to it any longer as “therapy“ but that’s another story...).

As for what can be done, it all seems to depend on almost literally ‘stumbling’ across the right dr who is willing to dig into the issue to find the root cause. I think it’s fantastic that some post about how awesome their doctor or onc is, understand however, those *are* the exceptions, not the norm. Unfortunately the only advice I have for anyone suffering a post radiation ‘side affect’ is to continue seeking other opinions from other physicians until you recieve a satisfactory answer. YMMV : )

best of luck and may God bless

- PC

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