I'm a 22 year old male. I've never had ear problems until February of 2011 (however my diary said I started having this in December of 2010 but I don't remember that). It started out of the blue. Like every morning I went to moderate my message boards, however suddenly I started to noticed that my left ear canal felt abnormally small and I believed that it had been collapsed. During the night everything got worse; there was loud bell like ringing and i couldn't sleep and was awake all night almost. During the following day I shoved a wet q-tip in my ear and I felt a pop feel and felt relieved. So i did this every morning for a month or so but suddenly it stopped working and now nothing relieves it. These are all the symptoms I can think of for my left ear:
When this first started it felt like my ear canal had collapsed, now it just feels full or like my ear drum is bulging outward or is falling inward.
It gets worse when I am walking around outside.
Recently it gets worse when I sit at my computer and try to watch something.
Originally it it was like someone ringing bells in my ear. Then I foolishly stuck a paper clip in my ear and scratched something. Ever since then it sounds like whooshing or hissing wind. Some times it makes a 'diiiing' noise mixed with the whooshing.
My ear makes a crackle, pop or a really gross sounding pop when I do a deep burp; sometimes it feels like my ear drum is popping in or out.
The whooshing gets worse at night and when I lay down.
I can hear the bones in my jaw on the affected side (the left side). If I wiggle my jaw around they make low grating, crunching or rarely a snapping noise.
If I get on a bus that drives down a bumpy road my ear canal feels like it completely seals up and it makes a very loud "dinngggg" noise.
I can't tell but sometimes it seems like the whooshing noise is connected to my pulse.
Hearing loss & other stuff:
I have a very low amount of hearing loss in my left ear. I can faintly make out the noise of when I rub my fingers together.
There is no pain.
I have irregular ear wax, first after I started to get this problem i would have my left ear OVERFLOWING with ear wax however now there seems to be none! It came back last month only to leave again.
Flakes of dead skin comes out of my ear when I have dry spells sometimes.
Trying to pop my ears conventionally does nothing: One day I got really frustrated and pinched my nose and blew really hard but only my right ear was affected and it rang for the rest of that night but was okay in the morning. However absolutely NOTHING happened to the bad left ear.
When I place a hot wet towel over it it seems to feel slightly better the next day, in terms of fullness.
Nothing seems to work for me and I feel like giving up.
I was extremely stressed out due to family life and uni work during Feb 2011 and two weeks in or so i got this. May be there is a connection. I've been depressed/stressed about my life every since. It's like everything is trying to make me suffer.