He says it happens when he lifts weights indoors too. He has been allergy tested and is only allergic to dust. He says it is the same sensation that you get while ascending in an airplane. It only happens during "vigorous" exercise, like power walking at least 4 miles or weight lifting for an hour or 2. I've searched some on the net and can't find anything, and of course he doesn't think it warrants a dr. visit. What in the world could be causing this?
Research the word VALSALVA. When some people excercise....like a bench press, they have a tendency to hold their breath. This raises the pressure in the lungs throat and probably middle ears...also BP a lot.
Have him try to breathe OUT with every exertion. At first it seems counterintuitive but it's the right way to go. I KNOW it's the right way, and I still usually find myself doing it wrong .
For the next run have him take 25 mg. pseudoephedrine (generic for Sudafed) about an hour beforehand and see what the effect is. It's a light decongestant. He could always be on the brink of a clogged ear and the slightest thing trigger it.
The Sudafed will open the passages a bit. Sometimes hot tea will do the same.
(Not saying do it regularly, but it might point to a diagnosis...don't do it with very high BP)
[This message has been edited by zip2play (edited 10-22-2003).]
Thanks so much for ideas! As far as holding his breath, he swears he doesn't do that. He took a weight lifting class in college that hammered that point and he says he is very diligent about correct breathing.
I searched that word vasalva, and got lots of info! Still no definite answers, though. It appears that it could be anything from no problem at all to a fatal heart condition and lots of things in between! I am working on convincing him to go in for a checkup, but he is a typical guy, so we'll see. :-)
Does your husband have TMJ? I have TMJ and it causes my ears feel clogged when I exercise (and at other times due to either stress or congestion). It has something to do with the eustachian tube that leads to the ear. I'm certainly not an expert, but I can give you my layman explanation. Pressure from the TMJ joint can cause fluid to put pressure on the tube and so the tube does not pressurize (allergies and congestion can cause the same). To find out if it is indeed the tube causing your husband's problem, have him apply pressure with his fingers to his neck (on the side of the ear that feels full). The point to press is about where you would take your pulse. If while he is applying pressure, his ears feel fine, then that's what it is.
I often experience TMJ symptoms during exercise. My dentist says that people often clench or tighten up the neck/jaw muscles during exercies, which could explain the link.
I would be intrested in knowing what this is. I always thought it had something to do with blood flow or something. The same thing happens to me when i swim for long periods of time. I have moderately severe hearing loss so when i exert myself i notice that i dont hear much of anything until a hour or so later (normally i can hear sounds when i am not wearing my hearing aids).
Chrisitn, the next time your husband does vigorous excersise and gets the blocked sensation in his ear, get him to see if it goes away when he lies down or puts his head between his knees, if it does then his eustachian tube is probably opening up as a result of the exercise which gives the sensation of a blocked ear, even though the opposite is taking place. I think that's prob what it is, if it is, there's no solution but Patulous eustachian tube dysfunction is horrible, I've had it for years and maybe vigorous excercise will make it gradually worse. I'd get him to go to a doctor too if you can..!
i WAS READING YOUR POST ABOUT YOUR HUSBANDS EARS STOPPING UP. I HAVE A SIMILAR PROBLEM ITS MOSTLY THE LEFT EAR THAT STOPPS UP WHEN IM WALKING OR EXERCISING i TRACED IT TO MY bLOOD PRESSURE IT STOPPS UP WHEN MY BLOOD PRESSURE GETS HIGH. MY DOCTOR THINKS IM A NUT BUT I KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING ITS BEEN GOING ON FOR 5 YEARS, I DONT KNOW WHY BECAUSE MY BP DOES NOT GET THAT HIGH. I EVEN HAD A STRESS TEST EVERY THING WAS FINE.