In the most general terms it sounds as though you are probably talking about a plugged Eustachian tube. This condition is otherwise known as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction or "ETD".
The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the nasopharynx (or inner nose). It's purpose is to equalize air pressure across the ear drum, so that the middle ear can drain properly.
In ETD the duct is swollen shut or collapsed, the ear drum may retract, and fluid may build up in the middle ear.
The ear feels like it’s plugged up or needs to "pop", but won’t.
Did this start off after you had a cold? Or do you have a sinus problem? Just asking...since ETD often starts that way...But often enough there is no obvious cause at all.
Try not to be too impatient about it, although I know it's really infuriating and uncomfortable...It can be very persistant and last for months or even longer. Often, depending on the individual it will go away all by itself, even without doing anything at all.
Don't be skittish about using a steroid nasal spray...They are truly great at decreasing edema (swelling) around the Eustachian tube and opening things up. They're not meant for long term use anyway, and there is rarely a cause to be concerned about your body absorbing too much. Since you had some bleeding when you used a regular liquid over-the-counter spray, ask the new ENT person for something like NASACORT inhaler. It's a metered dose pump-mist and it's easier to use than a regular-tipped liquid spray.. As I said, it's more like a mist ......you can't make a mistake with it and it's easier on the mucous membranes of the nose.
Mlgable's advice is great (as usual) about trying some sudafed if you are queasy about the steroid stuff, but it won't really reduce swelling in the eutaschian tube as much.
Sometimes, in long-term cases, an ENT doc might suggest
surgical placement of a drainage tube,referring to a myringotomy tube or a Eustachian tube catheter. These tiny catheters alleviate ETD by allowing air pressure to equalize across the eardrum. Once the pressure is equalized, fluid in the middle ear can drain. The ear no longer feels “plugged up”. However, this is truly a last ditch thing and not to be done lightly because there is risk of perforation and/or damage and I've been told if the doc hasn't done it a lot, pain.
Again, always remember that there is another option-- live with it. Do nothing. Many problems, especially this one, resolve spontaneously, given enough time and no other treatment. I don't know how how long you've been living with this, but if it has only been a few months, you could also consider doing nothing for a few more months.
When I had my hearing tested by an audiologist (as Mlgable said, that's the best way to go), I was put in a soundproof booth with headphones and it took a half hour where they test your hearing at different frequencies. I can't remember if I heard my heartbeat or not, but I have tinnitus (ringing) in my right ear and in that sound-proofed environment it sure seemed louder!
Let us know what happens when you see the new ENT guy (in an UNRUSHED setting!!)