My left ear is stuffy almost every day. Allergies + Qtip use + Earplugs = ?
YANAD, but you might be able to help. for a few years now, my left ear has been stuffy on and off. it is similar to the sensation of having water in your ear (without the actual water sensation, just the stuffiness). i have allergies (cats, dogs, possibly mold, dust) although i have never had allergy testing or allergy shots.
other details: the stuffiness seems more apparent in the summertime. i notice the stuffiness about 30-60 minutes after waking up, and is lasts for a stretch of the day and seems to disappear around the evening-time. i wear an earplug each night (just one, in the ear that doesn’t touch the pillow) and often switch the earplug back and forth when i switch sides while i sleep (i know, i should probably just use two earplugs). also, and this may be pretty important, i use qtips almost every day (once per day), similar to this person.
i would characterize it as a qtip addition, (although i don’t hear my pulse like this person did). that said, i don’t think i have any wax build-up. i’ve tried wax-removing techniques (a storebought kit, including some oil and a squirty bulb) as well as warmed olive oil and hydrogen peroxide. i’ve taken a few different kinds of allergy pills, none of which helped. i’ve used a Neti Pot on and off, and have just recently started using it twice a day. i also have a lot of gunk in my throat, and am constantly clearing it and sometimes coughing. this may be related. i also have asthma, which i have under control (i use 100/50 Advair twice per day).
i visited the doctor about two years ago to discuss this problem, assuming it was allergy-related. she checked for wax, didn’t find any, and said that because the stuffiness was only in one ear, it couldn’t be allergies. so she gave me an antibiotic and let me go. i don’t remember this helping at all, and here i am years later with the same problem.
it's really annoying! and i know that i shouldn't be using qtips (maybe my first step will be to cut the qtip use). any suggestions, hive mind?