8 Symptoms of Fluid in Ears

Fluid in the ear, often called Otitis Media with effusion or glue ear, occurs when liquid accumulates in the middle ear as a result of swelling or a blockage in the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the throat. Although anyone can get fluid in their ears, children are much more susceptible to it due to the fact that their auditory tube is smaller and more horizontal than that of an adult. In fact, 90 out of 100 children will experience fluid in their ears at some point before the age of 5 or 6.

The most causes of this, in both children and adults are allergies, congestion from a cold or other virus, enlarged sinus tissue, exposure to chemical irritants, previous damage to the auditory tube, a rapid change in ambient air pressure, or oral abnormalities, such as those associated with down syndrome or a cleft palate. If you suspect you or your child has something in their ear, its best to consult with a doctor, as it can often be hard to diagnose, although treatment is fairly simple, as the condition usually improves on its own. This type of ear condition may not cause the obvious symptoms, like drainage and severe pain, that are associated with an ear infection, but some of the most noticeable signs of it are loss of hearing, the feeling that the ear is full, loss of balance, and more.

1. Ear Pain

One common symptom of fluid in the ear is ear pain. The pressure caused by the buildup of liquid in the ear can cause pressure and pain in the ear. The pain in the ear is often worse when lying down and it may even come and go. It can sometimes take a couple weeks for fluid in the ear to clear out on its own. If the pain becomes too unbearable, over the counter medications can be used to help control it. Another way to remedy ear pain is by exposing your ear to heat or cold.

Some people prefer to use heat over cold, but others find alternating between the two extreme temperatures works best for managing pain. In addition, over the counter ear drops can also help reduce pain and pressure caused by liquid in the ear. Massaging the ear can also help soothe the pain, as certain massage techniques are known to help drain excess liquids from the ear to relieve pressure and prevent the pain in the ear from getting any worse. If none of this helps with the pain and it does not improve within a couple days, it is best to consult with a doctor.