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Saturday, January 31, 2015
Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders
Eustachian Tube Stopped Up
The eustachian tube in my left ear is stopped up. The ENT doctor prescribed Nasonex and Prednizone dose-pack, which I took and got temporary relief of the "swishing sounds" in my head. These sounds are not very noticeable during the day when other sounds drown them out - but nights when trying to sleep the sound keeps me awake. There is no pain. What should I do next?
The nasonex (topical steroid) is a reasonable treatment for eustachian tube blockage longterm, but the prednisone is really only for acute (rather than chronic) problems. The swishing sound is probably your carotid artery or jugular vein both of which run through your ear. While it is very common to hear this at night (especially if you are lying on your ear), you should be seen by an ear doctor and have a hearing test to make sure that there is not something else wrong.
David L Steward, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati