Home Vocal Health and Wellness

Sore ears

bindogbindog Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 25
Hi all

So for the past two weeks, I have been suffering from sore ears / pain that feels almost like equalization pressure when u dive/get off a plane etc..

I have been to an ENT and dentist to check for problems / infections but there are no obvious signs of issues. Ear pressure tests are all good, visual inspection was fine, teeth are fine etc...

Its definitely worse in the mornings when I wake up, which may be pointing to a stress related issue of jaw clenching/grinding (not visible in tooth wear), while I sleep. Chatting to the dentist for solutions to try and take that out of play (bite plate) currently.

When I now try and warm up or do lip rolls or lah exercise (I've been getting back into it lately), I sometimes (not always) feel like I need to equalize, pointing to some kind of pressure issue/ blockage somewhere...

Has anyone else experienced this? Are there ways to monitor that I am not in fact somehow "singing into my ears"?

It's really been a painful few weeks, and just want to make sure I am not somehow causing the issue when I sing/train?

Thanks all !!!


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    Ear pain is something I haven't experienced unless I had problems with ear infections, or sore throat that caused blockage in the eustachian tubes. Are you able to momentarily clear the pressure from your ears? I can normally make my ears equalize just by flexing the interior muscles near my ears. I only have difficulty doing that if there is pressure trapped on one side or the other. Any differential in pressure between the outside world and the inner ear can make you feel miserable, in terms of vertigo/balance, or simpy from painful discomfort from the pressure.

    You're doing the right thing to see an ENT and to check with the dentist.

    If you were "singing into your ears" I would think that you would hear a lot different sound. In other words, if I manually "flex" my ears to open the eustachian tubes, the sound changes and I feel the pressure equalize, but I can only do that momentarily, to equalize the pressure. To flex those muscles, it's all connected to the interior of the throat, and my AH kind of becomes a clogged "ugh" in my throat when I flex those interior muscles. Flexing them makes like a little tiny eustachian "burp" to relieve the pressure. I can't sustain that opening. It closes right away when I equalize. I don't see how you would be able to get it in a permanently open position. If you did, then who knows what that would do. It's not normal to have those passages open for more time than it takes to equalize pressure.

    I would think that it would be more common for the eustachian tubes to swell shut, rather than to dilate to a permanently open state, but what you are describing sounds kind of like that. The only thing about that is that your pressure would be totally equalized if the tubes were open. So that should rule out pressure differential discomfort and point to more of an infection or possible mandibular overextension? Does your jaw ever dislocate?

    I suggest more follow up with a health professional. I can't give you medical advice, just practical, personal experience from what you are describing.

    I hope you feel better soon. That sounds uncomfortable, especially to the degree you feel the pressure differential on an airplane or when diving.

  • bindogbindog Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 25

    Thanks for the response here...

    So the ENT had no answers but I am continuing with the dentist and possible issues with infection/wisdom teeth etc... The current stress levels in my work may be contributing with clenching/grinding too, under investigation.

    I can perform the usual equalize "mechanism" but it doesn't seem to make a difference. I have suffered with sinus and post nasal drip historically, which seems to be ramping up again so I need to try and ensure that is also not causing issues with blocked tubes etc, working on cleaning up my diet and treating the issue.

    My jaw never dislocates no, thank goodness haha.

    fortunately I am leaving for a holiday in the next few days, which while being on a few plane flights is scary (i was cleared by the ENT though), i should relax properly and eliminate the stress related questions to a degree...

    It's sad because I'm a little afraid to keep practicing at the moment in case I'm doing something wrong, but I have noted your points above and I am going to continue very gently and see if I notice anything strange/weird...

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    I always try to have some chewing gum when I take an airline flight. The motion of the jaw chewing helps to clear the ears of cabin pressure as it keeps changing. The few times I have flown with throat/ear problems, the pressure differential was really uncomfortable, and a few time I would find myself desperately trying to get my ears to equalize, due to the discomfort.
Sign In or Register to comment.