Ear fullness is a sensation of the ears being blocked or stuffed up. There are several causes for this. Here are some of them along with a few remedies.
When you fly the pressure in the air drops. This is because there is less atmosphere above your head the further away from the ground you go. If you have a cold and your ears are unable to equalise this pressure across your drum then it becomes stretched. This can stop it vibrating normally in response to sounds and your hearing is reduced. Trying to make your ears pop may help. Performing a Valsalva manoeuvre is a great way of sorting this out. Simply hold your nose and swallow whilst gently trying to breathe out at the same time. Yawning also has the same effect.
You can increase the effectiveness by sticking your jaw out at the same time. Anti-inflammatories are also useful. Ibuprofen is probably the best one to try as it is less likely to cause side-effects than some of the others. Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine are also useful if you have a cold.
Allergies are also a common cause of ear fullness. Your body's response to spores or pollen may be to cause swelling and inflammation in your nasal passages. This can block up your ears and make them feel full. Try a steroid nasal spray. These are available over-the-counter and can be very effective.
A sensation of ear fullness is often a sign of fluid in the middle ear. Glue ear is when this becomes chronic. The Eustachian tube stops draining the fluid from the middle ear due to swelling from allergy or infection. The fluid which builds up can become infected. The medical term for this is otitis media.
Dr Toby Bateson for www.ZenPlugs.com