Medical Q&As

Blocked ear

I have been suffering from a blocked ear and deafness for a week, and on examination have been told I have fluid in my ear. What is the cause of this and can you advise me on treatment?

It is important to make a distinction between fluid in the outer ear and fluid in the middle ear. They can both cause deafness and subjectively they can be indistinguishable from each other. Material in the outer ear is accessible and can be removed by suction or syringing of the ear. Fluid in the middle ear is located behind the eardrum and therefore syringing will have no effect. Fluid in the middle ear often arises as a result of infection and in many cases will subside over a couple of weeks. If it persists beyond that you will need to revisit your GP for further treatment.