Blocked ear was one of the symptoms I had before diagnosis

My blocked ear affected my concentration. It was a symptom of the tumour in my nasopharyngeal region which was large, and I later learned it was T4, which is quite an advanced stage.

Radiation removed my tumour. But I thought, if the tumour can cause a problem in the ear, radiation on the tumour will surely hurt the ear in some ways. However, blocked ear and ringing ear does not equate to loss of hearing or infection of the ear, unless such a situation already exists, or you are prone to it, before treatment.

​Now, I try all natural ways and avoid invasive or irreversible surgery and medication to manage my blocked ear which comes and goes even four years after treatment for my nose cancer.

So what are the causes of blocked ear? To look at it from a holistic point of view, the causes are from two major sources.

Ear, Nose,Throat (ENT)

Dry throat that makes phlegm dry and chokes up the respiratory system, thus affecting the ear. The other reason is that the qi (chi) is not flowing well. To overcome these conditions, you can take the following steps:

  1. Drink plenty of water to relieve the dry throat. Green lemon juice is good. Squeeze a slice of it into your water bottle each day.
  2. Nose cleansing helps to clear the throat and clear the phlegm, and hence alleviates the blockage in the ENT area. I find this very useful, especially after eating heaty food.
  3. Breathing exercises to clear the air passage of the ENT area and improve blood circulation, as blood carries oxygen to all parts of the body.
  4. Sunshine, fresh air and good exercise help tremendously.
  5. Tongue exercise – For this exercise, I yawn naturally and exercise my jaws. Then I swallow saliva. This continuous movement helps to “normalise” the air pressure in the ENT area.
  6. Ear candling – I find this very effective. Use a good brand of ear candle and engage a reliable practitioner to help you do this exercise. During my first try, I could breathe deeply and the feeling was so good. I slept very well and my blocked ear cleared soon.
  7. Ear massage – Massage the upper, middle and lower lobe and then pull the ears down, as if you are pulling the choked air out to the ground. What a relief after the pulling!
  8. Essential oils can help with deep breathing and relaxation, which in turn can help to relieve the blocked ear problem.
  9. Avoid having electrical items such as a TV, stereo, laptop, etc, in the bedroom. Too many electro-magnetic waves can be bad for ringing ears.
  10. Avoid sugar as the throat gets sticky and phlegm thickens easily, which blocks the ENT area.

Liver heat up (​肝火盛)

Insufficient sleep, diet, stress and irregular hours will affect the liver, which in turn, affects the weak points in the body. During radiation, the weak areas are the ear, head, throat, etc. In my younger days when I slept late, I had a headache. It was due to the liver overheating. If we lose our temper easily, we can also hurt the liver. Radiation heats up the body and the liver, and hence, affects​​ the ear. This is from the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) point of view. Although I’m not well versed in TCM, the reaction from my body tells me the analysis is true. To remove the above:

  1. Sleep early
    • Preferably before 11 pm. The liver starts to work hard from 11 pm onwards to detox the body. Hence, the body must rest well in order for the liver to carry out its normal function.
  2. Eat green vegetables
    • Which are good for the liver. Colour plays a unique role in healing. Food in red colour is good for the heart, white is good for the lungs, black for the kidneys, green for the liver and yellow for the spl​een/stomach. My diet is very colourful.
  3. Breathing exercises help to remove the bad heat/energy in the body/liver.
  4. Relax physically, mentally and emotionally. Getting angry will hurt the liver, which will in turn aggravate the ringing in the ears. Our ears are the echoes of our emotion.

The key word is I BELIEVE. Therefore, everything works well on me.

We hope you benefit from the sharing by the authors. As each of us may respond differently to the experience shared by our survivors, do exercise your discretion. The article is strictly the personal view of the author. It does not represent the views of the NPC ​Support Group and its members, nor that of the N​ational Cancer Centre of Singapore​ (NCCS) and SingHealth​. They therefore take no liability or responsibility for the content of the article. The information and content contained within this website belongs to the NPC Support Group and its individual contributors. No whole or part of the information and content may be copied or re-produced without the written permission of the NPC Support Group. All requests for its use should be addressed to teothiamchy​​​

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Ref: W09