Clogged Ear Sensation After Rhinoplasty?

I have read some people have problems with the feeling of pressure in their ears after Rhinoplasty surgery. Is this common? What are the possible causes of this condition?

Doctor Answers 7

Pressure behind the eardrum is usually self-limited

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is not unusual to get swelling of the posterior pharnyx following rhinplasty surgery. I have also seen swelling of this are after the use of an endotracheal tube or laryngeal mask airway. It is usually temporary. If this swelling blocks the eustacian tube then there can be some feeling of pressure behind the ears themselves. This can be relieved by using an anti-histamine or on rarer occasions a steroid.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Normal and temporary

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The clogged ear sensation after a rhinoplasty or septoplasty is due to a temporary swelling in the back of the nose, which blocks the eustachian tube. This is normal and resolves in the first week or so after the rhinoplasty surgery.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Clogging of the ears after rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Early post-op patients sometimes have the inability to "clear their ears." This may be due to packing in the nostrils or swelling of the Eustachian tubes. If it is the former, it will improve when the packing is removed. If it is the later, the swelling usually comes down in a few weeks after surgery.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swelling around the Eustachian tube.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This is normal and goes away in a week or two. If you are going to fly during this time use a decongestant nasal spray 10 minutes prior to descent. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Ear pressure after surgery will go away.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

 Sometimes, after surgery,  you can get fluid behind the ear-drum that is related to general anesthesia, and placing the oral-tracheal breathing tube. If you're having a clogged ear after rhinoplasty, then see your surgeon, or consult a board-certified ENT for evaluation and treatment.

Best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

This should be a temporary concern

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Most of the time this sensation is due to swelling in the back of the nose that extends into the eustachian tube which connects the nose with the middle ear space.  As swelling declines over the first few weeks so does the sensation!

S. Randolph Waldman, MD
Lexington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Ear pressure after rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This is not a common occurence and is more likely related to oropahryngeal and nasopahryngeal swelling that occurs with surgery and sometimes is associated with intubation or laryngeal mask anesthesia.

It generally lasts no longer than 7-10 days and is sometimes treated with decongestants or steroid preparations if severe.

There is no definite way to prevent this.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.