Ears/Sinus/Head Clogging Issue… February 13, 2007Posted by askatricoach in Cycling, Injury, Running, Swim.
Q: “The first time I experienced my ears/sinus/head clogging, was not after a swim, but after a training run. I was affected during a sprint triathlon after the bike, but during the run. Of course I couldn’t concentrate on the run as I was trying to figure out what was going on. The feeling I get is similar to your ears not popping on a flight, but to where you can hear everything (i.e. breathing in your head, every sniffle, Darth Vader sound). I have continued to have this more during training, even weight training, than races. I have learned to ignore it but, I am trying to find out what may cause this and what I may be able to do to prevent it?”
A: Coach Patrick: Wow, this is a tough one. First and foremost, I have to remind all of our readers that I am not a doctor, I don’t even play one on TV. I think your first course of action should be to go and see an ear, nose and throat specialist (also called an ENT) to make sure that what is happening to you isn’t something serious.
I have two main concerns. First that it’s your hearing…not only is losing some hearing a big issue, but there is also the fact that there could be something going on with your inner ear. This could potentially impact your balance…and if you should get dizzy, that could have a disastrous effect on your health (crashing your bike, dropping a weight, etc.). My second concern is that the hearing issue is appearing in multiple scenarios…it is apparently related to exertion, as it occurs whether you are lifting weights or running.
My first thought was that it might be allergies, but the fact that it happens indoors and out kind of rules that out. A second potential cause could be that you are in the small minority of people do produce unusually large amounts of earwax. If your ear canal keeps getting clogged, you may need to see your doctor occasionally to have it removed. However, you didn’t mention how soon after exercise the symptoms subside…and if you have any issues with ear wax.
Sorry I couldn’t more helpful…I’d seriously suggest you ask your primary care physician to check out your inner ear…or for a referral to an ENT. Best of luck and please keep us posted on the outcome!