Is it normal to feel pressure in the ear after orthognathic surgery?

Is it normal to feel pressure in the ear after orthognathic surgery?

In the days after orthognathic / orthofacial surgery, some patients notice discomfort in the ear region, such as:

  • Pain in the ear area - it is not really about the ear itself, but about the temporomandibular joint, which is located in the same area.
  • Sensation of 'having water' inside the ear
  • Sensation of ear plugging
  • Autophony (the unusually loud hearing of a person's own voice)
  • Mild hearing loss


Although bothersome, it is important to know that these sensations are normal and tend to disappear over time after surgery. Furthermore, it should be emphasized that these symptoms do not translate into changes in the hearing threshold of patients.


Regarding the causes, this phenomenon occurs only in operations that involve the advancement of the maxilla, since in this type of surgery, the auditory canal suffers a stretch and therefore does not ventilate properly during a short period of adaptation, during which these pressure changes may take place.


What can we do about it?

To avoid or minimize this type of discomfort, it is very important that newly operated patients avoid blowing or sniffing through the nose at all times, as this actions affect the function of the auditory tube, creating a negative pressure in the middle ear that will later cause discomfort.

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As patients, and to avoid unpleasant surprises, it is very important to be well informed of the possible side effects of the procedure we are about to undergo. That is why we encourage you to carefuly read the informed consents that we will provide you before the intervention and ask all the questions you need to feel safe in the face of the surgery.


Related content:

How is the postoperative period of orthognathic surgery?

Postoperative care at Maxillofacial Institute

Top 9 essentials for your postoperative recovery


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