I went thru the same thing and after tons of test, I was diagnosed with TMJ.by a very good ENT. That tmj nerve runs very close to the ear and when it swells it causes the ear to swell also and makes your ears feel plugged up. Get a ENT that specializes in TMJ. There are alot of treatments and most insurance companies will pay for it. Do you grind your teeth at night or clinch them? Are you under alot of stress? Although I still fight with it some, the ENT has really helped me with muscle relaxers and using ice and heat. So search for a good doctor who knows his TMJ stuff, it's worth it. Good luck.