If you’ve ever dealt with clogged ears, you know just how annoying the condition can be. It may feel like you have a buildup of pressure in your ears, or like you’re hearing sounds through a barrier.
Clogged ears can be caused by many different factors—like air travel or earwax buildup. In some cases, clogged ears may clear up on their own. And in other cases, you may need the help of your audiologist. Persistent clogged ears shouldn’t be ignored, as this could be a sign of a more serious condition. Our team here at Cornerstone Audiology is always here to help. Let’s explore some reasons why your ears may feel clogged and the ways we can treat the condition.
What Do Clogged Ears Feel Like?
If your ears feel clogged, they likely feel full of pressure. You may experience feelings of dizziness, muffled hearing, popping sensations, or ear pain.
Depending on the cause of your clogged ears, you may also experience other symptoms such as a fever or fluid drainage.
What Causes Clogged Ears?
The sensation of clogged ears can arise from a variety of causes. In order to treat the condition effectively, it’s crucial to understand the underlying cause. Here are a few reasons you may experience the feeling of clogged ears:
Swimmer’s ear can develop when your ears are exposed to water. This condition is common in children. When water remains in the outer ear canal for too long, it provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Swimmer’s ear can often be treated with antibiotic ear drops.
The accumulation of earwax is a common cause of clogged ears. Your ears naturally produce earwax to protect them from dust and other particles. But using cotton swabs to clean your ears can actually push the earwax down into your ear canal, causing a blockage. You should refrain from using cotton swabs, especially if you think you have built-up earwax. You’ll only do more damage! Instead, see your audiologist for safe help with earwax removal.
Infections of the middle and inner ear can cause feelings of discomfort and fullness in the impacted ear. This is because ear infections can lead to swelling and fluid buildup. If you’re experiencing a feeling of clogged ears or muffled hearing due to an ear infection, you may also experience symptoms like fever, pain, and fluid drainage.
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Your Eustachian tubes are responsible for balancing the pressure between your middle ear and the back of your throat. You can think of your Eustachian tubes as pressure-equalizing valves. When your Eustachian tubes become blocked, you may experience sensations of fullness, muffled hearing, and pain.
Sometimes, chewing gum or swallowing can help to open your Eustachian tubes. In other cases, you may need the help of your audiologist to fix the problem.
Allergic reactions don’t always just include a stuffy nose and itchy eyes. Allergies can also cause inflammation in the ear canal, which can contribute to a sensation of fullness.
Over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants can be helpful for alleviating symptoms caused by allergies.
Changes in Air Pressure
The change in air pressure that you may experience while flying in an airplane or swimming underwater is the most common cause of clogged ears. Usually, the condition is temporary. You may find relief by “popping your ears.” What you’re actually doing is opening your Eustachian tubes in order to relieve pressure.
Trauma sustained by your ears during an accident can lead to a sensation of clogged ears and muffled hearing. This can also happen while playing sports like football or boxing. Often, the sensation is temporary. However, if you have signs of bleeding, you should contact your audiologist immediately.
How to Safely Unclog Your Ears at Home
In many cases, your ears will go back to normal with time. If you want to try to unclog your ears sooner, you can try one of the following remedies at home:
Swallow or chew gum
Take a nasal decongestant or antihistamine
Pinch your nose, close your eyes, and blow gently through your nose
If these methods don’t work for you and you’re experiencing persistent clogged ears or muffled hearing, then come see us for a hearing test. Our team knows how to safely clean your ears and we will be able to identify whether anything more serious is causing your symptoms.
Treatment for Clogged Ears in Lubbock and Snyder
If you’re experiencing clogged ears or muffled hearing, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We have one of the largest teams of audiological doctors in Texas, and we’ve been awarded for our outstanding care. You can feel confident that your hearing is in great hands!