Every once in a while, you might deal with clogged ears. The most common time that someone experiences this is on an airplane. You go up thousands of feet into the air, and you have this unpleasant sensation.
You can unclog your ears and relieve the pressure buildup by closing off your nostrils and exhaling hard. That causes your ears to “pop.” Once you do that, you’ll usually feel better.
But what about those unfortunate individuals who deal with this sensation all the time, not just on airplanes? You can imagine how problematic and infuriating that would be. The reality is that there are more people going through this than you might think.
There are so many possible causes and treatments for unclogging your ears, you may need to consult with a doctor.
We’ll get into a little more detail on that right now.
What Causes Clogged Ears?
Before we get into what you can do to unclog your ears, we’ll talk about some of the things that might cause this unpleasant sensation. A foreign object in your ear can be one of the reasons why this happens.
To be fair, this is usually more of an issue with children than adults. A young child who’s curious might stick something in their ear without bothering to think about the consequences. If a child figures out that something fits somewhere, that’s usually all the incentive they need to put it there.
Occasionally, though, you may have a situation where something falls into your ear, and you don’t realize it. You also can’t get it out without help.
This can cause a clogged ear sensation that’s similar to a sudden altitude change. If this happens, you’ll probably need to see a doctor, so they can look deep into your ear canal to identify the issue.
You also might have that same clogged ear feeling if you have an ear infection. Some people seem more prone to getting these than others and might experience them multiple times during their lives.
There is swimmer’s ear, which water bacteria causes. There’s also what the doctors call otitis media.
Swimmer’s ear affects the ear’s outer portion, while otitis media affects the middle ear and the eustachian tube. If you have otitis media, there is fluid buildup and poor drainage.
Sinusitis is a bacterial or viral infection type. Your sinuses are essentially hollow cavities in your jawbones and skull.
If you get sinusitis, these facial areas can swell. You get that same clogged ear sensation, and it can be very painful.
It’s common for you to have waxy buildup in your ears from time to time, but some people get it more than others. Some individuals generate more of it than they should, simply because of their unique physiology.
If you have a person who develops more wax than they should, it might clog the ear canal, and that individual might have to seek a medical intervention.
What Can You Do About These Conditions?
What you can do about these different conditions will depend on which one you have and its severity. What you’ll probably have to do is either see a doctor or else set up a telehealth call if your physician uses an app for such purposes.
The doctor might recommend an over-the-counter treatment. Sometimes, you can use ear drops which will clear up the blockage with no further issues.
If the blockage is in your outer ear, you might be able to clear that up using a steam treatment or a warm compress. You might use irrigation, carbamide oxide otic, or hydrogen peroxide.
Sometimes you might use mineral oil or oral medications. This is part of the reason why you’ll likely have to consult with a doctor: there are so many possible causes and treatments, and as a layperson, you probably have no way to tell what’s happening with you.
What You Shouldn’t Do
It’s easy to see how you can experience frustration if your ears feel clogged. What many doctors say, though, is that you should refrain from sticking your finger deep inside your ear and aggressively trying to clear the canal.
The reason is that your inner ear is delicate. If you stick your finger in there, there is liable to be bacteria on it. If you do this, then it’s likely that you will make the problem worse instead of better.
Many issues do resolve on their own within a few days, but if you find that yours is not clearing up, contact your doctor to get their opinion on the situation.
Have you experienced clogged ears?
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