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5 Reasons You May Have Clogged Ear

Clogged ear can cause great discomfort and pain, and ultimately have a negative effect on your hearing.

The clogged ear feeling can be a distraction to day-to-day life, and in this blog post, we explain what the condition is, what causes clogged ears, and how you can manage it

What is clogged ear?

Clogged ear makes your ears 'feel full', cause sounds to appear muffled, and affect your quality of hearing. The experience of clogged ear is very similar to the feeling of muffled hearing and shares a number of similar characteristics and causes, which can be treated in similar ways.

Clogged ear is a condition that can be managed and dealt with, but if left untreated it has the potential to have a negative impact and result in permanent hearing loss. It can be caused by a number of things from infection to blockages and if not dealt with effectively, it may have a detrimental impact on your hearing and the health of your ears.

If you believe you may be experiencing clogged ear, it is best to visit a medical professional or ENT or practitioner.

What causes clogged ear?

There are a number of reasons to why your ears may feel clogged. This includes many treatable causes which can be effectively dealt with to avoid further damage to your hearing. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is recommended that you visit a medical professional or licensed audiologist.

Below are five common causes of clogged ears.

clogged ear

1. Ear Infections & Colds - One of the most frequent causes of clogged ears is the common cold. This can affect your respiratory system which can lead to an imbalance of pressure in the Eustachian tubes which connects your ears and nose. The Eustachian tubes maintain the air pressure in your ears helping to keep it at the right levels. These tubes assist the drainage of fluid from the ears and help prevent infections. An ear infection may also cause this.

2. Wax Build-Up - A build-up of wax in the ear is another common cause of clogged ear. An accumulation of wax can lead to the sensation of ears feeling full. Subsequently, the removal of wax can help see your hearing revert back to normal. 

We have a number of products to help with earwax removal including:

    • AudiSpray Adult: AudiSpray works by gradually thinning and dissolving ear wax to gently remove excess wax, dust, dirt, and prevent blockages.
    • Earpal Earwax Remover: Earpal is THE ONLY SAFE WAY to remove earwax from your ears as it can never touch or perforate the eardrum by accident.
    • Earol Olive Oil Spray: A single metered dose of olive oil can be placed into the outer ear canal to soften and remove earwax.

3. Foreign Objects Causing a Blockage - Just like an accumulation of wax in the ear, a foreign object or liquids such as water can also cause the same sensation of 'full ear'.

Trapped water can naturally go away by its own devices but a more complex blockage may require other methods to extract what is blocking the canal. This could include an appointment with a medical professional.

It is not recommended that you insert objects into your ear.

4. Altitude Changes - A change in ear pressure can result in the sensation of ears feeling clogged. This can occur when going through a tunnel or when a plane lands and takes off. The popping of ears and the feeling of ear fullness usually only lasts a few minutes in these scenarios.

5.  Acoustic Neuroma - An acoustic neuroma is a type of non-cancerous (benign) brain tumour.  benign brain tumour is a growth in the brain that usually grows slowly over time and doesn't spread to other body parts. 

Acoustic neuromas grow on the nerve used for hearing and balance, which can cause hearing loss.  The following symptoms could indicate an acoustic neuroma:

If you have any of the above symptoms it is recommended that you consult a medical professional.

How to manage clogged ear

Depending on the root cause of clogged ears, a different approach to managing the condition may be required.

If clogged ear is left untreated, there is a possibility of permanent hearing loss. In this scenario, other measures would be required to manage the hearing impairment. This would include digital hearing aids.

We supply a number of valuable products to assist other causes of clogged ear such a wax build-up and to help maintain healthy hearing. This includes the items highlighted above. For more products, visit our ear hygiene page.

We advise you that if you believe you have any issues regarding your hearing that you should consult a licensed medical practitioner or audiologist who can help you properly diagnose hearing loss and what is causing it.

Online hearing test

You can check your hearing with our online hearing test. As clogged ear may create the sensation of a loss of hearing, testing your hearing could identify if any loss is present. 

Our hearing check is free, only takes a few minutes, and you will receive your results instantly.

About Hearing Direct

HearingDirect.com is one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists, stocking a vast range of hearing aids, amplified phones, and accessories such as ear plugs.

Your hearing health is important to us and we produce the best advice and offer the most prominent products available to satisfy your listening needs.


If you have any questions about clogged ear, please do contact us and our expert team will do their best to assist you.