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5 Reasons You May Have Clogged Ear

Picture of the inner earClogged ears 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 is a clogged ear?
  • What causes ears to feel clogged?
  • How you can manage the condition.

At Hearing Direct, you will also find a number of solutions to manage and treat clogged ear wax.

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.

The condition often results in an issue of directing sound waves through the passage from the outer ear, to the middle ear (ear drum), all the way to the inner ear.

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 sensorineural hearing loss. When ears feel clogged, 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 your ear feels clogged, it is best to visit a medical professional or ENT or practitioner for the most appropriate methods on unclogging your ears.

What Causes Clogged Ear?

There are a number of reasons why your ears 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.

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. Accumulation of wax can lead to the sensation of your ears feeling full. Subsequently, the removal of wax can help see your hearing revert back to normal.

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

    • Audiclean Total Ear Care System Dual Pack: This is a combination of products. It removes ear wax by use of the Audiclean Earwax Remover and then ensures that your ear canal is kept free of troublesome wax by regularly using the Audiclean Ear Cleaning Wash, which contains 100% natural Sea Serum™.
    • 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.

You can treat the affected ear with home remedies.

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 ear feels clogged sensation.

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.

We recommended that you do not insert objects into your ear.

4. Altitude Changes:

A change in ear pressure can result in the sensation of ears feel 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.  A 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 we recommend that you consult a medical professional.

How to Manage Clogged Ear

Different approaches to managing clogged ear are required depending on the root cause.

If you leave clogged ear untreated, there is a possibility you may suffer from permanent hearing loss. In this scenario, other measures are 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

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Author: Joan McKechnie

Image of Joan McKechnieAfter qualifying as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiologist Joan has spent most of her 20 year career in hearing-care related roles. She has a wealth of experience within the hearing aid and hearing rehabilitation fields and has worked in manufacturing environments with two hearing aid companies helping to develop  products and roll out new technologies. Joan has been involved with Hearing Direct since its launch and enjoys the online retail environment which seeks to provide easier access to hearing products and accessories. She is HCPC registered. Read Joan's full bio here.