Have you ever felt the need to plug your ears when watching a scary movie? Perhaps plugging your ears makes the scene less scary or less loud but if your ears plug up on their own and you don’t know why that can be scary too! It can be a bit unnerving to have all sounds be muffled for no apparent reason and you may even start to wonder if your hearing will ever go back to normal again.
There are a multitude of reasons why your ears may be clogged, Dr. Nikki, an audiologist in Omaha, goes over the most common below.
1. Earwax buildup
Having earwax is perfectly normal, and actually preferred! Earwax helps to protect your ear canal from getting injured or infected. However, either due to health reasons or foreign objects being pushed in your ear, earwax can harden and be impacted over time leading to hearing loss. This is why no audiologist in Omaha would recommend using a q-tip to clean your ears, it just leads to more harm than good.
Some health problems that could also lead to earwax impaction include eczema, narrow ear canals, outer ear infections, and some autoimmune diseases. While most cases of earwax impaction will go away on their own, if you notice your symptoms are not getting better, it is time to make an appointment with an audiologist.
2. Fluid buildup
Fluid buildup can be a painful condition that causes the feeling of clogged ears and hearing loss. You can have fluid buildup in the middle ear space behind the eardrum or even in the ear canal itself. Middle ear fluid can happen most commonly because of allergies, congestion, and sinus tissue inflammation. Fluid in the ear canal can occur after swimming or bathing.
Some common methods of draining fluid from the ear canal include tilting your head to the side while pulling your earlobe gently, yawning or chewing, and placing a warm compress to the afflicted ear. However, if your pain is severe or your symptoms are lasting more than a day, make an appointment with a trusted audiologist in Omaha like Dr. Nikki.
3. Sinus problems
We love springtime because it means that we can finally put away our winter coat, but we hate allergy season! Whether it's due to a cold or chronic allergies, your Eustachian tube can swell and close off the connection from your throat to your middle ear. This will cause your ears to feel “clogged” and the worst case scenario causes pain and hearing loss. Allergy season or not, if you develop sudden hearing loss or pain in your ears, make an appointment with a doctor.
This occurs when the pressure behind your eardrum and the pressure of the environment you are in are different. Commonly referred to as airplane ear, this condition can cause your ears to feel plugged up despite nothing being in your ear canal. This is because, at higher altitudes, your Eustachian tube cannot regulate pressure as well. This condition usually will go away on its own especially once you are back at a lower altitude. However, as always, if you have any concerns you can ask Dr. Nikki for help!
Dr. Nikki is the best audiologist in Omaha, Nebraska and she is always ready and willing to help you with any of your hearing concerns, including clogged ears! Contact us to learn more about our services!