Why Do My Ears Feel Blocked?

Visit The Ear Nurses

Ears feel blocked can be uncomfortable and annoying. This common sensation, also known as ear occlusions or ear fullness, can have several causes. Understanding these can help you find the right solution and relief.

Let’s explore the common reasons behind that blocked ear feeling.

Earwax Buildup: Earwax (cerumen) naturally protects and cleans your ears. However, sometimes it accumulates excessively, causing a blockage. Symptoms of earwax buildup include earache, hearing loss, and a plugged feeling. Over-the-counter ear drops or professional microsuction ear cleaning by The Ear Nurses can help clear the excess wax.

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction: The Eustachian tube connects your middle ear to the back of your nose and helps balance ear pressure. When this tube becomes blocked due to allergies, colds, sinus infections, or altitude changes, it can lead to a feeling of fullness in the ears. Yawning, swallowing, or using nasal decongestants can help open the Eustachian tube.

Middle Ear Infections: Middle ear infections (otitis media) are common, especially in children. They occur when fluid builds up behind the eardrum, often due to bacterial or viral infections. Symptoms include ear pain, hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness. Antibiotics or antiviral medications, along with rest and fluids, are typically needed to treat infections.

Allergies: Allergic reactions can cause inflammation and mucus production, leading to a blocked feeling in the ears. Common allergens include pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. Managing allergies with antihistamines, sinus nasal sprays, or avoiding triggers can alleviate ear congestion.

Air Travel and Altitude Changes: Rapid altitude changes during flights or driving in the mountains can cause ear pressure imbalances. This pressure difference can make your ears feel blocked. Chewing gum, yawning, or using the Valsalva maneuver (gently blowing while pinching your nose and keeping your mouth closed) can help equalise the pressure.

Water Trapped in the Ear: Water trapped in your ear after swimming or showering can cause a blocked sensation. Tilting your head, tugging your earlobe, or using over-the-counter drying ear drops can help remove the trapped water.

Foreign Objects in the Ear: Occasionally, foreign objects like insects, small toys, or debris can get lodged in the ear. These cause discomfort and blockage. It’s essential to seek medical assistance to safely remove any foreign object from the ear to avoid damage.

TMJ Disorders: The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull. Disorders of this joint can cause ear pain, pressure, and a blocked feeling. Treatments include jaw exercises, pain relievers, and, in severe cases, dental interventions or surgery.

When to See The Ear Nurses

While many cases of ear congestion are harmless and resolve on their own, persistent or severe symptoms warrant a visit to The Ear Nurses. 

Ear congestion can stem from various causes, ranging from earwax buildup to infections and allergies. Identifying the underlying cause is crucial for effective treatment and relief. If your ears feel blocked, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional such as The Ear Nurses for clinically proven treatment of microsuction ear cleaning. Hear the difference!