Clogged ears may be quite a discomfort and it is important that one understands causes that lead to this issue, so that an appropriate line of treatment can be administered. This problem can occur to any person across all ages. This condition may cause severe pain and increased sensitivity to the ear.
Children tend to suffer clogged ears when they experience cold infection symptoms. Different aspects can cause this condition and the symptoms also vary depending on the cause. The problem is caused by accumulation of fluid in the ears. Please bear in mind that ignorance or casual outlook of the condition may lead to ear infection which in turn, can cause other complications, including hearing disability.
There are medications as well as home remedies that you can use to treat or unclog blocked ears. When using home therapies, you need to do so after seeking help from a doctor especially if you suspect that an infection may have caused the problem. You should ensure that you do not use things or substances that can damage your delicate eardrums.
Causes of clogged ears
Different aspects can cause clogging in ears including environmental factors and infections. Earwax accumulation in ears is another common cause. When a person uses ear cleaning instruments, they can at times, push wax further inside your ear something that causes pain and pressure. Other causes of clogged ears are sinus infection as well as allergies. When infections like sinus occur, they can block the Eustachian tube of your ear.
Eustachian tube is a passage or tube that connects the back of nose to the middle ear. Such blockage of the Eustachian tube can result to ear infection. Swimming also causes clogging in ears. As you swim under water, the liquid builds up in your ears. This may also happen to divers in sea when they dive in the waters. Because swimming waters are often contaminated, the water in ears can cause bacterial build-up resulting to inflammation and pain in your ear.
A rare non-cancerous tumor known as acoustic neuroma can grow around the acoustic nerve found in ears. This may cause sensational ringing, feeling of fullness, and unsteadiness. This condition is caused by a gene malfunction and especially within chromosome 22. Another cause of blocked ears is change in pressure when traveling with aeroplanes. Airplanes are pressurized in an effort to increase the amount of oxygen in the cabins to help passengers get sufficient oxygen essential for breathing.
Hypoxia, a low amount of oxygen in tissues, can occur when there is insufficient amount of oxygen to breath. When you travel by flight, you experience plugged ears because of the differential pressures created as the plane changes altitude. The variation in pressure that occurs between the air inside the middle ear and the external part of the ear results to plugged or clogged ears.
Identical pressure is required in either sides of the Eustachian tube, but cabin pressurization can create significance change in air pressure. During the takeoff or landing of a plane, there is variation in air pressure, which exerts pressure on eardrums, something that induces pain and blockage. Such air pressure differentials also cause conditions like flu, otosclerosis, infections, and unusual growth within the bones in middle of the ear. Other aspects like upper respiratory illnesses, allergies, hay fever, insect bites, and muscle strains may also cause clogged ears.
Plugged or clogged ears cause a number of symptoms, which include pain, headache, and inability to sleep. A discharge from the ear can occur especially if the clogging is caused by an infection. The ear may bleed when the vessels supplying blood inside the ear rapture from an infection or increased pressure. This condition may also make a person feel faint and loss of balance. Hearing loss may be a possibility if the problem escalates. The pain in ears is usually severe causing discomfort. A ringing sensation in your ear, also known as tinnitus, may also be experienced in a person suffering from this condition. The symptoms may vary depending on the causal factor.
The treatment depends on the cause and the symptoms experienced. If wax build-up is the cause for the clogging, the wax may be cleared with use of hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide dissolves the wax and clears it out of the ear. Another substance used to get rid of wax formation is boiled or cooled coconut oil. There are also over-the-counter wax softeners that can be used to get rid of the wax buildup in your ear.
If blockage is caused by chronic infection in the Eustachian tube, medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, decongestants, and antihistamine are used. These drugs help in relieving the inflammation and pain. Antibiotics are applied to treat infections especially if the ear is painful and discharging fluids. If blockage is caused by swimmer’s ear or water from swimming pool, then different techniques can be applied to remove the water.
You can put back a few drops of water inside the ear, wait for a few minutes like 3 minutes, and then turn the ear down or the other way so that you allow the water to come out. Suction effect may also be applied to drain away the water from ears. If clogged ears are caused by acoustic neuroma growth, medical attention is needed. Treatment may entail use of surgery to remove the non-cancerous growth.
When treating clogged ears in children, it is advisable that you avoid using home remedies and seek help from the doctor. This is especially so if the wax buildup is accompanied by inflamed ear. The doctor administered various medications like antibiotics, eardrops, and painkillers to help relieve the symptoms but this also depends on the cause of the plugged ears. In essence, clogged or plugged ears can occur as a result of different aspects like infections or change in atmospheric air pressure and the treatment depends on the relevant causes.