Although a blocked ear does not cause pain or suffering, garbled noises and straining to hear can be quite annoying. Your ear may open on its own in a matter of hours or days. However, numerous home cures and medicines can give immediate relief.

It is also beneficial to discover the probable reasons of a blocked ear when treating it. This allows you and your doctor to identify the best method to address the blockage and avoid future issues.

Eustachian tube obstruction

One probable cause of ear obstruction is a blockage of the Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube is a tube that links the middle ear to the larynx. This tube transports fluid and mucus from the ear to the back of the throat, where it is swallowed.

However, instead of going down the throat, fluid and mucus can occasionally become stuck in the middle ear and cause a blockage. This obstruction is typically accompanied with an illness, such as a cold, flu, or sinusitis. The Eustachian tube can become blocked as a result of allergic rhinitis.

Other signs of infection or allergy-related obstruction include:

Coughing and sneezing due to a runny nose

Throat discomfort

Swimming can also cause ear infections. This happens when there is still water in the ear after swimming. Swimmer’s ear is a wet environment that promotes the growth of germs or fungus. The following are symptoms of an ear infection:

discomfort in the ears, redness

discharge of fluids

Fever

High Altitude

Some people get transient ear blockages while diving, driving over a mountain, or flying in an airplane. This obstruction is caused by a sudden shift in air pressure outside the body.

The Eustachian tube is in charge of balancing pressure in the middle ear. However, at higher elevations, they are not always able to adequately balance the pressure. As a result, changes in air pressure are perceived in the ears. Sometimes the only adverse effect of a shift in elevation is ear obstruction. You may have headaches, nausea, or shortness of breath if you get altitude sickness.

Earwax

Earwax protects your ear by cleaning it and preventing debris from entering it. The wax is generally soft, but it can solidify and create an ear obstruction. When earwax develops an ear blockage, the following symptoms may occur:

Earache with ringing in the ears

Dizziness

These obstructions are sometimes caused by the use of a cotton swab to clean within ears. Cotton swabs should not be used to clean the interior of the ears. This type of cleaning may be pushed farther into the ears.

Acoustic Neuroma

An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor that forms on the cranial nerve that connects the inner ears to the brain. These tumors are often tiny and sluggish to develop. However, when it grows in size, it might exert pressure on the inner ear nerves. This can result in ears obstruction, hearing loss, and ringing in the ears.

clogged ear treatments

Although blocked ears are an annoyance, it is typically treatable with home treatments.

Use The Valsalva Maneuver

This easy technique will assist you in opening your eustachian tube. Take a deep inhale and shut your nostrils to accomplish this movement. Exhale softly via your nostrils while keeping your mouth closed. This should apply sufficient pressure to “pop” or unclog the ears. To avoid injuring the eardrum, do not blow too hard. Chew gum to keep the eustachian tube open after it’s opened.

Inhale The Steam

Turn on the hot shower and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. The hot water vapor aids in the removal of mucus from the ears. Another possibility is to place a warm towel over your ears.

Get Rid of Trapped Fluid

Insert your finger inside the afflicted ears and move it up and down gently. This method aids in the removal of trapped liquids. A hair dryer set on low heat and held a few inches away from your ears may also aid in the drainage of fluid.

Take Over-The-Counter Medications

OTC medicines can be used to relieve ear obstruction caused by nasal discharge, colds, or allergies. Take antihistamines or cold or sinus decongestants. Make careful you follow the label’s instructions.

Ear Drops

 

An earwax removal kit or system can soften and remove earwax from the ears. You can also use a medical dropper to place two or three drops of warm mineral oil, baby oil, or hydrogen peroxide into your ears. After applying the drops, tilt your head back for a few seconds to wash the wax out of your ears.

When Should You See a doctor?

If you are unable to clear your ears using home treatments, consult a doctor. If you have a wax buildup, an ear, nose, and throat doctor may need to manually remove the wax. These physicians vacuum and remove earwax using sophisticated instruments. If you have a eustachian tube obstruction, you may be administered the following medications:

Antibiotic (otitis, sinusitis).

Antifungal (swimmer’s ear)

antihistamines

Stuffy ears may be painful, especially if you have an ear infection. Take as prescribed an over-the-counter pain medication, such as:

ibuprofen (Motrin)

acetaminophen (Tylenol)

naproxen sodium (Aleve)

Because an acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous development, your doctor will only recommend surgery if the tumor is big or interferes with your hearing.