Sometimes, the ears can feel clogged or full. While this may be concerning, it’s rarely due to anything serious. Below are three of the most common reasons for a clogged or full feeling in the ears.
Earwax is a substance produced by ear canals. While sometimes seen as a sign of poor hygiene, earwax has the very important job of trapping dirt and debris and lubricating the ear canal so it doesn’t dry out.
The ears are self-cleaning, so in most cases, earwax falls out on its own through natural jaw movements when talking and chewing. However, sometimes it builds up and becomes impacted. The signs of impacted earwax include:
- Feeling of fullness in the ear/feeling that the ears are clogged.
- Partial hearing loss.
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Do not use Q-tips to clean your ears, as this is more likely to cause worse impaction. Instead, see a doctor to have the earwax removed.
Fluid in the Ear
Fluid can become trapped in the ears in several ways.
When swimming at Griffith Park Pool, water can become trapped in the Eustachian tubes – the narrow passageways connecting the middle ear to the throat. To remove the water, you can try:
- Tilting your head sideways and gently pulling on the earlobe.
- Making yawning or chewing motions.
- Pinching the nose, closing the mouth and gently “blowing” out.
- Using a warm compress to open up the Eustachian tubes.
Fluid can also become trapped in the ears during a middle ear infection. Most middle ear infections clear up on their own, but in some cases, antibiotics are required.
The cells in your inner ears that convert soundwaves into electrical energy for the brain to interpret are extremely sensitive to noise levels. If you’re exposed to dangerously loud noises, it could result in temporary or permanent hearing loss, both of which could cause a clogged or full feeling in the ear.
To prevent noise-induced hearing loss, be sure to:
- Wear earplugs or earmuffs when attending concerts, operating power tools or doing any other noisy activities.
- Keep the volume on music, TV shows and movies to a low level that you can still comfortably hear.
- Try to keep your distance from loud sound sources like construction sites.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call The House Institute today.