Plugged Ears: The Possible Causes And Natural Remedies You Can Try

Plugged Ears: The Possible Causes And Natural Remedies You Can Try

We often take our hearing for granted until we’re faced with a reduced ability to do hear clearly. One of the most common causes for a slight loss in hearing is due to plugged ears or ears that feel as though they’re clogged up.

Most of the time, clogged ears aren’t painful but they can make it quite hard to hear. Sounds may become distant or muffled until the problem is resolved and it can turn everyday tasks into much more difficult things.

If you’ve experienced or are currently experiencing plugged ears, you’re likely looking for a quick fix. We’ve found some great natural remedies that you can try as well as the symptoms to keep an eye on that might indicate your ear has become clogged up.

The Symptoms Of Plugged Ears

plugged ear symptoms

You know almost instantly when your ears are plugged, as you can feel it straight away. However, depending on what caused your plugged ears there may be a number of other symptoms present as well.

  • Earache;
  • Ringing in the ears;
  • Dizziness;
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    Redness;
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    Fever;
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    Fluid coming from ears;
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    Coughing and sneezing;
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    A runny nose;
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    A sore throat;

What Causes Clogged Ears?

Before you can treat a clogged ear, it’s best to know the source of the condition. This might be able to prevent it from happening in the future. Here are some possible causes that can create the feeling of clogged ears:

  • Blocked Eustachian tube, which is the tube that connects the ear to the throat. This can occur from swimming, common cold, influenza, sinusitis, or allergies.
  • Being in higher altitudes like on a mountain or in an airplane can cause the feeling of clogged ears.
  • Wax that has hardened in the ear canal can cause plugged ears in extreme cases.
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    An acoustic neuroma is a benign growth that can put pressure on a particular nerve that causes ear problems like ringing in the ears, clogged ears, and loss of hearing.

How To Unclog Ears With Natural Remedies

Clogged ears are common and in most cases, there’s no need to resort to anything serious in order to fix them. There are many natural remedies that are quite effective at reducing the feeling of the ears being blocked so you have a few options to try the next time you experience it.

  • Inhaling steam - Get into the shower and turn the water on as hot as you can manage. Spend at least 15 minutes in the bathroom and let the how water and steam get into your ear and throat to loosen it up. 
  • Dislodging the fluid - If the clogged ear is a result of swimming or you know there is a liquid inside, you can try to dislodge it naturally. Lay with your head on a pillow with the ear that has the liquid facing down and wait for it come out. Otherwise, you can gently insert your finger into your ear and wiggle it up and down to see if it dislodges. 
  • Valsalva maneuver - This is a method designed to help the eustachian tube which is where the blockage occurs. Take a deep breath in and hold your nose with your fingers. Close your mouth and try to gently breathe through your nose. If it works, you should hear or feel a popping sound but you should never blow too hard. Once it’s unclogged, chew some gum to keep the tube open.
  • Medication - If your clogged ear is caused by another condition like an ear infection or common cold, there are many natural remedies you can find at the chemist that might be able to alleviate the symptoms. 
  • Ear drops - Natural solutions like warm mineral oil or baby oil can be inserted into the ear to help remove the blockage. Otherwise, there are over the counter dislodgement kits that may be of assistance. 

Knowing When To Seek Help

Plugged Ears: The Possible Causes And Natural Remedies You Can Try

If you’ve tried all of the natural home remedies and are still having problems, it’s time to see your doctor. In some cases, they have special tools that can help to remove a buildup whether it’s from wax or other objects that have become lodged in there.

When it’s a cause of a Eustachian tube blockage, they will also be able to assist by prescribing you with medication to treat the illness that caused it. This could include antifungal treatments, antibiotics, or an antihistamine, depending on the problem.

If a clogged ear is causing you pain, your doctor might also be able to help relieve it with a number of medications.  This includes ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium, depending on the severity of your pain.

Avoid sticking anything into your ear or you can further aggravate the problem and do serious damage to your ear canal. As is the case with anything to do with our ears, it’s always best to approach with caution and not try to resolve the problem yourself if it means interfering too much with the inner ear.

Clogged Ears In The Future

Sometimes, there’s little we can do to prevent clogged ears and they may simply be the result of other conditions or infections within our body. However, taking care while swimming or around other liquids is essential to ensure nothing gets into the ear that’s not supposed to.

Usually, a clogged ear is a temporary problem and it will either resolve itself or become better with one of the home remedies suggested. Feeling how uncomfortable a clogged ear is or how much it can impact your quality of hearing is certainly a hindrance, so treating them quickly and naturally is always the best approach to take.

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