If you have ever experienced plugged ears, you know that the feeling is not something to look forward to. There are several reasons for why these canals may become clogged, and each cause has its remedy.
Main Causes of Plugged Ears
While there are numerous conditions that may result in a clogged up ear, the feelings are usually all the same. The first thing patients typically notice is that they cannot hear very well through of one or both sides of their head; they may hear things muffled, as if they are far away, or they may experience garbled sounds, akin to the sensation of being underwater. Another common symptom is pain or achiness deep inside the canal. Some find that applying pressure to the outside of the ear relieves this ache, but as soon as pressure is removed, the discomfort returns.
One of the most dangerous plugged ears symptoms is itching. While this may seem more like a minor inconvenience rather than something that can cause health complications, the truth is that it isn’t so much the itching that is problematic; rather, it is the way people deal with the tingly that can have disastrous consequences. As fingers cannot easily reach the interior of the ear, many will turn to cotton swabs or other thin instruments to alleviate their pain. It is not unheard of for desperate patients to reach for bobby pins, pens and even butter knives to scrape the inside of their ear in the hopes of stopping itchy. The obvious problem with these methods is that these objects can cause lacerations or irritation, easily pierce the ear drum or push earwax deep into the canal.
How to Treat Plugged Ears
Determining the proper treatment method for an ear that is clogged will depend on the plugged ears causes. A person’s problem may step from something as simple as water in the ear caused by swimming or showering to something as severe as an infection. As many people find a correlation between plugged ears and dizziness, it is important to seek medical attention and treatment as soon as possible to keep from harming yourself or others. Being dizzy while driving or operating other heavy machinery, for example, can lead to an accident.
Those who suffer from allergies often find that plugged ears sinus come hand-in-hand with the sniffles and coughing. The remedy for this ailment is the use of antihistamines and other allergy medications.
Some people who notice that their ears feel plugged come to find that they are suffering from impacted earwax. Wax, or cerumen, is a sticky, yellow coating within the ear that helps keep dust, dirt and bacteria out. Though the concoction usually drains on its own, sometimes the body produces too much, which leads to a block of the canal. In this case, something will need to be done to remove the wax. Special candles, cleansers and medicated drops can help with this problem.
When water stays in the canal of your ear for too long, it can lead to an infection. These infections are generally not dangerous — just extremely uncomfortable — but they should be addressed as soon as they are noticed. Infections typically require a doctor’s visit so that proper antibiotics or other medications can be obtained. It is important to continue use of the prescribed medicine(s) until it is gone as stopping too early can cause the infection to become more severe and more difficult to get rid of.
Though plugged ears are something that most people will experience in their lifetime, knowing how to clean ears to prevent problems and seeking proper treatment if something does happen can help alleviate symptoms and keep at bay any major complications.