Common Causes of Clogged Ears

Although it’s often harmless, a clogged feeling in one or both ears can be uncomfortable and make it difficult to hear properly. Clogged sensations that are persistent or severe may require a trip to an audiologist for relief. Here are three of the most common causes of clogged ears.

Excess Earwax

A woman covering her face

In healthy amounts, earwax is meant to protect the ear by trapping dirt and irritants and acting as a lubricant. If too much earwax builds up, however, it may become impacted, forming a solid mass and causing clogged sensations, earaches, partial hearing loss, and tinnitus, a ringing sensation in the ear. It’s never safe to attempt to remove earwax buildup with cotton swabs, oils, hydrogen peroxide, or other miscellaneous objects, so it’s important to visit a hearing professional if you suspect earwax as the cause of your clogged ears.

Fluid Buildup

Clogged ears may also be caused by fluid buildup, which can often be very painful. Excess fluid in the ear can occur as the result of an infection. Severe pain or discharge from the ear are signs that you should see a doctor. Water may also enter and become trapped in the ear during swimming, bathing, or showering, in a condition known as swimmer’s ear.

Sinus Pressure

Sinus pressure caused by infections or other illnesses may also contribute to clogged ears. When the sinus cavities located near the ear canal become inflamed, the Eustachian tube no longer regulates ear pressure properly. The resulting increased pressure on the eardrum can then cause a clogged sensation, as well as pain, tenderness, and temporary hearing loss.

An audiologist can evaluate the discomfort of clogged ears. At Associated Hearing Professionals, our team performs comprehensive hearing tests and offers a full range of hearing aid services. Schedule an appointment today by calling 314-725-2686 for our St. Louis office or 636-778-9232 in Chesterfield.