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Ear blockage


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You must have felt a kind of stuffiness inside your ears, especially when you catch cold and it is not very unusual. This happens actually because the Eustachian tube present inside your ear gets blocked. We shall discuss the topic in depth in the following content.


Symptoms of ear blockage

  • Congestion and stuffiness inside ears
  • Fluttering of the ear or noises in ears
  • Sensing pain and pressure in and around ears
  • Reduced hearing due to blockage


Causes of ear blockage

The Eustachian tube maintains a specific pressure and equilibrium with the middle ear and atmosphere. Your ears get clogged when this pressure is not maintained due to failure of the tube to open and close properly.

Congestion in Eustachian tube can occur due to the following reasons:

  • Mucus accumulates inside the tube due to common cold, sinus infection, hay fever, rhinitis, etc.
  • Bacterial infection resulting in inflammation of the Eustachian tube
  • Excessive ear wax or hardening of ear wax
  • Ears get blocked due to change in air pressure i.e. when you fly in air or travel upwards to hills
  • Ear blockage could also be a side effect of ear diseases like acoustic neuroma, otitis media, Meniere's disease, etc.


When to see a doctor?

See a doctor if the problem persists despite trying home remedies and there’s considerable pain and inflammation in your ears.


Diagnosis of ear blockage

You need to visit an ENT specialist for diagnosing your medical condition. The diagnosis is very simple. Your doctor will evaluate your general symptoms and then visualize the inner structures of the ear with an otoscope, it is a special lighted instrument that magnifies your inner ear and gives distinct images. The problem would be detected with the help of this device.


Treatment of ear blockage

The treatment depends on the problem. Some common solutions offered by doctors are:

  • The excess ear wax could be removed with the help of special curette like instrument.
  • Oral decongestants, nasal spray antihistamines, topical nasal steroids, etc. also help to get over ear blockage
  • Other treatment options depend on the primary cause of the infection. You will get rid of the blockage with healing of the disease or infection.


Home remedies for ear blockage:

You can clear off the blockage at home or while travelling with the following tricks.

  • Close your mouth and pinch your nose with your fingers to stop inhaling. Now breathe out from nose with a mild jerk; not do it harshly to avoid bursting of ear drums.
  • When your years are blocked you can simply attempt to swallow or yawn. The ears would open immediately.
  • Olive oil is an excellent remedy for clogged ears. Pour a few drops of olive oil inside the ear with a dropper 2-3 times a day to soften the ear wax. This way it would come out and you will be relieved from the congestion. You can also substitute with glycerine, baby oil or mineral oil.
  • To manage pain and congestion together, you can apply this therapy. Take a cotton cloth, approximately size of a handkerchief. Not stuff it with salt and tie the open end with a thread. Heat a pan and place the salt stuffed bag over it, heat it mildly. Then compress your ears with the bag. Check the temperate of the bag on your palm before applying over ears.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: October 21, 2014 

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