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Have you been waking up with clogged up ears that don’t seem to go away? Clogged ears can be caused by several things such as earwax buildup, fluid buildup, sinus-related infections, or allergies. Keep reading to find the source of your clogged ears and the best remedy for you!
What are Clogged Ears? What do Clogged Ears Feel Like?
Clogged ears can feel like pressure built up in your ears. The pressure in your ears can remain throughout the day and can cause sounds to be muffled. Clogged ears may feel painful, however, if pain is persistent, there may be a more serious underlying cause. Let’s determine how ears get clogged and why this happens.
How Do Ears Get Clogged and Congested? Why Do My Ears Feel So Blocked for Days?
Clogged ears or congested ears stem from problems with your eustachian tube. The eustachian tube is a small passageway that connects your middle ears to the back of your throat. It helps drain fluids, equalizes pressure inside your ears, and protects your ears from infection. There are different reasons why there may be a pressure imbalance in your ear causing the ears to feel blocked, including sinus-related problems, earwax buildup, fluid buildup, or allergies. Now let’s dive deeper to understand the different causes of clogged ears.
What Causes Clogged Ears: Sinus vs Fluid vs Earwax vs Allergies?
Clogged Ears With No Earwax: Sinus Problems
Clogged ears can be caused by problems related to your sinus. These sinus related symptoms can cause clogged ears without the presence of ear wax. Common sinus related problems that may cause clogged ears include:
- Common cold
- Sinus infections (sinusitis)
These sinus related problems can all cause pressure buildup in your ear that can leave your ears feeling clogged. In this case, your ears will feel clogged or blocked but without the presence of ear wax. If you have sinusitis, learn more on our blog to find the best antihistamine for sinusitis. If you have fever (>100.4 F) or fluid in the ears associated with clogged ears, please see a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment.
Clogged Ears from Fluid Buildup
Water from showering or swimming can get trapped in your ear and cause clogged ears. Most of the time, if your clogged ears are caused by fluid buildup (and not ear wax), you will be able to hear the liquid moving back and forth in your ear canal. There are some over-the-counter medicines available to treat clogged ears from fluids, but the best option is speaking with a healthcare provider for the best treatment to make sure you do not damage your eardrum.
Clogged Ears from Earwax
Ear wax helps protect our ears by trapping dust, bacteria, and other small objects from entering and damaging our ear. If you feel excessive earwax in your ear, there are over-the-counter removal kits that can help remove the ear wax and unclog the ears. Be cautious if you are removing your own earwax. Digging into your ear with a Q-tip or other objects may result in damage to your eardrum and can lead to further complications.
Clogged Ears from Allergies
As discussed above, ear congestion can occur due to congestion in your eustachian tube. Allergens such as pollen, pet dander, mold, etc. can cause mucus from your nose to get backed up in your eustachian tube causing clogged or congested ears.