Clogged Ears – Ear Problems

– Hi, guys, in this video, I’m gonna talk about the four main reasons your ears feel clogged coming up. (calm music) Hi, I’m Cliff Olson, doctor of audiology and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions and on this channel, I cover a bunch of hearing
related information to help make you a
better informed consumer. So if you’re into that, consider hitting the Subscribe button. We’ve all experienced it, clogged ears but what causes your ears to feel clogged? I’m gonna cover these four
main reasons right now. Reason number one is earwax. Now, as the name suggests, earwax is a natural waxy substance that’s secreted by the skin
glands inside of your ear canal. Now, earwax is important because it coats and
lubricates the ear canal and protects against things
like fungus and bacteria. Earwax typically migrates
out of your ear on its own but there are some cases
where either ear canal anatomy or using Q-tips can push that earwax down and further inside your ear and it doesn’t actually come out. This is what we call impacted earwax. The professional removal of earwax will involve three options. The first one is by curette or having it picked out of your ear. The second option is suction
to suck it out of your ear and the third option is irrigation which is using water to
flush it out of your ear. If earwax is too dry,
it can become very hard and when it’s really hard, it’s really difficult
to get out of your ear. If this is the case, you’ll probably have to use
some kind of an earwax softener like Debrox. I don’t recommend trying to
pull earwax out on your own. That is how you can injure your ear and then you’ll have way more problems than some built up earwax. Now, the second cause is
eustachian tube dysfunction. Now, the eustachian tube is a tube that connects from your middle
ear space to your throat. The dysfunction occurs when
that tube is either swollen or won’t open to allow passage of air when you swallow or yawn. Now, if this tube gets clogged, it can create either a positive pressure inside your middle ear space or more oftenly a negative pressure inside your middle ear space. What this will do is this
will retract your eardrum to the point where it
actually causes pain. The sensation that you would usually feel is the need to pop your ears. Now, eustachian tube dysfunction usually coincides with
either having a cold or having a sinus infection and it could also lead
to the buildup of fluid inside your middle ear space. When you have a retracted eardrum or fluid inside of your middle ear, both of these things restrict
the movement of sound from your outer ear
through to your inner ear which can create that muffled sensation. Now, there are circumstances where when you have this
eustachian tube dysfunction and a virus or some bacteria gets into the fluid of
your middle ear space, it can result in a middle ear infection. Middle ear infections typically
give you the sensation of pain because of the inflammation and the infected fluid
that’s behind the eardrum. If you do have this sensation, you should seek medical
attention immediately. Reason number three is
an outer ear infection, sometimes known as swimmer’s ear. Now, this happens when your
ear canal becomes inflamed and generally produces
some kind of pus or fluid that leaks from your ear. When this happens, when
this fluid that’s leaking is thicker and infected then it typically means that
you need to seek medical care to have some kinda antibiotics or treatment on your ear
canal to get it to go away and just remember, if you
just got done swimming, you may just have some
water inside your ear so make sure that you give
it a chance to dry out to make sure that that’s not the problem before you seek medical care. Okay, onto reason number four and probably the most
serious of the causes of sounds feeling muffled
or your ears feeling clogged and that is sudden
sensorineural hearing loss. Some of the symptoms
of sudden hearing loss are the occurrence of a hearing
loss without a real reason, typically happens in one ear
but can happen in both ears and it’s not really accompanied by pain. It just happens. You either wake up and you can’t hear out of one of your ears or you’re driving in your car and all of a sudden the hearing goes out in one of your ears. Other symptoms that can
come along with this is the sensation of
dizziness or aural fullness or fullness in your ear and tinnitus, that ringing and buzzing that you get. Now, the typical causes
of a sudden hearing loss are either a virus that’s
destroying your cochlea which is your inner ear hearing organ or a tumor, a rapidly growing
tumor, on your auditory nerve. Either way, both of these
situations are extremely serious and it needs to be diagnosed right away if treatment is gonna
be successful for you. A lot of people mistakenly assume that it’s earwax causing this and that isn’t always the case. Treatment for this condition often can include the use
of an injection of a steroid through your eardrum,
aural steroids and an MRI to ensure that it is or isn’t a tumor. There you go, guys. Those are the four reasons why
your ears might feel clogged. Sometimes, it’ll be something as simple as just getting some earwax
taken out of your ears and other times, you can save your hearing by treating it sooner rather than later. That’s it for today’s video. If you have any comments, leave them in the comment section below. If you like the information in this video, feel free to give it a thumbs up and don’t be afraid to
hit the Subscribe button. I’ll see you next time. (calm music)

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