If it seems like you’re asking your friends to repeat themselves more often than you used to, you might have clogged ears. Clogged ears aren’t usually a cause for concern, and there are a number of solutions accessible to you at home. However, if symptoms persist, you may have to see an ENT. Here are some signs you should watch for if you’re not sure:
- Hearing Loss
At-Home Treatments for Clogged Ears:
If you’re on an airplane or have just landed and your ears are clogged, it’s probably because of the difference in air pressure. Your ears should return to normal within a few minutes, but you can try yawning or chewing gum in the meantime if you’re uncomfortable.
Otherwise, clogged ears just indicate a build-up of earwax. Try warming up a tiny bit of olive oil or baby oil and dripping it into your ear with an eye dropper over a week. Alternatively, you can purchase ear drops at your local pharmacy. Once the ear wax has been loosened, you can wash it out with water using an ear irrigation pump.
If you’re a swimmer or you enjoy your extra-long hot baths and showers, you might have swimmer’s ear. If water gets trapped inside the ear, the moist environment could cause harmful bacteria to grow and reproduce. If you notice any hearing loss or pain, it’s definitely important to schedule an appointment with your ENT.
If you’ve been cleaning out your ears with Q-tips, you might actually have a lot of earwax built up in your ear. Contrary to popular belief, cotton swabs actually push earwax down into the ear. Truthfully, you shouldn’t be cleaning out your ears at all. Earwax helps the body trap dust and bacteria so they don’t enter the body.
Excessive amounts of earwax can become a chronic condition. If you’ve been trying to loosen up the earwax naturally without luck, it’s probably time to see an ENT. You should also plan on seeing an ENT if you’ve been suffering from any hearing loss.
Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease:
If you start suffering from vertigo or tinnitus, which is usually characterized by a ringing in the ears, you should definitely contact your ENT. These are sometimes early signs of an autoimmune disease. The inner ear will become inflamed and the body will start attacking healthy cells within the ear.
While medication is often sufficient, the earlier you can recognize these signs the better. You might also notice rapid hearing loss in one ear followed quickly by the other.
Perforated Ear Drum:
If you notice any strange discharge from the ears, then definitely contact your ENT. Sometimes, the membrane between the middle ear and ear canal can tear. It often heals by itself.
However, if it doesn’t, an infection could develop. An ENT can provide you with useful advice on protecting your ear from potential bacteria and operate on it if the condition isn’t improving.
Final Words on Clogged Ears:
If you’re concerned about clogged ears, you can always contact your Buffalo, NY ENT. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your ear health. However, as a general rule, use the list above as warning signs that your condition merits extra attention.