One or both ears may get plugged do to different reasons. When this happens, the person who is suffering from hears everything as muffled sounds, or the hearing may be seriously impaired so he or she does not hear anything at all. A plugged ear may also cause pain. It is a very unpleasant feeling, and in some cases it needs to be addressed by a medical professional. Milder cases, however, can be treated successfully at home.
Causes of plugged ears
The sensation that one or both ears are plugged or stuffed can come from excess ear wax stuck in the ear canal. Ear wax is there for a reason, but when it builds up excessively and cannot leave the ear canal, it can cause problems.
Sometimes an infection, like common cold or flu, can spread and affect the ear apparatus as well. Ear infections cause plugged ears, among other symptoms
Also, exposure to sudden and very loud noises, for example at a construction site, airport or rock concert, may cause plugged ears and temporary hearing impairment.
Changes in pressure, while traveling to high altitudes or diving in the sea, can cause plugged ears too.
Similar thing happens when water gets stuck inside the ear after swimming, and it is called a swimmer’s ear.
Finally, a plugged ear may be caused by the growth of a small bone in the middle ear. This can lead to hear loss.
Plugged ear treatmentIf the discomfort and pain is not too severe, one can try and treat the problem at home.
One of the options is using warm olive oil. The oil must not be hot, but warm. It can be inserted using a dropper or by soaking a clean cotton ball in warm olive oil and putting it inside the ear for about ten to fifteen minutes. Warm oil will loosen and dissolve the congested earwax, which will then be able to drain out by itself.
Alternatively, a hot damp towel can be placed on the affected ear. The heat will soften the earwax which can then be removed with a q-tip.
If plugged ears are caused by a common cold, the solution may simply be to blow the nose and the sinuses frequently and completely.
For discomfort caused by pressure changes, the simplest trick is the best and this includes yawning. This will regulate the pressure inside the ear and solve the problem.
Drinking lots of fluids can help prevent and solve the problem with plugged ears. Simply, swallowing can be effective too.
In case of a swimmer’s ear, the effective remedy is to apply one drop of white vinegar and one drop of Isopropyl alcohol. This will dru the water and prevent infection.