Causes of Blocked Ears
Do your ears feel plugged or muffled? Blocked ears can be caused by a number of different things, which is why it is so important to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor or an ENT specialist if you are experiencing chronic symptoms.
Most of us know what it feels like when we get water lodged in our ears. Increased pressure and diminished ability to hear are a few symptoms. For many people, chronic symptoms result from buildup of ear wax or when fluid becomes trapped in the Eustachian tube.
When functioning normally, the eustachian tube carries debris from the ears to the throat allowing this matter to be swallowed instead of building up in the middle ear. If the tube becomes plugged, fluid can become trapped in the middle ear causing blocked ears. Enlarged tonsils, turbinates, or adenoids can cause blockage of the eustachian tube. Many people also experience blocked ears after they have a severe case of allergies or a severe cold.
Blocked ears commonly occur in children. This is because the eustachian tube in children is both smaller and at a more horizontal angle than found in adults. Seeking treatment as soon as possible is imperative since, if left untreated, a blocked eustachian tube can cause hearing loss.
Changes in atmospheric pressure can cause a condition known as barotraumas. For instance, scuba divers who move to or from an environment with dramatically higher pressure may cause damage to tissues of their middle, inner, or external ear.
Other causes of blocked ears include a change in hearing and swelling around the jaw area. An exam by an ear, nose and throat specialist will determine the cause of your symptoms, and a treatment plan that is directed at addressing the cause will be devised. In most cases, non-invasive treatment is possible, and chronic symptoms will be alleviated. If you feel you or you child is suffering from blocked ears and the painful symptoms listed above, please contact us to speak to our Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon at ENT Clinic Sydney, phone 1300 123 368.