Sinus Infections And Other Health Effects
Aside from ear pain and dizziness, a sinus infection can also cause temporary hearing loss. Sinus-related hearing loss occurs when the infection spreads to the ears, specifically the middle ear. Hearing can become affected if inflammation puts pressure on the ear drum. This inflammation can cause discharge of fluid and the build-up of fluid in the eardrum, which leads to pain and temporary hearing loss.
When the fluid and pressure are relieved the hearing loss will reverse, and you can go back to hearing how you previously did, prior to the infection. If the fluid does not drain commonly seen in children the continuous pressure can cause the eardrum to burst, which contributes to permanent hearing loss.
Its important to prevent sinus infections as well as treating them right away, so that you dont encounter any complications.
Other health complications that can stem from a sinus infection are headaches and throat problems, such as coughing or a sore throat.
Related: Natural treatments to unclog ears
Common Factors That Lead To Clogged Ear
Your ear canal is like a door of open opportunities to foreign objects and intangible particles that make their way in and cause problems some of which can be painful, too.
A few factors that commonly cause your ears to become clogged up are:
1. Wax buildup
Generally,earwax is protective in nature. But, when it hardens, the ears become clogged and cause pain, ringing, etc. Too much accumulation of earwax is responsible for the ear clogging. There are various earwax drops & removal kit available in the market which you can use to get rid of it.
2. Dirt Particles
External particles, dirt, and insertion of foreign objects like cotton swab cause the ear to clog. The insertion of these objects damage the inner cells of the ear. And you may suffer from hearing related problems.
3. Air pressure
You may experience ear clogging while scuba diving, climbing mountains or on an airplane. You can also call it Ear Barotrauma or Airplane ear. As sometimes Eustachian tube cant equalize the pressure due to change in altitude or pressure. This causes clogging of ears.
4. Sinus problems
A common cold, flu, allergies and various factors responsible for sinus infections block the nasal passage and it leads to;Eustachian tube blockage. As a result, you feel as something is clogged in your ear.
5. Ear Infections
Otitis Media, an ear infection occurs when fluid starts to build up in the middle ear and harmful microbes start to grow. This causes the sensation of ears blockage.
Clogged Ear Due To Ear Infection Or Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
The eustachian tube is a tunnel that extends from the middle ear to the back of the nose. Normally, this tunnel can easily open or pop to allow pressure to escape from the ear allowing a clogged or muffled ear sensation to resolve. To explain further, when pressure increases in the middle ear, such as when going up a mountain or flying up in an airplane, theeardrum can bulge out from the higher pressure in the ear relative to the outside.
When aperson pops the ear, they open the eustachian tube allowing the excess pressure in the ear to escape out into the back of the nose. When pressure decreases in the middle ear, such as when going down a mountain or flying downwards in an airplane, the eardrum can bulge inward from the reduced pressure in the ear relative to the outside. When a person pops the ear, they open the eustachian tube allowing the excess pressure in the outside to enter into the ear eliminating the negative pressure. When a person experiences an ear infection, it may not just be negative ear pressure that is present, but also fluid causing hearingloss in addition to a clogged or muffled ear sensation. Here we see an ear becoming infected with eventual pus formation. As the infection clears and the pus dissipates, residual fluid isleft behind along with negative ear pressure.
As found on;
Medical Treatment For Clogged Ears
The clogging of your Eustachian tubes is an uncomfortable yet harmless condition that usually resolves on its own. If required, treatment will depend on the cause:
- If you experience an;earache;along with the blockage, the doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain medicine to manage the pain.
- If the blockage is due to earwax buildup, your doctor may use a;curet or rubber bulb syringe;to remove it.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines in the form of;nasal sprays are usually recommended;if the ear clogging is due to allergies.
- If the problem is traced to an infection in the outer ear canal,;antibiotic eardrops;may be necessary.
- If the infection is behind the eardrum in the middle ear, you may need a prescription of;oral antibiotics.
- Oral decongestants;or nasal decongestant sprays may be helpful for the treatment of clogged ears but should be used only briefly due to risks of side effects.
What Type Of Ear Infection Is It
There are two common types of ear infections:
- Otitis media: This ear infection affects the middle ear . Middle ear infections are common in kids and tend to cause trouble hearing, fevers, and pain without much outward signs such as ear drainage or swelling.
- Otitis externa: This infection affects the ear canal, and is commonly known as swimmers ear because water exposure is a risk factor for it. Swimmers ear is painful, too, and tends to have more visible signs such as a swollen ear canal or pus drainage.
There are several home remedies for earaches, says Dr. Nguyen-Huynh. Try these for the first two or three days if symptoms are mild.
Don’t Miss: How To Teach Yourself American Sign Language
When To See A Doctor About A Clogged Ear
While ear wax is generally more annoying than dangerous,sometimes you need a doctor to clear it. If home remedies dont work, your earhurts or you have trouble hearing, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh says its smart to seek medical evaluation.
Someone needs to look in andsee if the ear canal is open or if the wax is plugging it up, he says.
If the situation is minor, you may be able to get yourears unblocked right then and there. If not, ENT doctors can useoperating microscopes to magnify inside the ear canal, loosen the wax and vacuumit out.
And a clogged ear may have othercauses. It could be a middle ear infection with fluid filling up the spacebehind the eardrum, Dr. Nguyen-Huynh cautions. Or you could have a viralinfection that affects the inner ear. In those cases, a doctor can diagnose andtreat you to prevent permanent hearing loss.
How Are Illnesses And Ear Congestion Related
The outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear all have their role to play in the proper functioning of your ears. They can also be affected by infections, allergies, and other illnesses.
The nose and ears are connected, so an illness rarely affects just one in isolation. Clogged ears from cold is likely not just an isolated case colds, flu, infections, and allergies can all make you feel bunged up in both of these crucial sense organs.;
If you have ear congestion, you might feel ear pressure or fullness together with some sort of muffled hearing. Some people also experience some crackling or buzzing noises.
A congested ear will usually go away on its own after five to seven days and generally isnt something to worry too much about.
However, if your symptoms dont ease after this time and you start to experience ear pain, dizziness, ear discharge, or nose bleeding, you should make a hasty appointment with your doctor as these can indicate a more serious condition.
Read Also: How To Clear Fluid From Middle Ear
Tea Tree Oil Combined With Steam Inhalations
If a cold is causing your ears to feel clogged, use a tea tree inhalation to get rid of the infection quickly to relieve the congestion. Combining tea tree oil with a simple steam inhalation technique can naturally relieve blocked ears, cure congestion, sore throat, chest infections, and clear up mucus.
Tea tree oil has amazing healing properties which can help to treat viral and bacterial infections in the respiratory system. You can read about the 75 extraordinary uses for tea tree oil.
The journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews reported that tea tree oil contains powerful natural compounds called terpenoids. These have been proven to have an antimicrobial effect against various infection-causing pathogens. For example, tea tree oil can effectively kill off the Streptococcus pyogenes strain of bacteria which is responsible for strep throat.3
How to do it
- Pour boiling water in a bowl.
- Add a few drops of tea tree essential oil you can also use lavender or eucalyptus oils.
- Inhale the steam, but be careful not to get burnt. The steam can also help thin and loosen the mucus in your nasal passages, which in turn will give you relief from clogged ears.
Use the tea tree oil inhalation regularly to get rid of clogged ears that are due to a cold, the flu, or a sinus infection.
Suffering From A Clogged Ear Listen Up Because These 15 Simple Treatments Can Help Relieve You Of That Annoying Blocked Ear Feeling
While there can be multiple factors behind a clogged ear, the most common cause lies in your sinuses.
Do sounds become muffled when youve got a cold? Does your ear feel blocked after a long swim? Sounds like youre suffering from clogged ear, an annoying condition that can make hearing a challenge. While a clogged ear can indicate an ear infection, it could also be a sign of wax build-up, a change in air pressure, or a sinus infection. Once you discover whats causing your clogged ear, it will be easier to treat and likely prevent it from happening again in the future.
Read Also: How Do Hearing Aids Go In
Clogged Ear: The Sinus
A sinus infection primarily affects your nose, but symptoms can extend to the ears as well. The sinus-ear connection stems from the fact that your sinuses and ears are connected; therefore, clogged and congested sinuses also affect the ears.
There are many ways you can help improve your sinus infection and obtain relief in your ears. Below are some tips that can help decongest your sinuses.
- Use a nasal saline or apply a warm moist washcloth to your nose to add moisture. Humidifiers are also useful to help add moisture to the air and not dry out your nose.
- Over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve ear pain.
- Over-the-counter decongestants can help clear out sinus cavities.
- Avoid extreme temperatures; hot or cold weather can worsen sinuses.
- Keep your head up; putting it down applies added pressure.
Sinus-related ear problems can also lead to dizziness. If you experience dizziness due to sinuses, you may want to avoid fast movements as it can increase dizziness. Its also important to drink plenty of water to thin mucus and avoid caffeine, salt, alcohol and tobacco, which alter blood flow and can worsen dizziness.
How Can I Relieve My Symptoms
There are different appropriate remedies depending on what the cause is. When it has to do with sinus-related problems like the common cold, flu, allergies, sinusitis, or irritants , here are a few things you can do to treat it:
- Take a nasal decongestant
- Utilize a nasal rinse or nasal irrigation system
- Use a humidifier, as dry air may irritate your nasal passageways
- Avoid tobacco smoke along with other irritants
- Drink plenty of water, especially in the evening, to thin your nasal mucus
With regards to fluid buildup, an afternoon of fun and sun at the pool or a quick shower can get water inside your ear, causing your ear to be congested. Try these methods to release the water from your ear:
- Jiggle or tug on your ear lobe with your ear tilted toward your shoulder.
- Lay down on your side with the clogged ear facing downward.
- Apply hydrogen peroxide ear drops and proceed to lie with your ear facing down for a couple of minutes.
- Lie on your side and apply a hot compress for 30 seconds, remove for a minute, then repeat four or five times.
- Use over-the-counter ear drops that have alcohol to dry out the ear canal.
- Using over-the-counter ear drops or an earwax removal kit.
- Using an ear syringe with lukewarm water or a saline solution.
As for when you are traveling, you can avoid or alleviate airplane ear congestion by chewing gum or hard candy, swallowing, or yawning during takeoff and landing.
Also Check: How To Treat An Ear Infection From Earrings
Earache Remedies You Can Try
1. Hot or cold compress
The skinny: Grab an ice or heat pack and put it onthe affected ear to help with the pain.
Doctors advice: The temperature you use is up to you. Wrap it in a towel tomake sure its not too cold or too hot. You dont want to cause any burns.
2.Over-the-counter pain relievers
The skinny: Pain relievers work as advertised, helping take the edge off the pain.
Doctors advice:Both adults and kids can rest easier when they take acetaminophen or ibuprofen at the right dosage. These medications reduce pain and fever, making you feel more comfortable.
3. Sleep position
The skinny: How you sleep can affect ear pain. Rest with your head on two or more pillows, so the affected ear is higher than the rest of your body. Or if the left ear has an infection, sleep on your right side. Less pressure = less ear pain.
Doctors advice: It could be effective, though a few inches may not make a big difference in pressure measurement. But if it makes you feel better, go for it.
Nasal Spray Or Oral Decongestants
Although they are more useful as a preventative treatment when youre flying or if you have nasal or sinus congestion, nasal spray and oral decongestants can help to reduce your clogged up sensations.
You might already have these in your medicine cupboard. If not, they are available Over-the-Counter from your local drug store or pharmacy.
Don’t Miss: What Type Of Hearing Loss Does This Simulate
Anxiety Can Cause Ear Fullness Pressure And Pain
It’s not unusual for people with anxiety to experience ear pain and pressure, especially during a panic attack or when under a lot of stress. You may experience;this as ear pressure, fullness, pain or even that your;ears simply “feel weird.” You;may have a near-constant urge to pop your ears to relieve the pressure, but the ear popping does little to help you feel better.;
Why does this happen? The inner ears are very sensitive to changes in fluid and blood supply. If your heart is racing and/or your blood pressure is elevated because you feel anxious , your ears can be affected very quickly.;Likewise, elevated stress hormones can alter the delicate balance of fluids in your ear, making them swell.;
Ways To Treat Clogged Ears
There are a lot of different ways to tackle the problem of clogged up ears. Some involve medications, but others you can do with things you likely already have at home.
In some specific cases, you may need to check with a doctor about getting a prescription.
Here are some tips for unclogging your ears. First, you need to determine if the problem is the middle ear, behind the eardrum, or the outer ear specifically the auditory canal, where earwax can build up.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Water Ear Infection
Ear Infection Symptoms Treatment
Middle ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection that may cause earache, temporary hearing loss, and fluid discharge. A middle ear infection that does not clear up on its own may require treatment with antibiotics.
Middle ear infections occur mainly in early childhood, although older children and adults also get these kinds of infection. The incidence of acute ear infection in New Zealand children was recently estimated at 27%. A complication associated with middle ear infections is the retention of fluid, causing “glue ear”. Children should always be taken to a doctor if they have earache.
Hydrogen Peroxide Or Carbamide Peroxide Otic
Hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide otic can also be dripped into your ear. Combine the peroxide with warm water in a bowl first. Then, follow the steps to apply it as you would for the oil above.
Youll likely experience some fizzing let it do this and keep your head at an angle until it stops.
Also Check: How To Treat Ear Infection During Pregnancy
Gargling Warm Salt Water
Gargle with a warm salt water is another home remedy to get relief from a congested ear caused by an ear infection. Surprising as it may seem, gargling a saline solution to treat a throat infection can actually help clear your ears.
Dr. Dan Brennan on WebMD says that the salt water helps to soothe a sore throat and actually helps to unblock the Eustachian tubes.2
Here is how to use a salt water gargle to get rid of clogged ears and relieve the symptoms of a sore throat:
- Mix one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water.
- Swish it around your mouth and gargle for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Spit it out.
- Repeat as often as possible until you feel that your ears are no longer clogged.
Sticking Something Into Your Ear Is Never The Right Way To Clean It
Seriously, this is worth restating: dont use a cotton swab to try to clean your ear, because you will only make things worse. Cotton swabs can cause complete blockage by pushing the earwax into the eardrum. As a matter of fact, anything that gets inserted in your ears can easily lead to an earwax blockage, and that includes hearing aids and earplugs. To lessen earwax accumulation, you should only use cotton swabs on the outer ear.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of An Ear Wax Plug
How To Unclog Ear With Apple Cider Vinegar And Rubbing Alcohol
Apple cider vinegar and alcohol make for a wondrous treatment for ear wax removal. This solution can effectively clean earsand relieves you off all the discomfort.
How to use?
- Mix apple cider vinegar in an equal amount of rubbing alcohol
- Tilt your head and pour a few drops of the solution in the blocked ear
- Let it stand for some time
- After that, wipe it out using a cotton bud
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and rubbing alcohol solution
The apple cider vinegar and alcohol solution is one the best remedies for how to unclog ear. Apple cider vinegar has potent properties that help in ear wax extraction. Being antibacterial, it clears the infection that might be causing ear congestion. Also, it helps dissolve the mucus that might be blocking the ear.
You should carefully wipe out the solution using a cotton bud. Do not push the bud too deep in your ear canal.
How To Unclog Ear With Garlic
Garlic is an amazing food that finds multiple uses. From flavoring your dishes to boosting your digestive health, garlic is all around. This is not all; this root has some potent properties that make it an excellent;home remedy for treating congested ears. Here is how you can use it.
How to use?
- Put it in your blocked ear for a minute and then drain it out
Benefits of Garlic
Garlic has antibacterial properties that fight off the infection in your ear and help clear the build-up. Warm garlic oil when poured in the ear helps the wax to loosen. Thus, the wax clogging your ear comes out when you drain the oil.
Check the oil before pouring it in your ear. It should be warm, neither hot nor cold.
You May Like: Why Does My Phonak Hearing Aid Beep
What Is An Ear Infection
An ear infection of the middle ear, medically known as acute otitis media, can be caused by a bacteria or virus. Most often, ear infections occur in the middle ear, which is;the air-filled space between the eardrum and the oval window of the ear. The middle ear is responsible for transmitting sound from the outer ear to the inner ear.
In addition to a middle ear infection, its also possible to have an outer ear infection like;swimmers ear;or an inner ear infection. Labyrinthitis is a serious inner ear infection that affects hearing and balance. People with;labyrinthitis often experience vertigo and some hearing loss.
If a middle ear infection is bacterial, its most likely the bacteria;Streptococcus pneumoniae causing the infection. A virus can cause also cause ear infections. A a cold or allergies;can cause congestion that blocks the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. This congestion can lead to a buildup of fluid and pressure and provides an environment for bacteria or viruses that have traveled up the Eustachian tube into the middle ear to flourish, resulting in an ear infection.
Even the CDC recommends breast-feeding children exclusively for the first six months of their lives and continuing until they are at least 1 year old. Injury to the ear, climate changes, altitude changes, pacifier use, family history of ear infections, and exposure to cigarette smoke are other risk factors.
Can I Treat An Ear Infection At Home
Swimmers ear home treatment
An outer ear infection may take several days to heal, but the pain usually is gone within one week. Moreover, the warmer the water, the higher the likelihood of getting swimmers ear, for example, people who swim in the summer are more likely to develop an outer ear infection than wintertime surfers.
Middle ear infection home treatment
Numerous studies have shown that viruses cause middle ear infections. Pain management for ear pain for two or three days will allow the bodys natural immune system to fight and cure the infection, much like the common cold. However, some people with middle ear infections may need to see a doctor or other health-care professional for medical treatment.
Inner ear infection and labyrinthitis home treatment
Inner ear infections and labyrinthitis usually treat inner ear infections in adults and children.
Antibiotics and outer ear infections
Antibiotics and middle ear infections
Antibiotics and inner ear infections
- Inner ear infections are rare, and usually need to be treated by an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist.
Causes Of Ear Congestion
- Common Cold. A viral infection of the nose is the most common cause. The nasal congestion also blocks the ear tube . The ear tube normally keeps air in the middle ear.
- Ear Infection. Middle ear pus can also cause muffled hearing on that side. This commonly happens with an ear infection.
- Middle Ear Fluid. Fluid may remain in the middle ear after the infection is cleared up. It can last for months. The main symptoms are popping and crackling noises in the ear.
- Blowing the Nose. Blowing too hard can force secretions into the ear tube.
- Allergic Rhinitis. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollens. It causes nasal congestion, clear drainage and sneezing. It also can block the ear tube and back up secretions in the ear.
- Airplane Ear. If the ear tube is blocked, sudden increases in air pressure can cause the eardrum to stretch. The main symptom is ear pain. Sometimes, it just causes congestion. It usually starts when coming down for a landing. It can also occur during mountain driving.