There are not many things worse than having ears that feel clogged, and a ringing sound in your head that doesn’t go away. These symptoms can have a negative impact on your day by affecting your concentration, affecting your mood, and could even affect your ability to remain balanced. Unfortunately, there are a few possible causes of clogged and ringing ears. But, having an understanding of what could cause this condition to occur can help you lower your chances of having it happen to you, and can potentially help shorten your symptoms if experienced.
The 4 Common Causes of Clogged and Ringing Ears
Earwax not only protects the inner ear from water, bugs, bacteria, viruses, and debris; it also helps protect against ear infections. Typically, your ears are self-cleaning, and earwax will fall out of your ear on its own, but in some cases, this does not happen, and a buildup of earwax occurs. Impacted earwax can also cause you to experience earaches, dizziness, itching, and hearing loss. It is not advised to clean your ears, as this can cause damage. If you are experiencing impacted earwax, consult with your doctor.
One of the other causes of clogged and ringing ears, a person with an ear infection can also experience headaches, ear pain, vomiting, and may even have a low-grade fever. Both bacteria and viruses can cause infections, as well as allergies and other environmental factors. While there are other associated factors of ear infections, treatment options typically include acetaminophen, antibiotics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
Experiencing sinus pressure is never pleasant, and it often accompanies a blocked or runny nose, fever, and a reduced sense of smell. Typically, sinus pressure is commonly caused by sinusitis, inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. Sinusitis can be caused by allergies, fungi, bacteria, viruses, or could be an autoimmune reaction. Bacteria, viral infections, allergies, diabetes, smoking, swimming, and even dental infections can lead to sinusitis, but luckily, most sinus infections will resolve spontaneously without treatment. For severe and persistent cases, a doctor should be seen.
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD)
A narrow tube that connects the nose and the ear, the Eustachian tube helps with drainage and ventilation of the middle ear and offers protection from infections. However, when the Eustachian tube isn’t functioning correctly, Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) can occur. ETD can cause a person to experience pain, muffled hearing, ringing in the ears, and balance problems. While doctors have not yet determined the exact cause of Eustachian tube dysfunction, those with mild cases usually clear up on their own after a few days. However, those experiencing severe dysfunction may require surgery.