My left ear is clogged. What can I do?

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These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.

Do you know the potential possible causes of the blockage?Several conditions can cause:

1. Eustachian tube blockage

An Eustachian tube blockage is one possible cause of a clogged ear.

This blockage usually accompanies an infection, such as the common cold, influenza, or sinusitis. Allergic rhinitis can also cause a blockage in the Eustachian tube.

2. Higher altitude

Some people experience temporary ear clogging while scuba diving, driving up a mountain, or flying in an airplane. A rapid change in air pressure outside the body causes this blockage.

3. Earwax

Earwax protects your ear by cleansing the ear canal and preventing debris from entering the ear. Wax is normally soft, but it can harden and cause a blockage in the ear.

4. Acoustic neuroma

Acoustic neuroma is a benign growth that develops on the cranial nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain. These tumors are usually slow-growing and small. However, as they become larger, they can put pressure on nerves in the inner ear. This can cause a clogged ear, hearing loss, and a ringing in the ear.If your ears are plugged, try swallowing, yawning or chewing sugar-free gum to open your eustachian tubes. If this doesn't work, take a deep breath and try to blow out of your nose gently while pinching your nostrils closed and keeping your mouth shut. If you hear a popping noise, you know you have succeeded.

Other options for clearing plugged ears may include:

  • Nasal decongestants, but for no more than a few days
  • Topical nasal steroids, especially in people with allergies
  • Ventilation tubes, in severe cases, to drain fluid and relieve pressure

Call your doctor if your symptoms are severe or last more than two weeks.

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