A blocked ear refers to a sensation of reduced hearing or pressure in the ear, often accompanied by discomfort. It can be caused by various factors that affect the ear canal or the middle ear.
Earwax buildup: Accumulation of earwax can block the ear canal, leading to reduced hearing and a feeling of fullness.
Eustachian tube dysfunction: Dysfunction of the Eustachian tube, which helps regulate pressure in the middle ear, can cause ear blockage and discomfort.
Sinus congestion: Nasal congestion or sinus issues can affect the Eustachian tube, leading to a blocked sensation in the ear.
Airplane travel: Changes in air pressure during takeoff and landing can cause temporary ear blockage.
Water in the ear: Swimming or bathing can lead to water getting trapped in the ear, causing a blocked feeling.
Ear infections: Infections in the ear canal or middle ear can cause swelling and blockage.
Reduced hearing or muffled sounds
Feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear
Ear pain or discomfort
Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
Dizziness or imbalance in some cases
Ear drops: Over-the-counter ear drops or mineral oil can help soften and dislodge earwax, aiding its removal.
Warm compress: Applying a warm cloth or warm compress to the affected ear can help alleviate discomfort and promote Eustachian tube function.
Chewing gum or yawning: These actions can help equalize pressure in the middle ear and relieve ear blockage during air travel.
Nasal decongestants: Using over-the-counter nasal sprays or decongestants can help clear sinus congestion and improve Eustachian tube function.
Tilting the head: Tilting the head to the side and hopping on one foot can help water escape from the ear after swimming.
Sujok Therapy can often give effective results for blocked ear within 15 minutes by providing partial or full improvement. You can press using your thumb and first finger on the highlighted points or you can apply read colour in the highlighted area (see pic). Using an acupressure probe or Sticker Moxa is also highly effective to alleviate a blocked ear.
(Rajshree Vora is an obesity consultant, dietitian and nutritionist, Sujok therapist, counsellor, and yoga therapist. You can write to her at email@example.com)