One of the common reasons for blocked ears is wax. Hay fever and illnesses like colds and bacterial infection are also a very common cause. Wax can quiet easily be pushed down the ear canal by using an earbud to try clean the ear and it’s not unheard of that people have used hair clips and tooth picks.

The smallest thing that should be used in the ear is the elbow. The ear canal is self-cleaning and an occasional drop of olive oil usually can help keep everything flowing and going. You can go see your GP or Hearing Health Specialist if you think you are clogged with wax.

If you have been travelling by plane you may have felt your ears getting blocked and then popping open during takes off or landing. Some people experience pain. What is going on here. ETD, Eustachian Tube Dysfunction is quiet common and can be the result of a allergy or cold, resulting in mucus filling up the middle ear, which is an air filled cavity where those little ear bones the Ossicular Chain are located. The Eustachian tube allows the middle ear to equalise by opening and closing when you swallow or yawn as a reflex reaction. If your ears fail to equalise your ears will feel blocked because the eardrum is either being pushed out or pulled in. That’s why sucking a sweet when taking off can be helpful. Products such as Otovent, which uses a balloon to help you clear your tubes is a treatment option and useful for children with glue ear too.

What to do if ear blockage occurs

why are ears blocked

When you start sniffling, you may start becoming blocked. Don’t worry it usually corrects itself. It is good advice, to always speak to your GP. Sudden hearing loss however can be more serious, and you would be urged to seek medical advice urgently.