Sometimes, there’s nothing more annoying than a clogged ear, we all know that. Few things can ruin our otherwise pleasant mood more quickly than plugged ears and the feeling that nothing you can do will help you get rid of the clogging. This sensation doesn’t usually appear when there’s something way more serious going on in the body at the moment, but instead comes in the most unexpected times, when we’re supposed to be on our way to doing our own thing.


Like when taking a stroll in the park during the cold season, or just when we though we got rid of that nasty cold that plagued us a week ago, or when preparing to travel at high altitudes (by plane, most commonly).

Considering that the ear and the inner ear nerves have a central role in allowing us to orient ourselves into space and to feel the balance of our own bodies, this symptom can get pretty annoying, even besides a somewhat encumbered hearing sense. In today’s post, we will explore with you the main causes for this affliction, the most popular home remedies for treating it and how to actually get rid of it step by step.

The main causes for a clogged ear sensation have to do with exposure to cold, humidity, sudden changes in altitude and pressure, or with an underlying infection that seeps into the ear tubes and causes an uncomfortable congestion. If there’s a different reason that caused the clogged ear, the gravity of the situation can vary as well, which why some times it feels like there’s only a ringing sound in your ear that you can’t shake off, and other times there’s also a nasty headache and generalized pain that leave you more or less helpless.

  • Water that was left over in an ear tube (from swimming, from the rain or simply from washing). There’s a reason why doctors only recommend cleaning your ears extra carefully and not that often, preferably with delicate cotton swabs or special ear sprays: because water isn’t supposed to get in there, where it may get you sick and cause a serious clogging.
  • A serious cold or a sinus infection – both these infections can cause discharge to seep into your ears and eventually clog them or even get the infection to spread here as well.
  • Allergies can cause a similar effect and make one feel like their ears are filling up with a clogging liquid that just hurts and encumbers the hearing until you feel like “I can’t take this anymore, my head is going to explode”.
  • Changes in altitude and pressure (being in an airplane). In other words, it’s quite common to experience discomfort and even pain in your ear tube after flying. For adults, the matter is easier to treat or at least understanding it keeps the situation under control. For small children though, this discomfort and a difficulty to hear really makes for a noisy trip, filled with fits of crying and so on.
  • Accumulated dirt and wax. Though uncommon, the accumulation of wax can lead to a clogged ear and the full array of unpleasant symptoms which can accompany it.
  • A blockage in the Eustachian tubes of the inner ear – this not so common condition isn’t caused by any of the triggers listed so far and simply happens internally without any clogging agent from afar.