Ear Canal Congestion is Like Heavy Traffic

Unclogged: Getting to the Bottom of Ear Congestion

Q: Why Do My Ears Feel So Congested?

A: Good question! When folks talk about congestion, most people naturally think about nasal passageways, but ears can feel pretty plugged up, too. Let’s talk about what might be going on when ears seem clogged, how it can affect your hearing, and how you can get some relief.

The sensation of plugged-up ears essentially means a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ears — as if something is partially or completely filling the space within your ear canal. It can feel fairly innocuous, somewhat annoying, or even downright painful. It can also make sounds seem rather faint or make it difficult to hear altogether.

Any number of conditions can cause this sensation of fullness. One possibility involves altitude-related air-pressure changes, which can produce symptoms such as clicking or popping in the ears, ear pain or blockage, and even temporary …

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