Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Why can't I hear out of my right ear?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy can't I hear out of my right ear?


I am a 21 year old female. I had my wisdom teeth out last fall, so about 6 months. My right ear has been clogged since then. I have tried to put heat on it and also water inside and still nothing has worked. Neither of that has worked. This is really annoying. I have not had trouble like this before.


So sorry to hear that you have had to deal with the inconvenience and discomfort of a clogged ear for so long. Most people don't realize that the ear canal (aka, the eustachian tube) carries the mucous made by the lining of your inner ear down into the back of your throat (yes, the lining of your inner ear, behind your ear drum, also makes secretions like the rest of your mouth). Whenever the back of your throat gets inflamed, it can cause blockage to the end of the eustachian tube. It is possible that the surgery caused inflammation and possibly even alterations in the anatomy of the eustachian tube that make it difficult for the mucous to drain like it should. Alternatively, you could just be feeling the effects of eustachian tube dysfunction in that the tube doesn't open as it should to let the air equilibrate between your ears and the outside world. Placing things in the external ear won't help, as the problem is on the inside. Some over the counter anti-histamines might offer some benefit, but you should probably speak with the surgeon or dentist who removed your wisdom teeth. Ultimately, he or she will likely refer you to an ear-nose-and throat surgeon (aka otolaryngologist) for an examination of your ears and possibly hearing tests, as well as further options to help you hear normally again.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.