ZocdocAnswersHow can I clear up a clogged ear?

Question

How can I clear up a clogged ear?

My right ear feels super clogged up. Like its harder to hear out of that side and it kind of starting ringing a couple of days ago. Is there any way to clear this up or will it unclog on its own? Is it bad for me to just let it go?

Answer

I would recommend that you go to see your doctor. There are two common reasons to have a 'clogged ear'. The first, and the most common, is to have wax build up in the ear canal. Believe it or not, some people have such over active wax glands in the ear canal that the wax can slowly over time completely close off the ear canal, leading to trouble hearing. When this happens, the ear almost always needs to be cleaned out by your doctor. They can verify whether you have this problem and, if so, help you out. The other very common reason is to have fluid behind the ear. This commonly occurs after a cold or sore throat and will gradually go away over time without treatment. However, your doctor can look inside your ear and confirm for you whether or not you have fluid behind the ear. Other less common causes of hearing trouble and 'clogged ear' include vestibulitis and Meniere's disease. Both of these conditions are more likely to have dizziness as a major component of the problem and it doesn't sound like this is a problem for you. Start by seeing your doctor, who can help you sort things out!

This answer 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 or (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.