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How to Unstop an Ear

Video transcription

Hi I'm Dr. David Hill and today we are going to be talking about how to unstop an ear . When people talk about a stopped up ear, they usually mean a sense of fullness or loss of hearing in one ear or in both ears. And there are several things that can cause that so how to unstop it depends on what the cause is. Now there are two places where you can get a sense of fullness in the ear. One is the external auditory canal, this is just the sort of tube that leads from the outer world all the way to the ear drum. You can get a blockage of wax in that canal, you can even get an infection of the canal. This is called swimmers ear cause usually it occurs in people who's ear canals are exposed to excess water. If you have swimmer's ear you're probably going to need to see a doctor. That's accompanied by pain sometimes by discharge from the ear. And you are probably going to know it because when you touch your ear it's going to hurt. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotic drops, anti inflammatory drops that will help with that. If you have wax in your ear you may really also want to see a doctor about that. There's not a lot of really good ways to get wax out at home, but your doctor will be able to remove it for you. The good news with ear wax is that unless you've been jamming it down in there with a Q-tip, it's likely to come out on it's own given a little bit of time. Now the other reason that ears get stopped up or blocked up has to do with pressure. In this area right here. This is the middle ear. And it holds the bones that conduct sound to the cochlea where the sounds are actually heard. Now the air pressure in this chamber is maintained usually by a little tube called the Eustachian tube that connects down into the inside of the nose. If the pressure in the outside world and the inside world here is the same then you can hear easily. But if there is too much or too little pressure in the middle ear, then the ear drum doesn't move easily and you get a sense of fullness, a stopped up ear. Some ways to unstop your ear include yawning, chewing gum, anything that opens up the Eustachian tube by moving the jaw around or opens up the inside of the nose, even a nasal spray like Afrin can help, if you have a cold or allergies. Although you don't want to use it everyday just use it once or twice and then stop. Those things can help unstop your ears. So talking about how to unstop a clogged up ear, I'm Dr. David Hill.

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