Ear blockages can be caused by a number of things, including wax build-up, infections, or even earwax that has hardened into a solid mass. In many cases, a blockage is due to an imbalance of pressure, and this is most commonly experienced when flying or climbing to high altitudes. While in many cases, an ear infection will simply be a minor inconvenience, there are situations where the blockage could lead to more serious problems like hearing loss.
Understanding how your body works is important because it helps you make better decisions about your health and wellbeing, and this includes being able to tell the difference between inner and outer ear blockages – and we have all that you need to know.
What Is An Inner Ear Blockage?
The first thing to understand when talking about inner ear blockages is what exactly they are. In most cases, an inner ear blockage is just that: a blockage inside the ear canal. This means that something is preventing sound from reaching the eardrum, which is located at the top of the ear canal.
Inner ear blockages can occur for a variety of reasons, but one common cause is excessive earwax build-up. When this happens, the wax builds up over time until it becomes too thick and hardens into a solid mass. This can then prevent the passage of air through the ear canal, causing the person to experience pain and discomfort.
What Is An Outer Ear Blockage?
An outer ear blockage occurs when something blocks the external opening of the ear canal. This may happen due to a build-up of wax or debris, as well as other causes such as impacted cerumen (earwax), foreign objects, or even insects.
When an outer ear blockage occurs, the person will typically notice some sort of ringing in their ears, along with a feeling of fullness and pressure. If left untreated, these symptoms can worsen over time, leading to permanent damage to the eardrum.
What Is The Difference Between Inner and Outer Ear Blockages?
While both inner and outer ear blockage can cause similar symptoms, there are key differences between them, and understanding those differences can help you determine whether you should seek medical attention. In simple terms, the main difference between an inner and outer ear blockage is location.
In addition, the nature of the blockage can also differ depending on location; while inner ear blockages tend to be soft and fluid-filled, outer ear blockages tend to consist of harder material.
If you suspect that you might have an inner or outer ear blockage, here’s what you need to do:
- Identify the Location Of Your Problem
To identify the location of your problem, start by gently touching the area around your ear. You’ll want to feel if there is any firmness or resistance to your touch. If you find anything that feels different from normal, it’s likely that you’ve got an issue.
- Check For A Build Up Of Wax Or Other Debris
Next, look for any signs of wax build-up. If you see any white or yellowish residue, it’s possible that you have an inner ear blockage. However, if you don’t see any signs of wax, it’s more likely that you have an outer ear blockage.
- Examine Your Ears With A Mirror
Next, check out your ears using a mirror. Look for any signs of redness, swelling, or discolouration. These could indicate an infection or inflammation.
- Contact A Doctor
Finally, contact your doctor to discuss your findings. They’ll be able to examine your ears and determine if you actually have an inner or outer blockage. If so, they’ll be able to provide you with treatment options. The exact treatment will depend on the type of blockage you have, as well as its severity, and common treatment options include medications, cleaning procedures or ear drops. While surgery is a possible option, this is unlikely to be used unless the situation is severe enough to warrant it.
Can I Treat An Ear Blockage At Home?
Depending on the issue, it may be possible to treat a blocked ear at home, and there are several methods available, including warm water irrigation, saline solution irrigation, and even ear drop application.
- Saline or Warm Water Irrigation
One method involves placing a few drops of warm water or saline solution in each ear, allowing the water to sit for about 10 minutes before draining. This allows the water to soften the wax and debris inside your ear canal. It’s important to note that this technique won’t work for all types of blockages, but it’s often effective for removing small amounts of wax from the ear canal.
- Ear Drop Application
Another method involves applying a drop of oil directly onto the affected area. This helps loosen up the wax and debris inside the ear canal, making it easier to remove. Once again, wait for about 15 minutes before draining the excess liquid.
Final Thoughts If you are concerned about a blocked ear, why not visit our clinic for ear wax removal Bexley to access specialist advice from an ear expert, and put your mind at ease?