Stuffy ears—also referred to as clogged, blocked, or congested ears—are not only irritating, but can be outright painful. This condition is very common among everyone, but can especially affect children, people in high altitudes, and those who suffer from allergies. Stuffy ears can cause a myriad of symptoms such as dizziness, ear discomfort, and sinus pain. Worse, ear congestion can even lead to, or be a symptom of an infection.
Luckily, chiropractic care provides well-known relief that can help unblock stuffy ears and even treat ear infection without medication. Tannenbaum Chiropractic of Beverly Hills is experienced in approaches to relieve the symptoms and complications related to congested ears, whether your suffering is seasonal, chronic, or long-lasting.
What Are Stuffy Ears?
Our ears are directly connected to our throat and sinuses. The functionality of this interconnectedness is dependent on the Eustachian tubes—these tubes connect the middle ears to the back of the throat and help the ears drain fluid.
Ear congestion happens when there is a blockage in the Eustachian tube. This tube drains fluid from our middle ear by funneling it down our throat using the muscles and joints in our neck, which communicate to and from nerves in the vertebrae. When that communication route is blocked, these muscles cannot function correctly and do not allow the eustachian tube to drain. When compounded with other factors, such as increased fluid production due to a cold or allergies, or even an injury to the upper vertebrae, your ears can then become congested. This fluid buildup is what can also cause ear infections—a clogged Eustachian tube cannot drain and creates a breeding ground for bacteria. That excessive pressure in the ear when they feel stuffy signals a possible infection.
Causes and Symptoms of Ear Congestion
Stuffy ears can occur for a number of reasons, such as:
- Seasonal allergies
- Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (the inability to equalize ear pressure)
- Common cold
- Sinus inflammation
- Ear or sinus infection
- Changes in atmospheric pressure
- Other injuries
Stuffy ears can manifest with various symptoms, such as:
- Sinus pain
- Facial pain
- Neck pain
- Muffled hearing
- Extreme pressure in the ears
- Balance issues
- Ringing ears
- Sensitive or tender ears
- Swollen nodes
Why Chiropractic Care for Stuffy Ears?
Chiropractic care is a simple and effective way to treat stuffy ears. In addition, if an infection present, chiropractic treatments are helpful for those who want to reduce their intake of antibiotics, which can potentially reduce immunity by also destroying the good bacteria that lives in our gut. Chiropractic care therefore offers a body-friendly, drug-free approach to treating potential ear infections by relieving ear congestion naturally.
How Chiropractic Care Treats Congested Ears
We know in Chiropractic that the spine is interconnected to all other parts of the body. Because the Eustachian tubes are dependent on vertebrae function, realignment of the vertebrae can reduce tissue swelling around the Eustachian tube to help drain the middle ear. Chiropractic care adjustments work to dilate the muscles to drain backed-up fluid and in turn, this treatment relieves pressure and unblocks your Eustachian tubes.
There are a few different chiropractic treatments that can relieve your stuffy ears:
- Spinal adjustments are one way to treat ear congestion for a few reasons. Because sinus issues can be attributed to poor spinal health, neck and back adjustments can reduce sinus inflammation which contributes to stuffy ears. This is accomplished by restoring function of the upper nerves in the vertebrae through gentle spinal manipulation, as well as paying attention to the jaw to help direct drainage of the Eustachian tube.
- Another chiropractic method to unclogging stuffy ears is The Muncie Technique. This is used specifically to address clogged ears caused by sinus or upper respiratory infections and allergies. This kind of stuffy ear can be described as feeling like your ears are unable to “pop” and is caused by trapped fluid behind the eardrum. The Muncie Technique is performed with manual therapy inside the mouth close to the auditory tube, reducing adhesions in the muscles and facia that surround it to promote drainage.
- Ear adjustment is when your chiropractor will manipulate the ear by hand, essentially causing it to “pop” and releasing the pressure and tension in the ear immediately.
- The Cranial Sacral Technique is performed specifically to address the sinuses. Inflamed sinuses cause poor drainage and trapped fluids, causing face pain and pressure in addition to stuffy ears. Focusing around the cheekbones, neck, eyes and cranium, your chiropractor will perform manual therapy to reduce pressure in the sinus area and promote drainage. Results are generally immediate, with ease of breath, unclogged ears, and reduced facial pressure directly following treatment.
Stuffy ears and the pain and discomfort that comes along with ear congestion can feel debilitating. Whether you suffer from ear issues chronically, during allergy season, cold season, or are having a difficult time fighting reoccurring ear infections, the team at Tannenbaum Chiropractic can offer relief. With a series of chiropractic care treatments or by engaging in specific approaches for your current ear issues, we can help find what is right for you and put you on a path of healing and relief.
Call Tannenbaum Chiropractic Today for a free consultation on how you can relieve pain and unblock those stuffy ears!