Why Does My Ear Clog When I Sleep? What Causes It And How To Fix It

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Why Does My Ear Clog When I Sleep

Sometimes, when you sleep, you might wake up with a blocked or clogged eardrum. Most of the time, it’s caused by a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum. This can be due to any number of reasons, including fluid leaking in from your nose or throat while you sleep, fungal infection, or earwax build-up in the ear canal. How do you know if you have this problem? Check for these symptoms:

why does my ear clog when I sleep

A blocked eardrum is when the fluid behind your eardrum has accumulated and is pressing on the eardrum. This could also be caused by an infection. The ear canal can become blocked, and while it usually clears up on its own in a few days, it can cause pain and hearing loss if not treated.

How To Make Sure You Have An Earache?

If you have an earache, you might want to see a doctor. Pain in the ear accompanied by hearing loss or ringing in the ear can be a sign of an acute infection.

Excessive Earwax

Earwax is an essential part of the human body. It is produced in the outer part of the ear canal (the Eustachian tube), where it protects us from bacteria and fungi, which can cause infection. It also helps remove dust and debris that enter your ear canal through your nose or throat. The excess earwax can block your eardrum, causing pain and discomfort as well as hearing loss. Here are some tips on how to keep earwax under control:

Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is an inflammation of the skin around your ears (the external auditory canal). This is usually caused by water entering via these areas after swimming in a chlorinated pool. It can also be caused by earwax or dirt blocking the canal. The pain is usually localized in or around the affected ear, and it is often accompanied by itching, discharge, or redness of the surrounding skin. Here are some tips on how to prevent swimmer’s ear:

Earwax Blockage

Earwax blockage can be caused by a build-up of ear wax that blocks the eustachian tube (the tube connecting your middle and inner ears). This leads to an accumulation of fluid behind the eardrum, which can lead to pain, hearing loss, and other complications. Here are some tips on how to avoid the buildup of ear wax:

Ear infection

An infection in your ears (otitis media) can cause inflammation and irritation of your ears. This usually starts with a blocked eardrum, which causes fluid build-up behind it. As the infection progresses, it may cause permanent hearing loss. Here are some tips on how to prevent ear infection:


Earplugs are small devices that fit into your ears and help prevent water from entering the canal. This can be useful if you swim a lot, or if you have a long-term condition such as chronic otitis media where the ear becomes blocked with wax. If you have an earache, try using earplugs to see if they help. Here are some tips on how to use them:

Ear Candles

Ear candling is an alternative treatment for ear pain, which involves heating wax in a glass container until it melts and fills the eardrum cavity with liquid wax that then hardens inside the ear canal. The process is repeated several times by heating and cooling the wax repeatedly until it solidifies again inside the canal, which can take between 15 and 30 minutes of repeated heating and cooling (the process is called “candling”). The heated wax is then scraped out of the ear canal and you are left with a hardened wax plug in your ear. Here are some tips on how to use this treatment:

Ear Flush

Ear flushes are a form of alternative medicine treatment that involves inserting a syringe into your ear, flushing it with warm water, and then squeezing excess fluid out of the canal using your fingers. This can be useful if you have an infection or other chronic condition such as cholesteatoma, which may cause an accumulation of fluid behind the eardrum.

When Do I Need To See A Doctor?

If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. If the symptoms don’t subside within two weeks, you should go to your doctor for further testing.

1. Severe pain

If you are experiencing severe pain from an earache, fever or other symptoms of an ear infection, you should see a doctor. Ear infections can be serious and if left untreated, they may lead to permanent hearing loss.

2. Hearing loss

Ear infections can also cause hearing loss in children as well as adults and this is usually permanent if left untreated.

3. Swimmer’s Ear (also known as “swimmer’s itch”)

Swimmer’s Ear is caused by water entering the ear canal through the eardrum when someone swims or gets water in their ears while showering or bathing. It can also occur after swimming in a chlorinated pool and it is common among people who swim frequently, especially those who spend a lot of time underwater in chlorinated pools or hot tubs. Swimmer’s Ear is more likely to occur on one side of your face than the other but it does not usually affect one ear more than the other.

4. Earache

Earaches, or otitis media, are a common condition that can affect almost everyone at some point in their lives. It usually occurs when the eardrum becomes irritated due to an infection and causes pain in the middle of your head or behind your ear. The pain is usually worse when you bend over or raise your head from lying down. An earache can also be caused by an object, such as a hairpin, falling into the ear canal and irritating it.

5. Ear infections in children

In children under 2 years old, an ear infection is called otitis media with effusion (OME). In this condition, fluid builds up in one or both ears and there is usually pus inside the eardrum but no actual infection of the eardrum itself. In older children and adults with OME, it is more likely that there is an actual infection of the eardrum itself called otitis media with effusion (OME).

6. Ear infection and fever

In infants, ear infections can cause fever because of the way the body reacts to infection. The infant’s immune system is working hard to fight off the infection and this reaction causes a fever.

Common Symptoms Of A Blocked Eardrum

  • You may notice that it’s difficult to hear or that your hearing has decreased significantly. You may feel a ringing in your ears. Many times, the eardrum will also have a dull ache when you press on it.
  • The good news is that you can prevent this from happening by making sure you have proper hygiene and taking care of your body when you’re sleeping. 
  • Some things to consider are washing your hands before bed, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and using a humidifier in the bedroom.

Causes Of The Blockage

  1. Inflammation of the eardrum
  2. Discharge from your ear
  3. Itching in your ear
  4. Rapid heartbeat when you wake up
  5. Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)

If you experience any of these, talk to your doctor before taking any action. If they are present, they could be symptoms of a serious condition that needs treatment.


If you are experiencing a blocked eardrum, it’s important that you don’t ignore it and seek medical attention. That’s because a blocked eardrum can be a precursor to something more serious like a middle ear infection, so it’s important to stay on top of your condition. A blocked eardrum typically starts with an earache, but you should also check for other symptoms such as decreased hearing or pain on one or both sides of the head. A blocked eardrum is caused by fluid or mucus building up in the middle ear, and a doctor can clear it up in a few minutes if they examine you. But if you haven’t experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor immediately.

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