Although ear infections are definitely more common among children, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get one as an adult.

So, if you’ve never had an ear infection before, how are you supposed to know if you have one? Our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road provides some answers below.

What Is an Ear Infection, Anyway?

While there are technically three different types of ear infections (inner, middle and outer), a common ear infection occurs when bacteria or viral particles affect the middle ear—the section of the ear just behind the eardrum.

The cause of an ear infection has to do with the Eustachian tubes, which are small tubes that run from each ear directly to the back of the throat. When an ear infection occurs, the Eustachian tubes become swollen or blocked, causing fluid to build up in the middle ear.

Common Symptoms of Ear Infections

  • Mild pain or discomfort inside the ear
  • A feeling of pressure inside the ear that persists
  • Pus-like ear drainage
  • Hearing loss

Is It Possible that My Ear Is Just Clogged?

Yes, it is. But if you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you likely have an ear infection.

If your ear is clogged and you aren’t having much significant pain or your symptoms don’t line up with the ones we mentioned previously, one of the things we’ve listed below could be the culprit.

Other Causes of Ear Clogging

  • Higher altitude—The Eustachian tube is responsible for equalizing pressure in the middle ear. But at higher altitudes, it can’t always equalize pressure properly. As a result, the change in air pressure is felt in the ears.
  • Earwax—Wax is normally soft, but it can harden and cause a blockage in the ear.
  • Acoustic neuroma—Acoustic neuroma is a benign growth that develops on the cranial nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain. These tumors are usually slow-growing and small, but they can become larger and put pressure on nerves in the inner ear, which can cause a clogging sensation.

Whether you have an ear infection or a clogged ear, our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road team can help you feel better! Visit us today.