Fullness of the ear, while a seemingly minor problem, can drive you up the wall and make you feel helpless, even if it is temporary. Three primary reasons can lead to fullness of the ear: wax blockage, ear infection and ruptured eardrums. Depending on why you have a feeling of fullness in the ear, the individual cure will vary.
Wax in the ear is essential to protect it and trap dust, bacteria and other foreign particles that may try to enter your ear canal. It also protects the ear from possible irritation that could arise from water entering. However, for some individuals, the wax produced is a lot more than what can be removed naturally by the body, so fullness of the ear may result. This excess wax can harden and block the ear canal.
Wax blockage is not a very serious problem and can be treated with some success at home. You can use products such as baby oils, glycerin, mineral oil or commercially available ear drops to soften the wax in the ear and get relief from the full sensations.
"Otitis" is the medical term given to any kind of infection or inflammation in the ear. Based on where the infection is located, there are two types of otitis – otitis externa (infection in the outer ear) and otitis media (infection in the middle ear). Both these conditions have fullness of the ear as a primary symptom, usually accompanied by pain.
Otitis externa is not a serious condition and usually clears up in a few days. There are several things you can do to get rid of the fullness in your ears. Over-the-counter topical antiseptic can be used to wash the ear; at all times care must be taken to keep the ear dry. Doctors usually clean the ear with a suction device and apply antibiotics in the ear canal.
If, on the other hand, the fullness in the ear is caused by otitis media, there are several herbal therapies that can be used. Ear drops made with goldenseal, mullein, St. John's wort and echinacea are especially effective for this condition. Apart from these, you can also opt for tinctures of echinacea, thyme and elderflower. Another great home remedy is warm garlic oil, poured directly into the ear.
Ruptured Ear Drums
If the eardrum is ruptured due to any reason, it can cause temporary problems in hearing and, again, fullness of the ear. Left alone, the ruptured eardrum will heal itself in a couple of months. However, a perforation in the eardrum allows free passage to bacteria and can lead to ear infections.
If you have a ruptured eardrum, take care to keep it clean and dry throughout the day. Heat compress on the ear can provide relief from the pain and the fullness. Some doctors may even prescribe antibiotics to fight the condition.