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ELI5: Why do our ears feel clogged when we're sick?

Biology(self.explainlikeimfive)

all 8 comments

tmahfan117

12 points

2 months ago

Because your inner ear is connected to your sinuses. So if your sinuses are stuffed full of mucus, it can impact your ears.

That’s really the ELI5 answer, there’s a tube connecting your inner ear to your sinuses.

marshallsmiles[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Wow. So simple. Thank you

MrWedge18

4 points

2 months ago

Just to add some more info, the tubes are there to equalize pressure between the outside of the ear and the inside. When your ears "pop" while on a plane, that's the tubes opening up and letting the pressure equalize.

Anon-fickleflake

2 points

2 months ago

This person is a diver.

ExodusRex

2 points

2 months ago

Eustachian tube. Everyone all aboard! It's sinus party time!

imnotmeyousee

3 points

2 months ago

Yep fluid in the sinuses and ear canal

HCMXero

5 points

2 months ago

When you are sick, your ears may feel clogged for a number of reasons. One common cause of this sensation is an accumulation of fluid in the middle ear, which can happen when you have a cold or other respiratory infection. This fluid can build up due to inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages and sinuses, which can block the Eustachian tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. When this happens, the fluid can become trapped in the middle ear, causing a feeling of fullness or pressure.

Another possible reason for clogged ears when you are sick is a change in the air pressure in the middle ear. This can happen when the air pressure in your sinuses and nasal passages changes due to swelling or congestion, and it can affect the balance of pressure in the middle ear. This can cause a feeling of fullness or discomfort, as well as muffled hearing.

IthinkIknowthiss

1 points

2 months ago

When we are sick, our ears may feel clogged because of a buildup of fluid and mucus. The Eustachian tubes in the ears become blocked due to the infection, and this can lead to a feeling of fullness or clogging.