Why do my ears feel clogged when i exercise?

Have you ever been working out, feeling the burn and pushing yourself to the limit, only to hear a sound like someone stuffed cotton balls in your ears? If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience that annoying feeling of ear fullness during or after physical activity. While it can be frustrating, there are explanations behind this sensation.

What is ear-fullness?

When we talk about ear fullness, we refer to the sensation of having pressure built up inside our ears as if they were plugged with something. This often results in muffled hearing and decreased clarity of sounds.

The anatomy of an ear

Before we dig into why our ears may feel clogged during exercise, let’s take a moment to appreciate how intriguingly complex these organs truly are! Our outermost (pinna) part funnels sounds waves through the auditory canal towards eardrum. Beyond that lies the middle section filled with tiny bones amplifying sensory information further still before its eventual destination at cochlea – where neurons decode vibrations into meaningful signals sent from brainstem upwards leading eventually down spine!

But what does any of this have to do with exercising? Let’s find out!

Exercise-induced Symptoms

You might be wondering: ‘What could workout sessions possibly have anything remotely linked with my auditory system?’ Surprisingly enough – quite a bit!

Increased Heart Rate

As soon as one starts pumping iron, body has massive surge cardiorespiratory functions for minerals cleaning away toxins … no … wait… sorry… let me start over.

Excuse me; I suddenly felt extremely passionate and tried becoming conversationally cooler by adding uncommon words but ended up sounding like robotic-alien hybrid who just had something stuck up his bum!

Okay- Back on track: When we work out intensely or elevate heart rates for extended periods,[1]hearbeat increases dramatically, leading to increased blood flow throughout our bodies including ear canals. This swelling results in decreased air volume inside them, producing an effect similar to being underwater and experiencing water pressure.

Eustachian Tube Issues

Another possible explanation for feeling ears clogged during exercise is our Eustachian Tubes[2]. These tiny canals help regulate the air pressure inside our middle-ears by connecting directly into nasal passages.

When we engage in physical activity, a myriad of things can happen that affect this self-regulating system: allergies or cold-like symptoms could create nasal inflammation obstructing these tubes; swallowing or chewing gum could cause these tubes opening, leading to excess airflow resulting in excessive ear-wax buildup over time.

In more exacerbated cases where fluid build-up persists, it may require medical intervention such as Clear Ear Hearing Enhancers.

Improperly Fitted Headphones

While exercising with headphones on seems empowering since it allows us to stream high-energy playlists – it also has its consequences. It turns out, improper fitting of over-the-ear headphones [3]could lead surrounding areas vibrating too much ultimately impacting inner-ear structures enough causing temporary hearing loss through damage of hairs lining cochlea which detect sounds traumatically shockproofs signals similarly phones conductive elements getting warped due sustained force pressing against non-compliant surface morphology affecting capacitive touch sensors’ performance multiaspectually…. Okay Seriously now – Inner ear hair cells have limited lifetime regeneration potential so if they are compromised within their limited lifespan period then a person might develop permanent hearing issues.

What Can You Do To Prevent Ear Fullness During Exercise?

How do we avoid dealing with annoying fullness sensations? Here are some tips.

Intentional Swallowing

Keep conscious inclination practice intentional swallowing while engaging workouts! This technique helps normalize outside pressure from surrounding environment.[4]

Check packaging sodium content before eating anything that could contain high salt amounts.[5] Additional comsumption results in swelling and bloating leading to increased water retention which leads directly to fluid buildup inside ear canals.

Proper Headphone Fitting

When working out with headphones, try a snug fit,[6] ensuring they do not move too much – this will minimize possible loose vibrations around your head. Plus, it’ll also keep hair away from ears reducing unintended blockage of soundwaves!

Nasal Congestion Remedies

Lastly, use nasal decongestants or allergy meds [7]aspirin using specialty designed sterile tips on those extra-tough congestion days where consistent pressure poses no other aid options.


In conclusion understanding the reasons behind our ears feeling clogged during exercise events – scenarios is key to taking necessary steps towards resolution or prevention. Incorporate regular regulation of outside environment influences through intentional swallowing habits such as checking proper headphone fitting usage and choosing food items correctly labeled while avoiding potential exacerbated conditions ending up requiring medical intervention. So go ahead- pump iron once again knowing you have all info needed for conquer!

Good luck getting that workout in without experiencing any ear-fullness sensations – happy exercising everyone!

[3]pubs.rsna.org/doi/full/10.1148/radiol.2019190279#:\~:text=Repeated%20application%20of%20pressure%20on,could%20result%20in%20hearing%20loss.&text=Repeated%20application%20of%20pressure%20on,could%20result%in hearing loss.
[5]www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-much-sodium-is-in-a-meaurette-teaspoon-or-tablespoon-of-salt#:∼:text=-There is 2,300 milligrams,dose per day., www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-much-sodium-is-in-a-measurette-teaspoon-or-tablespoon-of salt](https://journals.lww.com/acsmhealthfitness/fulltext/2017/09000/The_Perils_and_Pitfalls_of_Fitness_Tracking.11.aspx?casa_token=ilL0VahwSoEAAAAA:dVJmUS14WYHywa9fbeuOzSfHLYGbzKTh30I44ByzyNRamSYZ4tAMnxN3qXypFYgfwQnHQiR-gMVSCSAOLk_E-jp)

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