Woman trying to clear a clogged ear by shaking water out of it.

We’ve all had the experience, the uncomfortable feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of yawning and swallowing can make it feel better. You’ve tried popping your ear, chewing gum, or trying to open your ear canal with your finger. Hoping your ears will just clear up by themselves, eventually, you may just stop trying. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be wrong to try waiting a while to see if the situation clears up on its own unless, of course, you have soreness, drainage, or other symptoms of an infection.

A small passageway that connects the middle ear to the place behind the nose and controls the pressure to the ears, called the eustachain tube, will become plugged if it stays open or closed for too long. The tube naturally opens and closes as you yawn or swallow, which you might notice by a crackling sound or pop in your ears. A virus, allergy or sinus infection could cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can make the ear remain open. Both concerns will go away with time, but it could take quite a long time for your ears to return to normal.

Plugged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear clog can be cleared with treatments, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its severity. When dealing with plugged ears, here are some suggestions:

Try Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to dissolve earwax blockages, but it must be put in your ear properly. Hearing specialists suggest that you mix the solution with warm water making certain that the water is not too hot and then place a drop or two in your ear with a pipette. Your ear should be tipped upward as you place the drops in your ear and you should keep it that way for several seconds to let the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax blockage. You might have to do this a few times a day for a couple of days, but eventually, the blockage should clear.

Never Clean Your Ear by Putting Something in it

This can’t be overstated: it will only make the predicament worse if you attempt to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by pushing the earwax into the eardrum. Even hearing aids and earplugs can, in fact, result in an earwax blockage. In order to prevent earwax accumulation, you should use cotton swabs only on the outer ear.

Your Allergies Should be Dealt With

If you have allergies, it can make a plugged ear worse. Follow your doctor’s directions regarding how to treat your allergies and never forget to take your treatment. Avoid any unneeded allergens, particularly during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Clear of it

You shouldn’t put a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old and very pseudo-scientific way of removing earwax by putting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it. The idea is that the heat of the flame produces a vacuum which forces the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This technique will probably cause more damage and probably won’t do any good. Don’t forget, if it sounds strange you should ask a professional. Arbitrarily trying things is a huge risk to your hearing.

If you don’t find any other solution, you should call us. Long lasting hearing loss or a burst eardrum are the kinds of repercussions you could sustain from improper earwax removal.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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