If your Ear Gets Plugged, How do You Handle it?

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

We’ve all been there, the annoying feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of swallowing and yawning can help it. You’ve tried opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ear, and even chewing gum. Eventually, you might consider giving up and just hope your ear unclogs on its own. And honestly, you wouldn’t be wrong to attempt to wait a little bit to see if the situation clears up by itself unless, of course, you have pain, discharge, or other signs of an infection.

Your Eustachian tube, a little passageway that connects your middle ear to the space behind your nose and regulates the air pressure in your ears, can get clogged if it stays open or closed for too long. You may notice a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube closes and opens when you swallow or yawn. A , virus or sinus infection could possibly cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to stay open. It might take your ears a while to return to normal but both issues will go away with time.

Another cause of blocked ears is buildup of earwax. This type of ear clog can be cleared with treatments, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its intensity. Here are a few recommendations when dealing with clogged ears:

Try Droplets of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if properly applied, can dissolve earwax. Hearing experts suggest that you mix the solution with warm water making sure that the water is not too hot and then putting a drop or two in your ear with a dropper. After you tilt your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to dissolve the wax blockage. You could need to do this a few times a day for a couple of days, but ultimately, the blockage should clear.

Never Clean Your Ear by Sticking Something inside it

Seriously, this is worth repeating: never use a cotton swab to try to clean your ear, because you will only worsen the problem. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by forcing the earwax against the eardrum. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, cause an earwax blockage. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear so that you can steer clear of blockage.

Treat Your Allergies

Blocked ears are usually made worse by allergies. Always take your allergy medications and follow your doctor’s directions on how to treat it. Stay away from any unneeded allergens, particularly during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Strange, Stay Clear of it

It probably goes without saying, but you seriously should not put a lit candle into your ear in order to get rid of an earwax clog. Ear candling is an old method of pushing a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. The theory is that earwax is drawn into the hollow space in the candle when the heat of the flame creates a vacuum. This method will likely cause more harm and probably won’t do any good. If something doesn’t sound right, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to contact a professional. Arbitrarily trying things is a big danger to your hearing.

You should give us a call if your ears don’t clear up. Improper wax removal can cause serious issues in your ears, like a burst eardrum or irreversible loss of hearing.

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