How to Deal With a Clogged Ear

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

You try to swallow hard and yawn but it’s no use, your ears are clogged and you can’t do anything about it. You’ve attempted opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Hoping your ears will simply unclog on their own, at some point you may just stop trying. But if you have discharge, pain, or the signs of an ear infection, this would be a bad idea.

Your Eustachian tube, a little passageway that links your middle ear to the space behind your nose and controls the air pressure level in your ears, can become blocked if it stays open or closed for too long. You might notice a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you yawn or swallow. A , virus or sinus infection might cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to remain open. Both problems will clear up with time, but it may take quite a while for your ears to get back to normal.

Another cause of plugged ears is buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can clear this kind of blockage, depending on the severeness, this can be at home or at the hearing specialist. When dealing with clogged ears, here are some guidelines:

You Can Try Putting Hydrogen Peroxide Drops in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be applied to break up earwax clogs, but it must be placed in your ear correctly. 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 into your ear with a pipette. Your ear should be tipped upward as you place the drops in your ear and you should stay that way for several seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to dissolve the earwax blockage. Eventually, the clog should clear up but you may have to repeat the process for several days.

putting Something in Your Ear is Not The Right Way to Clean it

Seriously, this is worth repeating: it will only make the situation worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs actually push earwax deeper into your ear canal, which can cause a complete blockage. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, result in an earwax blockage. In order to prevent earwax buildup, you should only use cotton swabs on your outer ear.

Manage Your Allergies

If you suffer from allergies, it can cause a clogged ear to get worse. Take your allergy medicines and follow your doctor’s instructions on how to deal with it. Unneeded allergens should be definitely avoided during allergy season specifically but also the rest of the year.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Clear of it

It probably goes without saying, but you seriously should never stick a lit candle in your ear to clean out an earwax blockage. Ear candling is an old and very unscientific technique of clearing earwax by sticking a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it. The idea is that the heat of the flame produces a vacuum which draws the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This method will likely cause more harm and probably won’t help at all. Keep in mind, if it sounds strange you should consult a professional. Don’t chance damaging your hearing by merely trying anything.

You should call us if all else fails. Unconventional wax removal can trigger severe problems in your ears, like a ruptured eardrum or long-term loss of hearing.

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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.