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 there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve attempted chewing gum, popping your ears, and opening your ear canal with your finger. At some point, you may think about giving up and just hope your ear unclogs by itself. But if you have discharge, discomfort, or the symptoms of an ear infection, this would be a bad idea.

Your Eustachian tube, a little passageway that attaches your middle ear to the space behind your nose and controls the air pressure in your ears, can become clogged if it stays open or closed for too long. You may notice a crackling or popping noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you yawn or swallow. Common hormonal changes cause the ear to stay open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to remain closed. It could take your ears a little while to go back to normal but both issues will go away with time.

Blocked ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can clear this kind of blockage, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its severity. Here are some tips when dealing with plugged ears:

You Can Try Putting Hydrogen Peroxide Drops into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if correctly used, can dissolve earwax. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a pipette to slowly put it in your ear is the expert’s recommendation. After you tilt your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to dissolve the wax clog. You may need to repeat this several times a day for a couple of days, but ultimately, the blockage should clear up.

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

This can’t be overstated: don’t use a cotton swab to try and clean your ear, because you will only cause things to get worse. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by pushing the earwax into the eardrum. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, cause an earwax clog. Cotton swabs should be used only on your outer ear so that you can steer clear of blockage.

Manage Your Allergies

If you have allergies, it can cause a blocked ear to get worse. Always take your allergy medications and follow your doctor’s instructions on how to manage it. Unneeded allergens should be limited during allergy season specifically but also the rest of the year.

If a Remedy Sounds Strange, Avoid it

We probably shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you certainly should not put a lit candle in your ear to get rid of a clog caused by wax. Ear candling is an old and very pseudo-scientific method of removing earwax by inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it. The thought is that the heat of the flame creates a vacuum which forces the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This does not work and you will likely cause a lot more damage to your ears. Always remember, if it sounds wrong you should consult a specialist. Don’t risk damaging your hearing by simply trying things.

You should contact us if all else fails. Unconventional wax removal can trigger serious problems in your ears, like a burst eardrum or lasting loss of hearing.

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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