Hearing Health Blog

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

We’ve all experienced this, the unpleasant feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of yawning and swallowing can make it feel better. You’ve tried chewing gum, popping your ears, and opening your ear canal with your finger. At some point, you may contemplate giving up and just keep your fingers crossed your ear clears up by itself. But if you have drainage, pain, or the signs of an ear infection, this would be an unwise idea.

A little passageway that links the middle ear to the place behind the nose and regulates the pressure to the ears, called the eustachian tube, will become clogged if it remains open or closed for too long. The tube normally opens and closes as you yawn or swallow, which you may notice by a crackling noise or pop in your ears. Common hormonal changes cause the ear to stay open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to stay closed. It could take your ears a while to go back to normal but both issues will recede over time.

Plugged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can clear this type of blockage, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its seriousness. Here are some recommendations when dealing with clogged ears:

Try Droplets of Hydrogen Peroxide Into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to dissolve earwax clogs, but it must be placed in your ear properly. Hearing professionals suggest that you mix the solution with warm water making sure that the water is not too hot and then place a drop or two into your ear with a dropper. Your ear should be turned upward as you place the drops in your ear and you should keep it that way for several seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to dissolve the earwax clog. You may need to do this a few times a day for a couple of days, but eventually, the blockage should clear.

Don’t Stick Anything in Your Ear to Clean it

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

Your Allergies Should be Dealt With

Blocked ears are often made worse by allergies. Always take your allergy medicines and follow your doctor’s advice on how to deal with it. Unnecessary allergens should be definitely avoided during allergy season especially but also the rest of the year.

Be Suspicious of Home Remedies That Sound Strange

We probably shouldn’t need to tell you this, but you really should never stick a lit candle into your ear to clear away an earwax blockage. Ear candling is an old and very unscientific technique of clearing earwax by inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it. The theory is that earwax is drawn into the hollow space in the candle when the heat of the flame causes a vacuum. This method will likely cause more damage and probably won’t help at all. Keep in mind, if it sounds wrong you should ask a specialist. Arbitrarily trying things is a big danger to your hearing.

If you don’t find any other solution, you should get in touch with us. Unconventional wax removal can cause significant issues in your ears, like a burst eardrum or long-term hearing loss.

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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