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 opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Hoping your ears will simply unclog by themselves, at some point you may just stop trying. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be incorrect to try waiting a little bit to see if the problem clears up by itself unless, of course, you have soreness, drainage, or other symptoms of an infection.

Your Eustachian tube, a small passageway that connects your middle ear to the space behind your nose and controls the air pressure in your ears, can get blocked if it stays closed or open 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. Normal 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 while to go back to normal but both problems will recede with time.

Blocked ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear blockage can be eliminated with treatments, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its seriousness. When managing plugged ears, here are some tips:

Try Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to break up earwax clogs, but it must be placed in your ear properly. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a dropper to slowly put it in your ear is the specialist’s recommendation. After you tilt your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be enough to dissolve the wax blockage. Eventually, the clog should clear but you might 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 restating: don’t use a cotton swab to try to 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 hearing aids and earplugs can, in fact, cause an earwax clog. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear in order to avoid causing blockage.

Pay Attention to Your Allergies

If you suffer from allergies, it can make a plugged ear worse. Always take your allergy medications and follow your doctor’s advice on how to manage it. Unnecessary allergens should be avoided during allergy season particularly but also the rest of the year.

Be Hesitant of Home Remedies That Sound Strange

You should not put a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old technique of pushing a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The theory is that earwax is drawn into the hollow space inside the candle when the heat of the flame causes a vacuum. This approach will most likely cause more harm and probably won’t help. Don’t forget, if it sounds strange you should ask an expert. Randomly trying things is a big danger to your hearing.

You should give us a call if all else fails. Unconventional wax removal can result in significant problems in your ears, like a burst eardrum or permanent loss of hearing.

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