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

We’ve all had the experience, the annoying feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of yawning and swallowing can help it. You’ve tried opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ear, and even chewing gum. Hoping your ears will just clear up by themselves, eventually, you may just give up. And honestly, you wouldn’t be wrong to try waiting a while to see if the problem clears up on its own unless, of course, you have pain, drainage, or other signs of an infection.

Your Eustachian tube, a small passageway that links your middle ear to the space behind your nose and regulates the air pressure level in your ears, can get plugged if it stays open or closed for too long. The tube naturally opens and closes as you yawn or swallow, which you might notice by a crackling sound or pop in your ears. Typical hormonal changes cause the ear to stay open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to remain closed. It might take your ears a little while to go back to normal but both problems will recede over time.

Plugged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear blockage can be cleared with treatments, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its severity. Here are a few recommendations when dealing with blocked 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 correctly. Hearing professionals recommend that you mix the solution with warm water making sure that the water is not too hot and then place a drop or two in your ear with a dropper. Your ear should be tilted upward as you place the drops into your ear and you should keep it that way for several seconds to let the hydrogen peroxide to dissolve the earwax clog. You might have to do this a few times a day for a couple of days, but ultimately, the clog should clear.

Don’t Stick Anything Inside Your Ear to Clean it

This can’t be overstated: it will only make the predicament worse if you attempt to use a cotton swab to clean your ears. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by pushing the earwax against the eardrum. Even hearing aids and earplugs can, in fact, result in an earwax blockage. Cotton swabs should be used only on your outer ear so that you can avoid causing blockage.

Treat Your Allergies

Clogged ears are usually made worse by allergies. Always take your allergy treatments and follow your doctor’s directions on how to treat it. Avoid any unneeded allergens, specifically during allergy season.

Be Leery of Home Remedies That Sound Weird

You should not put a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old technique of sticking a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The thought is that the heat of the flame creates a vacuum which pulls the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This technique will likely cause more damage and probably won’t help at all. Remember, if it sounds wrong you should consult a professional. Arbitrarily trying anything is a big danger to your hearing.

When all else fails, you should contact us. Unconventional wax removal can trigger severe problems in your ears, like a burst eardrum or permanent hearing loss.

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