Hearing Health Blog

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

We’ve all been there, the unpleasant feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of yawning and swallowing can help it. You’ve attempted opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Hoping your ears will simply clear up by themselves, eventually, you might just stop trying. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be wrong to attempt to wait a little bit to see if the problem clears up by itself unless, of course, you have soreness, discharge, or other symptoms of an infection.

A small passageway that connects the middle ear to the place behind the nose and controls the pressure that goes the ears, called the eustachian tube, will get blocked if it remains open or closed for too long. The tube normally opens and closes as you yawn or swallow, which you might notice by a crackling sound or pop in your ears. A sinus infection, allergy or virus might cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can make the ear remain open. Both concerns will go away with time, but it could take quite a long time for your ears to return to normal.

Plugged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear clog can be cleared with treatments, depending on the seriousness, this can be at home or at the hearing professional. When dealing with clogged ears, here are some tips:

Try Droplets of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be utilized to break up earwax clogs, but it must be applied in your ear correctly. Hearing experts 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 in your ear with a pipette. Your ear should be tilted upward as you place the drops in your ear and you should keep it that way for a few seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax blockage. Eventually, the clog should clear up but you may need to repeat the process for a few days.

Sticking Something into Your Ear is Never The Right Way to Clean it

This can’t be overstated: don’t use a cotton swab to try to unblock your ear, because you will only cause things to get worse. Cotton swabs actually force earwax deeper inside your ear canal, which can cause a complete blockage. As a matter of fact, anything that gets inserted in your ears could result in an earwax blockage, including earplugs and hearing aids. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear in order to avoid causing blockage.

Your Allergies Need to be Managed

If you have allergies, it can make a clogged ear worse. Follow your doctor’s advice concerning treating your allergies and never forget to take your treatment. Unneeded allergens should be definitely avoided during allergy season especially but also the rest of the year.

Be Leery of Home Remedies That Sound Weird

You should not stick a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old practice of sticking a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The thought is that the heat of the flame causes a vacuum which forces the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This approach will probably cause more damage and probably won’t do any good. If something doesn’t sound correct, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to contact a specialist. Don’t chance losing your hearing by merely trying things.

When all else fails, you should get in touch with us. Unconventional wax removal can cause significant problems in your ears, like a burst eardrum or long-term hearing loss.

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