We’ve all experienced this, the annoying feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of swallowing and yawning can make it feel better. You’ve attempted opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ear, and even chewing gum. Hoping your ears will simply unclog by themselves, eventually, you may just stop trying. And honestly, you wouldn’t be wrong to attempt to wait a little bit to see if the situation clears up on its own unless, of course, you have soreness, discharge, or other symptoms of an infection.
A little passageway that links the middle ear to the place behind the nose and controls the pressure to the ears, called the eustachian tube, will become clogged if it remains closed or open for overly long. You might hear a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you swallow or yawn. A virus, sinus infection or allergy could cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to stay open. Both issues will clear up with time, but it could take quite a while for your ears to get back to normal.
Another cause of clogged ears is 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 a few recommendations when dealing with clogged ears:
Try Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear
Hydrogen peroxide can be applied to dissolve earwax blockages, but it must be placed in your ear correctly. Hearing specialists recommend that you mix the solution with warm water making certain that the water is not too hot and then putting a drop or two in your ear with a pipette. After you tilt your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to break up the wax blockage. Eventually, the blockage should clear but you may have to repeat the process for a few days.
Putting Something into Your Ear is Never a Good Way to Clean it
Seriously, this is worth repeating: don’t use a cotton swab to try and unclog your ear, because you will only cause things to get worse. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by forcing the earwax into the eardrum. In fact, anything that is inserted in your ears can possibly result in an earwax block, including earplugs and hearing aids. In order to lessen earwax accumulation, you should use cotton swabs only on the outer ear.
Your Allergies Should be Managed
If you suffer from allergies, it can make a plugged ear worse. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding managing your allergies and don’t forget to take your medication. Avoid any unneeded allergens, especially during allergy season.
Be Leery of Home Remedies That Sound Strange
We probably shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you really should never stick a lit candle in your ear to clear away an earwax clog. Ear candling is an old method of sticking a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The thought is that the heat of the flame produces a vacuum which forces the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This method will most likely cause more harm and probably won’t do any good. If something doesn’t seem correct, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to seek advice from a professional. Randomly trying things is a huge risk to your hearing.
You should call us if your ears don’t clear up. Long lasting hearing loss or a burst eardrum are the kinds of repercussions you could suffer from improper earwax removal.