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

We’ve all had the experience, the unpleasant feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of swallowing and yawning can make it feel better. You’ve attempted popping your ear, chewing gum, or trying to open your ear canal with your finger. Sooner or later, you might consider giving up and just hope your ear clears up by itself. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be wrong to attempt to wait a while to see if the problem clears up by itself unless, of course, you have soreness, discharge, or other signs of an infection.

Your Eustachian tube, a small passageway that links your middle ear to the space behind your nose and controls the air pressure in your ears, can get blocked if it stays open or closed for too long. You might notice a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube closes and opens when you yawn or swallow. Typical hormonal changes cause the ear to remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to stay closed. Both problems will clear up with time, but it could take quite a long time for your ears to get back to normal.

Blocked ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear clog can be eliminated with treatments, depending on the seriousness, this can be at home or at the hearing professional. When managing blocked ears, here are some guidelines:

You Can Try Dripping Hydrogen Peroxide Drops into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if properly implemented, can dissolve earwax. Hearing professionals 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 into your ear with a dropper. After you tilt your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be enough to break up the wax blockage. Eventually, the clog should clear but you might need to repeat the process for several days.

Don’t Put Anything Inside Your Ear to Clean it

This can’t be overstated: it will only make the situation worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clean your ears. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by pushing the earwax against the eardrum. In fact, anything that gets inserted in your ears could result in an earwax blockage, including earplugs and hearing aids. To prevent earwax buildup, you should only use cotton swabs on your outer ear.

Treat Your Allergies

Clogged ears are often made worse by allergies. Take your allergy treatments and follow your doctor’s instructions on how to treat it. Avoid any unnecessary allergens, specifically during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Avoid it

It probably goes without saying, but you certainly should not stick a lit candle into your ear to clean out a clog caused by wax. Ear candling is an old practice of inserting a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The belief is that the heat from the flame produces a vacuum which draws the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This does not work and you will probably cause a lot more harm to your ears. If something doesn’t seem accurate, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to seek advice from a professional. Don’t risk damaging your hearing by merely trying anything.

You should contact us if your ears don’t clear up. Lasting hearing loss or a burst eardrum are the sorts of consequences you could experience from inappropriate earwax removal.

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