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

You try swallowing hard and yawning but to no avail, your ears are clogged and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve attempted chewing gum, popping your ears, and opening your ear canal with your finger. At some point, you might think about giving up and just hope your ear unclogs by itself. 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 discomfort, drainage, or other signs of an infection.

A small passageway that links the middle ear to the space behind the nose and controls the pressure that goes the ears, called the eustachian tube, will become plugged if it remains open or closed for too long. The tube naturally closes and opens as you yawn or swallow, which you might notice by a crackling noise or pop in your ears. Typical hormonal changes cause the ear to remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to stay closed. Both concerns will go away over time, but it might take quite a long time for your ears to return to normal.

Another cause of blocked ears is buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can eliminate this kind of blockage, depending on the seriousness, this can be at home or at the hearing specialist. Here are a few guidelines when dealing with blocked ears:

Try Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in 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 pipette. Your ear should be tilted upward while you put the drops in your ear and you should stay that way for several seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax blockage. Eventually, the blockage should clear up but you might have to repeat the process for several days.

Never Clean Your Ear by Sticking Something inside it

This can’t be overstated: never use a cotton swab to try to unclog your ear, because you will only make things worse. Cotton swabs actually push earwax deeper inside your ear canal, which can cause a complete blockage. In fact, anything that gets inserted in your ears may result in an earwax obstruction, including hearing aids and earplugs. Cotton swabs should be used only on your outer ear in order to steer clear of blockage.

Your Allergies Need to be Treated

If you suffer from allergies, it can make a plugged ear worse. Always take your allergy medicines and follow your doctor’s guidelines on how to treat it. Steer clear of any unneeded allergens, especially during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Clear of it

It probably goes without saying, but you seriously should never put a lit candle in your ear in order to clean out an earwax blockage. Ear candling is an old method of inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. The thought is that the heat from the flame causes a vacuum which draws the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This does not work and you will likely cause a lot more injury to your ears. Always remember, if it sounds wrong you should consult an expert. Randomly trying anything is a huge danger to your hearing.

You should give us a call if your ears don’t clear up. Unconventional wax removal can trigger serious problems in your ears, like a burst eardrum or long-term hearing loss.

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