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

We’ve all been there, the annoying feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of yawning and swallowing can make it feel better. You’ve tried opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Eventually, you may consider giving up and just keep your fingers crossed your ear clears up on its own. And honestly, you wouldn’t be wrong to attempt to wait a little bit to see if the problem goes away by itself unless, of course, you have soreness, drainage, or other signs of an infection.

Your Eustachian tube, a little passageway that attaches your middle ear to the space behind your nose and regulates the air pressure in your ears, can get blocked if it stays closed or open for too long. The tube naturally opens and closes as you yawn or swallow, which you may notice by a crackling sound or pop in your ears. Common hormonal changes cause the ear to remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to stay closed. It may take your ears a little while to return to normal but both issues will go away with time.

Blocked ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear blockage can be eliminated with treatments, depending on the seriousness, this can be at home or at the hearing specialist. Here are a few suggestions when dealing with plugged ears:

Try Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be utilized to break up earwax blockages, but it must be put in your ear correctly. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a pipette to carefully put it in your ear is the expert’s suggestion. After you turn your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to break up the wax clog. Ultimately, the blockage should clear up but you may have to repeat the process for several days.

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

Seriously, this is worth repeating: never use a cotton swab to try and unclog your ear, because you will only worsen the problem. Cotton swabs actually force earwax deeper inside your ear canal, which can cause a total blockage. Actually, anything that is inserted in your ears can possibly result in an earwax block, including hearing aids and earplugs. Cotton swabs should be used only on your outer ear in order to steer clear of blockage.

Treat Your Allergies

If you have allergies, it can make a plugged ear worse. Always take your allergy medicines and follow your doctor’s instructions on how to manage it. Avoid any unneeded allergens, specifically during allergy season.

Be Hesitant of Home Remedies That Sound Odd

We probably shouldn’t need to tell you this, but you really should not put a lit candle into your ear in order to clear away a clog caused by wax. Ear candling is an old and very unscientific method of removing earwax by sticking a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it. In theory, earwax is drawn into the hollow space inside the candle when the heat of the flame causes a vacuum. This method will probably cause more harm and probably won’t do any good. If something doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t and it’s best to contact a professional. Arbitrarily trying anything is a massive risk to your hearing.

You should call us if your ears don’t clear up. Improper wax removal can result in severe issues in your ears, like a ruptured eardrum or lasting loss of hearing.

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