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

We’ve all had the experience, the uncomfortable 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 ear, and even chewing gum. At some point, you might consider giving up and just hope your ear clears up on its own. And honestly, you wouldn’t be incorrect to attempt to wait a while to see if the problem goes away on its own unless, of course, you have pain, discharge, or other symptoms 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 open or closed for longer than it should. The tube naturally opens and closes as you yawn or swallow, which you may notice by a crackling sound or pop in your ears. A sinus infection, allergy or virus could cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to remain open. It could take your ears a while to go back to normal but both issues will recede with time.

Blocked ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can eliminate this type of clog, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its intensity. When managing blocked ears, here are some suggestions:

Try Droplets of Hydrogen Peroxide Into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be applied to dissolve earwax clogs, but it must be placed in your ear correctly. Hearing professionals suggest that you mix the solution with warm water making sure that the water isn’t too hot and then place a drop or two in your ear with a dropper. After you turn 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 up but you might have to repeat the process for several days.

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

This can’t be overstated: don’t use a cotton swab to try and clean your ear, because you will only worsen the problem. Cotton swabs actually push 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 cause an earwax obstruction, and that includes hearing aids and earplugs. Cotton swabs should be used only on your outer ear so that you can steer clear of blockage.

Your Allergies Should be Managed

Plugged ears are often made worse by allergies. Follow your doctor’s directions about how to treat your allergies and never forget to take your treatment. Unnecessary allergens should be avoided during allergy season especially but also the rest of the year.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Away From it

You should not put a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old method of inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. In theory, earwax is drawn into the hollow space in the candle when the heat of the flame creates a vacuum. This approach will likely cause more harm and probably won’t help at all. If something doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t and it’s best to seek advice from a specialist. Don’t chance damaging your hearing by simply trying anything.

When all else fails, you should give us a call. Incorrect wax removal can cause serious problems in your ears, like a burst eardrum or lasting loss of hearing.

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