How do You Handle it if Your Ears Get Plugged?

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

You try to swallow hard and yawn but it’s no use, your ears are clogged and you can’t do anything about it. You’ve attempted chewing gum, popping your ears, and opening your ear canal with your finger. Eventually, you may contemplate giving up and just hope your ear unclogs on its own. But if you have drainage, soreness, or the signs of an ear infection, this would be a bad idea.

Your Eustachian tube, a little passageway that links your middle ear to the space behind your nose and regulates the air pressure level in your ears, can get clogged if it stays closed or open for longer than it should. The tube normally closes and opens as you yawn or swallow, which you may notice by a crackling noise or pop in your ears. A virus, allergy or sinus infection might cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can make the ear stay open. It might take your ears a little while to return to normal but both problems will go away with time.

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

You Can Try Putting Hydrogen Peroxide Drops into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be utilized to dissolve earwax blockages, but it must be applied in your ear properly. Hearing specialists 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 into your ear with a dropper. After you turn your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be enough to dissolve the wax clog. You might need to repeat this several times a day for a couple of days, but ultimately, the blockage should clear.

Never Clean Your Ear by Putting Something in it

Seriously, this is worth restating: never use a cotton swab to try and clean your ear, because you will only worsen the problem. Cotton swabs can cause complete blockage by forcing the earwax against the eardrum. As a matter of fact, anything that gets inserted in your ears can possibly lead to an earwax block, and that includes earplugs and hearing aids. To avoid earwax buildup, you should use cotton swabs only on the outer ear.

Manage Your Allergies

Clogged ears are often made worse by allergies. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding treating your allergies and don’t forget to take your medication. Stay away from any unnecessary allergens, particularly during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Strange, Stay Away From it

You should not stick a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old method of sticking a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The idea is that the heat of the flame causes a vacuum which pulls the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This does not work and you will most likely cause a lot more injury to your ears. Remember, if it sounds wrong you should consult a specialist. Don’t chance losing your hearing by simply trying anything.

You should call us if your ears don’t clear up. Unconventional wax removal can cause significant issues in your ears, like a ruptured eardrum or permanent loss of hearing.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.