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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 there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve attempted popping your ear, chewing gum, or trying to open your ear canal with your finger. Hoping your ears will simply unclog on their own, at some point you may just stop trying. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be incorrect to attempt to wait a while to see if the situation goes away on its own unless, of course, you have pain, 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 regulates the air pressure in your ears, can become clogged if it stays closed or open for too long. The tube naturally closes and opens as you yawn or swallow, which you may notice by a crackling noise or pop in your ears. Normal hormonal changes cause the ear to remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to remain closed. It might take your ears a while to go back to normal but both problems will recede with time.

Another cause of blocked ears is buildup of earwax. This type of ear clog can be cleared with treatments, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its seriousness. Here are some tips when dealing with clogged ears:

You Can Try Putting Hydrogen Peroxide Drops in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to break up earwax clogs, but it must be put in your ear correctly. Hearing experts suggest that you mix the solution with warm water making sure that the water is not too hot and then putting a drop or two in your ear with a pipette. After you tilt your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to dissolve the wax blockage. You might need to do this a few times a day for a couple of days, but ultimately, the blockage should clear.

putting Something in Your Ear is Never a Good Way to Clean it

Seriously, this is worth repeating: it will only make the situation worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by pushing the earwax into the eardrum. Even hearing aids and earplugs can, in fact, result in an earwax blockage. To avoid earwax buildup, you should only use cotton swabs on your outer ear.

Pay Attention to Your Allergies

If you have allergies, it can make a clogged ear worse. Take your allergy medications and follow your doctor’s advice on how to treat it. Avoid any unneeded allergens, particularly during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Clear of it

You should not put a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old technique of sticking a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. The idea is that the heat of the flame produces a vacuum which forces the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This approach will most likely cause more harm and probably won’t help at all. Don’t forget, if it sounds wrong you should consult a professional. Arbitrarily trying things is a huge danger to your hearing.

You should call us if all else fails. Incorrect wax removal can trigger severe issues in your ears, like a ruptured eardrum or permanent hearing loss.

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.
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