Hearing Health Blog

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 tried opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Sooner or later, you might contemplate giving up and just keep your fingers crossed your ear clears up by itself. But if you have discharge, discomfort, or the symptoms of an ear infection, this would be a bad idea.

A little passageway that links the middle ear to the place behind the nose and regulates the pressure to the ears, called the eustachian tube, will get blocked if it stays closed or open for too long. You may hear a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you swallow or yawn. Common hormonal changes cause the ear to stay open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to remain closed. Both issues will clear up over time, but it may take quite a while for your ears to return to normal.

Another cause of blocked ears is buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can eliminate this kind of blockage, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its severity. When managing blocked ears, here are some guidelines:

You Can Try Dripping Hydrogen Peroxide Drops into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if correctly employed, can dissolve earwax. Hearing experts suggest that you mix the solution with warm water making certain that the water is not too hot and then place a drop or two in your ear with a dropper. Your ear should be tilted upward while you place the drops into your ear and you should keep it that way for a few seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to dissolve the earwax clog. You may need to do this several times a day for a couple of days, but eventually, the clog should clear.

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

This can’t be overstated: it will only make the situation worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs can cause complete blockage by pushing the earwax against the eardrum. In fact, anything that gets inserted in your ears can easily result in an earwax block, and that includes hearing aids and earplugs. To prevent earwax buildup, you should only use cotton swabs on the outer ear.

Your Allergies Should be Managed

Plugged ears are often made worse by allergies. Always take your allergy medications and follow your doctor’s directions on how to treat it. Unneeded allergens should be limited during allergy season especially but also the rest of the year.

If a Remedy Sounds Strange, Stay Away From 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 in your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. The idea is that the heat of the flame creates a vacuum which draws the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This approach will likely cause more injury and probably won’t help. Keep in mind, if it sounds wrong you should consult a specialist. Don’t chance damaging your hearing by simply trying anything.

You should give us a call if your ears don’t clear up. Permanent hearing loss or a ruptured eardrum are the sorts of repercussions you could sustain from inappropriate earwax removal.

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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