HEARING TIPS

If your Ear Gets Blocked, How do You Deal With it?

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

We’ve all been there, the uncomfortable feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of yawning and swallowing can make it feel better. You’ve tried chewing gum, popping your ears, and opening your ear canal with your finger. Hoping your ears will simply unclog by themselves, eventually, you might just give up. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be wrong to try waiting a little bit to see if the situation goes away on its own unless, of course, you have soreness, discharge, or other signs of an infection.

A small passageway that connects the middle ear to the place behind the nose and controls the pressure to the ears, called the eustachian tube, will become blocked if it remains closed or open for too long. The tube naturally closes and opens as you yawn or swallow, which you may notice by a crackling sound or pop in your ears. Typical hormonal changes cause the ear to remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to stay closed. Both issues will clear up with time, but it might take quite a long time for your ears to get back to normal.

Clogged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can clear this type of blockage, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its seriousness. Here are a few recommendations when dealing with clogged ears:

Try Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to dissolve earwax blockages, but it must be put in your ear properly. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a pipette to gradually put it in your ear is the professional’s suggestion. After you turn your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be enough to dissolve the wax clog. You could have to do this a few times a day for a couple of days, but ultimately, the clog should clear.

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

This can’t be overstated: it will only make the situation worse if you attempt to use a cotton swab to clean your ears. Cotton swabs actually push earwax deeper into your ear canal, which can cause a total blockage. In fact, anything that is inserted in your ears can easily lead to an earwax obstruction, and that includes hearing aids and earplugs. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear in order to steer clear of blockage.

Pay Attention to Your Allergies

If you have allergies, it can cause a plugged ear to get worse. Follow your doctor’s advice concerning dealing with your allergies and don’t forget to take your treatment. Stay away from any unnecessary allergens, specifically during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Away From it

It probably goes without saying, but you seriously should never stick a lit candle into your ear in order to clean out an earwax clog. 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 causes a vacuum. This does not work and you will likely cause a lot more harm to your ears. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t and it’s best to contact a specialist. Arbitrarily trying things is a big danger to your hearing.

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

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