HEARING TIPS

How to Deal With a Plugged Ear

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

You try swallowing hard and yawning 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. Eventually, you may contemplate giving up and just keep your fingers crossed your ear unclogs by itself. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be incorrect to attempt to wait a while to see if the problem goes away by itself unless, of course, you have discomfort, discharge, or other symptoms of an infection.

A little passageway that connects the middle ear to the space behind the nose and controls the pressure to the ears, called the eustachian tube, will get plugged if it stays closed or open for overly long. You might hear a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube closes and opens when you swallow or yawn. A virus, allergy or sinus infection could possibly cause the ear to remain closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to stay open. Both concerns will go away with time, but it may take quite a while for your ears to return to normal.

Plugged ears can also be caused by a 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 recommendations when dealing with blocked ears:

Try Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be utilized to dissolve earwax clogs, but it must be applied in your ear properly. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a dropper to slowly put it in your ear is the expert’s recommendation. After you turn your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to dissolve the wax clog. Eventually, the clog should clear but you might have to repeat the process for a few days.

Don’t Put Anything Inside Your Ear to Clean it

This can’t be overstated: it will only make the predicament worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clean your ears. Cotton swabs can cause complete blockage by forcing the earwax against the eardrum. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, result in an earwax blockage. Cotton swabs should be used only on your outer ear in order to steer clear of blockage.

Your Allergies Need to be Managed

If you have allergies, it can make a blocked ear worse. Follow your doctor’s instructions about dealing with your allergies and never forget to take your medication. Unneeded allergens should be limited during allergy season especially but also the rest of the year.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Avoid it

You should not stick a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old and very unscientific way of removing earwax by inserting a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it. In theory, earwax is pulled into the hollow space in the candle when the heat of the flame causes a vacuum. This method will likely cause more injury and probably won’t help at all. Remember, if it sounds wrong you should ask a specialist. Arbitrarily trying anything is a big danger to your hearing.

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

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