If your Ear Gets Plugged, How do You Handle it?

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

We’ve all experienced this, the unpleasant feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of swallowing and yawning can make it feel better. You’ve attempted opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Hoping your ears will simply clear up by themselves, eventually, you might just give up. And honestly, you wouldn’t be wrong to attempt to wait a little bit to see if the problem clears up on its own unless, of course, you have discomfort, discharge, or other signs of an infection.

Your Eustachian tube, a small passageway that connects your middle ear to the space behind your nose and regulates the air pressure level in your ears, can get plugged if it stays open or closed for too long. The tube normally opens and closes as you yawn or swallow, which you might notice by a crackling sound or pop in your ears. A virus, sinus infection or allergy might cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to remain open. Both problems will clear up over time, but it may take quite a while for your ears to return to normal.

Another cause of plugged ears is buildup of earwax. This type of ear clog can be cleared with treatments, depending on the seriousness, this can be at home or at the hearing specialist. Here are a few guidelines when dealing with clogged ears:

Try Droplets of Hydrogen Peroxide Into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be applied to break up earwax clogs, but it must be applied in your ear correctly. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a dropper to slowly put it in your ear is the specialist’s recommendation. Your ear should be tipped upward while you put the drops into your ear and you should stay that way for several seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to dissolve the earwax clog. Eventually, the blockage should clear but you may have to repeat the process for several days.

Never Clean Your Ear by Putting Something in it

This can’t be overstated: it will only make the situation worse if you attempt to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs can cause complete blockage by pushing the earwax against the eardrum. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, cause an earwax blockage. Cotton swabs should be used only on your outer ear so that you can avoid causing blockage.

Manage Your Allergies

If you suffer from allergies, it can make a blocked ear worse. Take your allergy medications and follow your doctor’s advice on how to manage it. Unnecessary allergens should be definitely avoided during allergy season specifically but also the rest of the year.

Be Hesitant of Home Remedies That Sound Odd

You should not put a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old method of inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The theory is that earwax is drawn into the hollow space in the candle when the heat of the flame creates a vacuum. This method will likely cause more harm and probably won’t do any good. Don’t forget, if it sounds strange you should consult a specialist. Don’t chance losing your hearing by merely trying things.

If you don’t find any other solution, you should give us a call. Permanent hearing loss or a ruptured eardrum are the sorts of consequences you could sustain from improper 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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