You try to swallow hard and yawn but to no avail, your ears are clogged and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve tried opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ear, and even chewing gum. At some point, you might contemplate giving up and just hope your ear unclogs on its own. But if you have drainage, discomfort, or the symptoms of an ear infection, this would be an unwise idea.
A small passageway that connects the middle ear to the place behind the nose and controls the pressure that goes the ears, called the eustachian tube, will become blocked if it stays closed or open for overly long. The tube normally opens and closes as you yawn or swallow, which you might notice by a crackling noise or pop in your ears. Typical hormonal changes cause the ear to stay open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to stay closed. Both concerns will clear up over time, but it could take quite a long time for your ears to return to normal.
Another cause of blocked ears is buildup of earwax. This type of ear blockage can be cleared with treatments, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its severity. Here are some recommendations when dealing with clogged ears:
You Can Try Dripping Hydrogen Peroxide Drops in Your Ear
Hydrogen peroxide, if properly used, can break up earwax. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a pipette to carefully put it in your ear is the specialist’s recommendation. Your ear should be tipped upward while you place the drops in your ear and you should stay that way for several seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax blockage. You might have to repeat this several times a day for a couple of days, but ultimately, the blockage should clear up.
Putting Something in Your Ear is Not The Right Way to Clean it
Seriously, this is worth repeating: don’t use a cotton swab to try to unclog your ear, because you will only make things worse. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by forcing the earwax into the eardrum. Even hearing aids and earplugs can, in fact, cause an earwax clog. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear so that you can steer clear of blockage.
Your Allergies Need to be Treated
If you have allergies, it can cause a clogged ear to get worse. Take your allergy treatments and follow your doctor’s directions on how to deal with it. Avoid any unneeded allergens, particularly during allergy season.
Be Hesitant of Home Remedies That Sound Odd
We probably shouldn’t need to tell you this, but you seriously should never stick a lit candle into your ear to get rid of an earwax clog. Ear candling is an old method of inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The belief is that the heat from the flame creates a vacuum which pulls the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This does not work and you will likely cause a lot more harm to your ears. If something doesn’t sound accurate, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to seek advice from an expert. Randomly trying anything is a massive risk to your hearing.
You should call us if all else fails. Long-term hearing loss or a burst eardrum are the kinds of consequences you could experience from incorrect earwax removal.