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

We’ve all experienced this, the annoying feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of yawning and swallowing 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 just unclog by themselves, eventually, you may just stop trying. But if you have discharge, discomfort, or the symptoms of an ear infection, this would be an unwise idea.

Your Eustachian tube, a little passageway that attaches your middle ear to the space behind your nose and regulates the air pressure in your ears, can get clogged if it stays closed or open for longer than it should. You may hear a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you swallow or yawn. A virus, sinus infection or allergy might cause the ear to remain closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to remain open. It might take your ears a while to go back to normal but both issues will go away over time.

Another cause of clogged 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 intensity. When dealing with blocked ears, here are some tips:

You Can Try Dripping Hydrogen Peroxide Drops into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if correctly applied, 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. After you tilt your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to dissolve the wax clog. You could need to do this a few times a day for a couple of days, but eventually, the blockage should clear.

Don’t Stick Anything in 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 clear your ears. Cotton swabs can cause complete blockage by pushing the earwax into the eardrum. Even hearing aids and earplugs can, in fact, result in an earwax clog. In order to prevent earwax buildup, you should only use cotton swabs on the outer ear.

Treat Your Allergies

If you suffer from allergies, it can cause a clogged ear to get worse. Always take your allergy treatments and follow your doctor’s directions on how to treat it. Unneeded allergens should be definitely avoided during allergy season specifically but also the rest of the year.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Clear of it

It probably goes without saying, but you really should not put a lit candle in your ear in order to clear away an earwax clog. Ear candling is an old technique of sticking a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. In theory, earwax is drawn into the hollow space inside the candle when the heat of the flame creates a vacuum. This does not work and you will most likely cause a lot more harm to your ears. If something doesn’t seem correct, it probably isn’t and it’s best to contact an expert. Don’t chance damaging your hearing by just trying anything.

You should call us if your ears don’t clear up. Long-term loss of hearing or a burst eardrum are the kinds of consequences you could sustain from improper earwax removal.

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