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

You try swallowing hard and yawning but to no avail, your ears are clogged and you can’t do anything about it. You’ve attempted popping your ear, chewing gum, or trying to open your ear canal with your finger. Hoping your ears will just clear up by themselves, at some point you might just give up. But if you have discharge, soreness, or the signs of an ear infection, this would be an unwise idea.

A small passageway that links the middle ear to the place behind the nose and regulates the pressure that goes the ears, called the eustachian tube, will become clogged if it stays open or closed for too long. The tube naturally closes and opens as you yawn or swallow, which you might notice by a crackling noise or pop in your ears. Common hormonal changes cause the ear to stay open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to remain closed. It may take your ears a while to return to normal but both issues will go away with time.

Blocked ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear clog can be eliminated with treatments, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its seriousness. When dealing with plugged ears, here are some suggestions:

You Can Try Dripping Hydrogen Peroxide Drops into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be applied to break up earwax clogs, but it must be applied in your ear correctly. Hearing specialists recommend that you mix the solution with warm water making certain that the water isn’t too hot and then place a drop or two into your ear with a dropper. After you tilt your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to break up the wax blockage. You may have to do 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 clean your ear, because you will only worsen the problem. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by pushing the earwax into the eardrum. Actually, anything that gets inserted in your ears can 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 blocked ear to get worse. Follow your doctor’s directions about dealing with your allergies and never forget to take your treatment. Stay away from any unnecessary allergens, especially during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Strange, Stay Clear of it

It probably goes without saying, but you seriously should never put a lit candle into your ear to clean out an earwax blockage. Ear candling is an old and very unscientific way of clearing earwax by putting a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it. The belief is that the heat from the flame produces a vacuum which pulls the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This technique will probably cause more injury and probably won’t do any good. Don’t forget, if it sounds wrong you should consult an expert. Randomly trying things is a big danger to your hearing.

You should call us if all else fails. Irreversible loss of hearing or a burst eardrum are the kinds of repercussions you could experience from improper earwax removal.

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