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

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

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 attempted popping your ear, chewing gum, or trying to open your ear canal with your finger. Sooner or later, you may consider giving up and just hope your ear clears up on its own. But if you have discharge, soreness, or the signs of an ear infection, this would be an unwise idea.

A little passageway that links the middle ear to the place behind the nose and controls the pressure to the ears, called the eustachian tube, will become blocked if it stays open or closed for overly long. You may hear a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you yawn or swallow. A virus, allergy or sinus infection might cause the ear to remain closed, while hormonal changes can make the ear remain open. It may take your ears a while to go back to normal but both problems will recede over time.

Clogged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can clear this kind of clog, depending on the severeness, this can be at home or at the hearing specialist. When dealing with plugged ears, here are some tips:

You Can Try Putting Hydrogen Peroxide Drops into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if properly implemented, can break up earwax. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a dropper to slowly put it in your ear is the professional’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 have to do this a few times a day for a couple of days, but eventually, the clog should clear.

Don’t Put Anything in Your Ear to Clean it

Seriously, this is worth restating: it will only make the predicament worse if you attempt to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by forcing the earwax against the eardrum. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, cause an earwax clog. Cotton swabs should be used only on your outer ear in order to avoid causing blockage.

Pay Attention to Your Allergies

Blocked ears are usually made worse by allergies. Follow your doctor’s advice concerning managing your allergies and never forget to take your medication. Unneeded allergens should be avoided during allergy season especially but also the rest of the year.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Away From it

We probably shouldn’t need to tell you this, but you certainly should never stick a lit candle in your ear to clear away an earwax blockage. Ear candling is an old and very unscientific method of clearing earwax by sticking a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it. The thought is that the heat of the flame causes a vacuum which draws the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This does not work and you will likely cause a lot more harm to your ears. Don’t forget, if it sounds wrong you should ask an expert. Arbitrarily trying things is a massive danger to your hearing.

When all else fails, you should contact us. Long lasting loss of hearing or a ruptured eardrum are the sorts of consequences you could sustain from incorrect 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.