How do You Handle it if Your Ears Get Plugged?

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

We’ve all experienced this, the uncomfortable feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of swallowing and yawning can help it. You’ve attempted chewing gum, popping your ears, and opening your ear canal with your finger. Hoping your ears will simply clear up on their own, at some point you might just stop trying. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be wrong to attempt to wait a little bit to see if the situation clears up by itself unless, of course, you have pain, drainage, or other signs of an infection.

Your Eustachian tube, a small passageway that attaches your middle ear to the space behind your nose and regulates the air pressure in your ears, can become clogged if it stays open or closed for longer than it should. The tube naturally 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 remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to remain closed. Both problems will go away over time, but it could take quite a while for your ears to return to normal.

Clogged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can clear this type of blockage, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its intensity. Here are a few suggestions when dealing with plugged ears:

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. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a pipette to carefully put it in your ear is the professional’s suggestion. Your ear should be tilted upward while you put the drops into your ear and you should stay that way for several seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax clog. You might have to repeat this a few times a day for a couple of days, but eventually, the clog should clear.

Never Clean Your Ear by Putting Something in it

This can’t be overstated: it will only make the situation worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs actually push earwax deeper inside your ear canal, which can cause a total blockage. Actually, anything that is inserted in your ears may cause an earwax obstruction, and that includes hearing aids and earplugs. In order to avoid earwax accumulation, you should use cotton swabs only on the outer ear.

Pay Attention to Your Allergies

Blocked ears are commonly made worse by allergies. Follow your doctor’s advice about how to treat your allergies and don’t forget to take your treatment. Unneeded allergens should be definitely avoided during allergy season specifically but also the rest of the year.

Be Suspicious of Home Remedies That Sound Strange

You should not stick a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old technique of pushing a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The idea is that the heat from the flame creates a vacuum which pulls the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This method will most likely cause more harm and probably won’t help at all. If something doesn’t seem accurate, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to contact a specialist. Don’t chance losing your hearing by just trying things.

When all else fails, you should give us a call. Long lasting hearing loss or a ruptured eardrum are the kinds of consequences you could sustain from inappropriate 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.