Audio Life Hearing Center- Knoxville, TN

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

You try to swallow hard and yawn but it’s no use, your ears are clogged and you can’t do anything about it. You’ve tried opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Hoping your ears will just unclog on their own, eventually, you might just give up. 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 level in your ears, can become plugged if it stays closed or open 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. Common hormonal changes cause the ear to stay open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to remain closed. It might take your ears a while to return to normal but both issues will recede with time.

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

You Can Try Dripping Hydrogen Peroxide Drops in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be utilized to break up earwax blockages, but it must be placed in your ear correctly. Hearing professionals recommend that you mix the solution with warm water making sure that the water isn’t too hot and then putting a drop or two into your ear with a dropper. Your ear should be tipped upward as you put the drops into your ear and you should keep it that way for a few seconds to let the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax blockage. You could need to repeat this a few times a day for a couple of days, but ultimately, the clog should clear up.

Sticking Something in Your Ear is Not The Right Way to Clean it

This can’t be overstated: don’t use a cotton swab to try and unblock your ear, because you will only cause things to get worse. Cotton swabs actually push earwax deeper into your ear canal, which can cause a total blockage. Actually, anything that is inserted in your ears can easily lead to an earwax obstruction, and that includes earplugs and hearing aids. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear in order to steer clear of blockage.

Your Allergies Should be Managed

If you suffer from allergies, it can make a plugged ear worse. Take your allergy treatments and follow your doctor’s advice on how to deal with it. Avoid any unnecessary allergens, especially during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Strange, Stay Clear of it

We probably shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you really should not put a lit candle in your ear in order to clean out a clog caused by wax. Ear candling is an old technique of pushing a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. The belief is that the heat of the flame creates a vacuum which pulls the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This does not work and you will most likely cause a lot more injury to your ears. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t and it’s best to consult an expert. Randomly trying things is a massive risk to your hearing.

If you don’t find any other solution, you should call us. Incorrect wax removal can result in severe issues in your ears, like a burst eardrum or irreversible loss of hearing.

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