How do You Handle it if Your Ears Get Blocked?

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

We’ve all had the experience, the unpleasant feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of swallowing and yawning can help it. You’ve tried opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Hoping your ears will simply unclog by themselves, at some point you might just stop trying. But if you have drainage, soreness, or the signs of an ear infection, this would be a bad idea.

Your Eustachian tube, a little passageway that links your middle ear to the space behind your nose and controls the air pressure level in your ears, can get blocked if it stays open or closed for longer than it should. You might hear a crackling or popping noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you swallow or yawn. A virus or sinus infection could possibly cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can make the ear stay open. Both issues will clear up with time, but it may take quite a long time for your ears to return to normal.

Another cause of blocked ears is buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can eliminate this kind of blockage, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its severity. When dealing with plugged ears, here are some guidelines:

You Can Try Dripping Hydrogen Peroxide Drops in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if correctly implemented, can dissolve earwax. Hearing specialists suggest 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 dissolve the wax clog. Eventually, the clog should clear up but you may need to repeat the process for several days.

Never Clean Your Ear by Sticking Something in it

This can’t be overstated: never use a cotton swab to try and unblock your ear, because you will only make things worse. Cotton swabs actually push earwax deeper inside your ear canal, which can cause a complete blockage. In fact, anything that is inserted in your ears can possibly lead to an earwax block, and that includes earplugs and hearing aids. Cotton swabs should be used only on your outer ear in order to steer clear of blockage.

Pay Attention to Your Allergies

Plugged ears are commonly made worse by allergies. Follow your doctor’s directions concerning managing your allergies and never forget to take your medication. Unnecessary allergens should be avoided during allergy season specifically but also the rest of the year.

If a Remedy Sounds Strange, Stay Away From it

We probably shouldn’t need to tell you this, but you really should never put a lit candle in your ear in order to clean out a clog caused by wax. Ear candling is an old method of pushing a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. The belief is that the heat of the flame causes a vacuum which pulls the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This method will most likely cause more injury and probably won’t do any good. If something doesn’t sound accurate, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to contact a professional. Don’t risk losing your hearing by merely trying things.

You should give us a call if all else fails. Incorrect wax removal can trigger significant problems in your ears, like a burst eardrum or permanent hearing loss.

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.