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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 opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ear, and even chewing gum. Hoping your ears will just clear up on their own, eventually, you may just stop trying. But if you have discharge, pain, or the signs of an ear infection, this would be a bad idea.

A small passageway that connects the middle ear to the space behind the nose and regulates the pressure to the ears, called the eustachain tube, will get clogged if it stays closed or open for too long. You may notice a crackling or popping noise in your ears as this tube closes and opens when you yawn or swallow. Common hormonal changes cause the ear to remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to stay closed. It may take your ears a while to go back to normal but both issues will recede over time.

Clogged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear blockage can be eliminated with treatments, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its severity. Here are a few guidelines when dealing with blocked ears:

Try Droplets of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if correctly employed, can dissolve earwax. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a pipette to gradually put it in your ear is the professional’s recommendation. Your ear should be tipped upward while you place the drops into your ear and you should keep it that way for several seconds to let the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax clog. You could have to repeat this a few times a day for a couple of days, but eventually, the clog should clear up.

putting Something into Your Ear is Not a Good Way to Clean it

This can’t be overstated: it will only make the predicament 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. As a matter of fact, anything that gets inserted in your ears could cause an earwax block, and that includes hearing aids and earplugs. To avoid earwax buildup, you should use cotton swabs only on the outer ear.

Your Allergies Should be Dealt With

Blocked ears are commonly made worse by allergies. Take your allergy treatments and follow your doctor’s directions on how to deal with it. Avoid 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 in order to clean out an earwax clog. Ear candling is an old technique of inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. The thought is that the heat from the flame creates a vacuum which draws the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This technique will probably cause more damage and probably won’t help at all. Remember, if it sounds wrong you should consult an expert. Don’t risk losing your hearing by just trying things.

You should contact us if your ears don’t clear up. Incorrect wax removal can lead to significant problems in your ears, like a ruptured eardrum or lasting loss of hearing.

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.
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