How to Deal With a Blocked Ear

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 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. Hoping your ears will simply unclog on their own, at some point you might just stop trying. But if you have drainage, pain, or the symptoms of an ear infection, this would be an unwise idea.

A small passageway that connects the middle ear to the place behind the nose and regulates the pressure to the ears, called the eustachian tube, will get plugged if it stays closed or open for overly long. You may notice a crackling or popping noise in your ears as this tube closes and opens when you yawn or swallow. A , virus or sinus infection could possibly cause the ear to remain closed, while hormonal changes can make the ear stay open. It might take your ears a little while to return to normal but both problems will recede over time.

Another cause of blocked ears is buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can clear this type of blockage, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its intensity. When managing plugged ears, here are some suggestions:

You Can Try Putting Hydrogen Peroxide Drops in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be applied to break up earwax blockages, but it must be applied in your ear properly. Hearing experts recommend that you mix the solution with warm water making sure that the water is not too hot and then putting a drop or two into your ear with a dropper. Your ear should be turned upward while you place the drops into your ear and you should stay that way for a few seconds to let the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax blockage. Ultimately, the clog should clear but you might have to repeat the process for several days.

Never Clean Your Ear by Putting Something inside it

Seriously, this is worth repeating: it will only make the situation worse if you try 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 blockage. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear in order to avoid causing blockage.

Your Allergies Should be Dealt With

If you have allergies, it can make a plugged ear worse. Follow your doctor’s directions regarding managing your allergies and don’t forget to take your medication. Avoid any unneeded allergens, specifically during allergy season.

Be Hesitant of Home Remedies That Sound Weird

You shouldn’t put a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old technique of inserting a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. The belief is that the heat of the flame causes a vacuum which forces the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This doesn’t work and you will most likely cause a lot more injury to your ears. Always remember, if it sounds wrong you should consult a specialist. Don’t risk losing your hearing by just trying things.

When all else fails, you should get in touch with us. Incorrect wax removal can lead to significant issues in your ears, like a ruptured 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.