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

We’ve all been there, the unpleasant feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of swallowing and yawning can help it. You’ve attempted popping your ear, chewing gum, or trying to open your ear canal with your finger. Sooner or later, you may consider giving up and just keep your fingers crossed your ear clears up on its own. And honestly, you wouldn’t be wrong to attempt to wait a while to see if the situation clears up on its own unless, of course, you have pain, drainage, or other symptoms of an infection.

A little passageway that connects the middle ear to the space behind the nose and controls the pressure to the ears, called the eustachian tube, will get blocked if it remains closed or open for overly long. You may hear a crackling or popping noise in your ears as this tube closes and opens when you yawn or swallow. A virus, allergy or sinus infection could possibly cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can make the ear stay open. It might take your ears a while to go back to normal but both problems will go away with time.

Another cause of blocked ears is buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can eliminate this kind of clog, depending on the severity, this can be at home or at the hearing professional. Here are a few suggestions when dealing with blocked ears:

You Can Try Dripping Hydrogen Peroxide Drops in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be utilized to dissolve earwax blockages, but it must be put in your ear properly. Hearing experts suggest that you mix the solution with warm water making certain that the water isn’t too hot and then putting a drop or two in your ear with a dropper. After you turn your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be enough to dissolve the wax blockage. Eventually, the blockage should clear but you may need to repeat the process for several days.

Don’t Put Anything Inside Your Ear to Clean it

This can’t be overstated: don’t use a cotton swab to try to unclog your ear, because you will only cause things to get worse. Cotton swabs can cause complete blockage by forcing the earwax into the eardrum. Actually, anything that gets inserted in your ears can easily result in an earwax obstruction, including hearing aids and earplugs. In order to prevent earwax accumulation, you should use cotton swabs only on the outer ear.

Pay Attention to Your Allergies

Clogged ears are usually made worse by allergies. Follow your doctor’s advice about dealing with your allergies and don’t forget to take your treatment. Steer clear of any unneeded allergens, specifically during allergy season.

Be Suspicious of Home Remedies That Sound Odd

We probably shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you certainly should never stick a lit candle in your ear in order to get rid of an earwax blockage. Ear candling is an old and very unscientific way of clearing earwax by inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it. The idea is that the heat from the flame causes a vacuum which pulls the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This method will likely cause more injury and probably won’t help. If something doesn’t sound correct, it probably isn’t and it’s best to seek advice from a professional. Don’t chance losing your hearing by merely trying things.

You should contact us if all else fails. Long-term loss of hearing or a ruptured eardrum are the kinds of consequences you could suffer from improper earwax removal.