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

We’ve all experienced this, the uncomfortable feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of yawning and swallowing can make it feel better. You’ve attempted opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ear, and even chewing gum. Hoping your ears will just unclog by themselves, at some point you might just give up. 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 place behind the nose and regulates the pressure that goes the ears, called the eustachian tube, will get plugged if it remains closed or open for overly long. You might notice a crackling or popping noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you swallow or yawn. A virus, sinus infection or allergy could cause the ear to remain closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to stay open. It could take your ears a little while to go back to normal but both issues will go away over time.

Blocked ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear clog can be eliminated with treatments, depending on the seriousness, this can be at home or at the hearing professional. Here are some recommendations when dealing with clogged ears:

Try Droplets of Hydrogen Peroxide Into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to break up earwax blockages, but it must be put in your ear properly. Hearing professionals suggest 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 pipette. After you turn your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to break up the wax blockage. You might need to do this a few times a day for a couple of days, but eventually, the blockage should clear up.

Never Clean Your Ear by Putting Something inside it

Seriously, this is worth repeating: don’t use a cotton swab to try and clean your ear, because you will only make things worse. Cotton swabs can cause complete blockage by pushing the earwax against the eardrum. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, cause an earwax blockage. Cotton swabs should be used only on your outer ear in order to avoid causing blockage.

Manage Your Allergies

Blocked ears are usually made worse by allergies. Always take your allergy medicines and follow your doctor’s advice on how to deal with it. Unneeded allergens should be limited during allergy season particularly but also the rest of the year.

Be Hesitant of Home Remedies That Sound Odd

We probably shouldn’t need to tell you this, but you seriously should never stick a lit candle in your ear to get rid of an earwax clog. Ear candling is an old technique of sticking a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. In theory, earwax is drawn into the hollow space in the candle when the heat of the flame creates a vacuum. This doesn’t work and you will probably cause a lot more harm to your ears. If something doesn’t sound correct, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to consult a specialist. Arbitrarily trying anything is a huge danger to your hearing.

You should contact us if all else fails. Permanent loss of hearing or a ruptured eardrum are the kinds of repercussions you could sustain from inappropriate earwax removal.

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