How to Get Rid of a Blocked Ear

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

You try swallowing hard and yawning but it’s no use, 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 by themselves, eventually, you might just give up. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be wrong to attempt to wait a while to see if the situation clears up by itself unless, of course, you have pain, discharge, or other signs of an infection.

Your Eustachian tube, a small passageway that connects your middle ear to the space behind your nose and regulates the air pressure in your ears, can get plugged if it stays open or closed for longer than it should. You may notice a crackling or popping noise in your ears as this tube closes and opens when you swallow or yawn. Typical hormonal changes cause the ear to remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to remain closed. Both problems will go away with time, but it might take quite a long time for your ears to get back to normal.

Blocked ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear blockage can be cleared with treatments, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its severity. Here are some recommendations when dealing with clogged ears:

Try Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide Into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if correctly applied, can break up earwax. 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. After you turn your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to break up the wax clog. Eventually, the blockage should clear but you might have to repeat the process for several days.

Never Clean Your Ear by Putting Something in it

This can’t be overstated: never use a cotton swab to try and unblock your ear, because you will only cause things to get worse. Cotton swabs can cause complete blockage by pushing the earwax into the eardrum. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, cause an earwax clog. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear in order to steer clear of blockage.

Manage Your Allergies

If you have allergies, it can make a clogged ear worse. Take your allergy treatments and follow your doctor’s advice on how to deal with it. Unneeded allergens should be definitely avoided during allergy season particularly but also the rest of the year.

If a Remedy Sounds Strange, Avoid it

You shouldn’t put a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old method of sticking a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. The idea is that the heat from the flame creates a vacuum which pulls the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This doesn’t work and you will probably cause a lot more harm to your ears. If something doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t and it’s best to consult a specialist. Don’t risk losing your hearing by merely trying things.

You should give us a call if your ears don’t clear up. Long lasting loss of hearing or a ruptured eardrum are the kinds of consequences you could sustain from improper earwax removal.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.