You try swallowing hard and yawning but to no avail, your ears are clogged and you can’t do anything about it. You’ve tried popping your ear, chewing gum, or trying to open your ear canal with your finger. At some point, you may consider giving up and just keep your fingers crossed your ear clears up by itself. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be incorrect to try waiting a little bit to see if the situation goes away by itself unless, of course, you have discomfort, drainage, or other signs of an infection.
Your Eustachian tube, a little passageway that links your middle ear to the space behind your nose and controls the air pressure level in your ears, can become clogged if it stays open or closed for longer than it should. You may notice a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you yawn or swallow. A virus, sinus infection or allergy could cause the ear to remain closed, while hormonal changes can make the ear remain open. Both problems will clear up over time, but it could take quite a long time for your ears to return to normal.
Another cause of clogged ears is buildup of earwax. This type of ear clog can be cleared with treatments, depending on the seriousness, this can be at home or at the hearing professional. Here are some tips when dealing with clogged ears:
Try Droplets of Hydrogen Peroxide Into Your Ear
Hydrogen peroxide can be utilized to break up earwax clogs, but it must be placed in your ear properly. Hearing specialists suggest that you mix the solution with warm water making sure that the water isn’t too hot and then place a drop or two into your ear with a pipette. Your ear should be tilted upward while you put the drops into your ear and you should stay that way for several seconds to let the hydrogen peroxide to dissolve the earwax clog. Eventually, the clog should clear up but you might have to repeat the process for a few days.
Never Clean Your Ear by Sticking Something inside it
Seriously, this is worth repeating: it will only make the situation worse if you attempt to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs can cause complete blockage by pushing the earwax into the eardrum. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, cause an earwax blockage. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear so that you can steer clear of blockage.
Your Allergies Should be Managed
If you have allergies, it can make a clogged ear worse. Always take your allergy medications and follow your doctor’s guidelines on how to manage it. Unnecessary allergens should be limited during allergy season specifically but also the rest of the year.
If a Remedy Sounds Strange, Stay Clear of it
It probably goes without saying, but you seriously should not stick a lit candle in your ear in order to clear away a clog caused by wax. Ear candling is an old practice of inserting a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it which is very unscientific. The idea is that the heat from the flame produces a vacuum which draws the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This technique will likely cause more injury and probably won’t help at all. Always remember, if it sounds wrong you should consult a professional. Don’t chance losing your hearing by simply trying things.
You should call us if all else fails. Lasting hearing loss or a ruptured eardrum are the sorts of consequences you could sustain from improper earwax removal.