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

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 chewing gum, popping your ears, and opening your ear canal with your finger. Eventually, you may consider giving up and just keep your fingers crossed your ear clears up on its own. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be wrong to try waiting a while to see if the situation clears up by itself unless, of course, you have discomfort, discharge, or other signs of an infection.

A small passageway that connects the middle ear to the space behind the nose and controls the pressure that goes the ears, called the eustachian tube, will become blocked if it stays open or closed for overly long. You may notice a crackling or popping noise in your ears as this tube closes and opens when you swallow or yawn. Common hormonal changes cause the ear to remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to remain closed. Both concerns will go away over time, but it could take quite a while for your ears to return to normal.

Another cause of plugged ears is buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can eliminate this kind of blockage, either at home or at a hearing specialist depending on its seriousness. Here are a few guidelines when dealing with clogged ears:

Try Droplets of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to dissolve earwax clogs, but it must be applied in your ear correctly. Hearing specialists recommend that you mix the solution with warm water making certain that the water is not too hot and then place 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 enough to break up the wax clog. Ultimately, the blockage should clear but you might need to repeat the process for several days.

Never Clean Your Ear by Sticking Something in it

This can’t be overstated: it will only make the situation worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs actually force earwax deeper inside your ear canal, which can cause a complete blockage. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, result in an earwax blockage. In order to lessen earwax buildup, you should only use cotton swabs on the outer ear.

Your Allergies Need to be Dealt With

Clogged ears are often made worse by allergies. Follow your doctor’s directions regarding how to treat your allergies and never forget to take your treatment. Unnecessary allergens should be definitely avoided during allergy season specifically but also the rest of the year.

Be Leery of Home Remedies That Sound Weird

We probably shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you certainly should not put a lit candle into your ear in order to clean out an earwax clog. Ear candling is an old and very pseudo-scientific technique of removing earwax by inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it. The theory is that earwax is pulled into the hollow space in the candle when the heat of the flame causes a vacuum. This approach will most likely cause more damage and probably won’t do any good. If something doesn’t sound right, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to seek advice from a specialist. Arbitrarily trying anything is a huge risk to your hearing.

When all else fails, you should contact us. Irreversible loss of hearing or a burst eardrum are the sorts of repercussions you could sustain from inappropriate earwax removal.

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