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

We’ve all been there, the uncomfortable feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of yawning and swallowing can help it. You’ve tried opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Sooner or later, you may think about giving up and just hope your ear clears up by itself. 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, discharge, or other symptoms of an infection.

A little 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 plugged if it stays open or closed for overly long. You might hear a popping and crackling noise in your ears as this tube opens and closes when you yawn or swallow. A sinus infection, allergy or virus might cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to stay open. It could take your ears a while to return to normal but both issues will go away over time.

Clogged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can clear this type of clog, depending on the severeness, this can be at home or at the hearing specialist. When managing blocked ears, here are some guidelines:

Try Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide, if correctly employed, can break up earwax. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a dropper to gradually put it in your ear is the specialist’s recommendation. Your ear should be tilted upward while you place the drops into your ear and you should stay that way for a few seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to dissolve the earwax clog. You might have to do this several times a day for a couple of days, but ultimately, the clog should clear up.

Don’t Put Anything in Your Ear to Clean it

This can’t be overstated: never use a cotton swab to try and unclog your ear, because you will only cause things to get worse. Cotton swabs actually push earwax deeper inside your ear canal, which can cause a total blockage. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, result in an earwax clog. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear so that you can steer clear of blockage.

Pay Attention to Your Allergies

If you have allergies, it can cause a blocked ear to get worse. Always take your allergy treatments and follow your doctor’s instructions on how to treat it. Unnecessary allergens should be avoided during allergy season especially but also the rest of the year.

Be Hesitant of Home Remedies That Sound Weird

You should not stick a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old practice of inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. Theoretically, earwax is pulled into the hollow space inside the candle when the heat of the flame creates a vacuum. This doesn’t work and you will most likely cause a lot more damage to your ears. Keep in mind, if it sounds strange you should ask an expert. Arbitrarily trying things is a big risk to your hearing.

You should contact us if all else fails. Incorrect wax removal can lead to severe problems in your ears, like a burst eardrum or long-term hearing loss.