Robby Young's Hearing Aid Center - Coachella Valley, CA

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

We’ve all experienced this, the annoying feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of swallowing and yawning can help it. You’ve attempted opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ear, and even chewing gum. Hoping your ears will simply unclog by themselves, eventually, you may just give up. But if you have drainage, pain, or the signs of an ear infection, this would be a bad idea.

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 become 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 opens and closes when you yawn or swallow. Normal hormonal changes cause the ear to remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to stay closed. It could take your ears a little while to go back to normal but both problems will recede with time.

Blocked ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can eliminate this type of clog, depending on the severeness, this can be at home or at the hearing professional. When managing clogged ears, here are some tips:

Try Droplets of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be utilized to dissolve earwax blockages, but it must be put in your ear properly. Hearing experts recommend that you mix the solution with warm water making certain that the water isn’t too hot and then place a drop or two in your ear with a dropper. Your ear should be tipped upward as you put the drops into your ear and you should keep it that way for a few seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax clog. Eventually, the blockage should clear but you might have to repeat the process for a few days.

Don’t Stick Anything Inside Your Ear to Clean it

Seriously, this is worth restating: it will only make the situation worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clean your ears. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by forcing the earwax against the eardrum. As a matter of fact, anything that is inserted in your ears could cause an earwax blockage, and that includes earplugs and hearing aids. Cotton swabs should only be used on your outer ear in order to avoid causing blockage.

Treat Your Allergies

If you have allergies, it can cause a clogged ear to get worse. Follow your doctor’s advice about managing your allergies and never forget to take your medication. Steer clear of any unneeded allergens, specifically during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Clear of it

It probably goes without saying, but you really should never put a lit candle into your ear to clean out a clog caused by wax. Ear candling is an old and very unscientific technique of removing earwax by inserting a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it. The thought is that the heat from the flame creates a vacuum which pulls the earwax into the hollow space in the candle. This does not work and you will most likely cause a lot more harm to your ears. Don’t forget, if it sounds strange you should consult an expert. Don’t chance damaging your hearing by simply trying things.

You should contact us if all else fails. Permanent loss of hearing or a burst eardrum are the sorts of consequences you could sustain from incorrect earwax removal.

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