Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

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

We’ve all been there, the annoying feeling when your ear is clogged and no amount of yawning and swallowing can make it feel better. You’ve attempted opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Hoping your ears will just clear up on their own, at some point you may just give up. But if you have discharge, discomfort, or the signs of an ear infection, this would be a bad idea.

A small passageway that links the middle ear to the place behind the nose and regulates the pressure to the ears, called the eustachian tube, will become plugged if it stays closed or open for too long. The tube naturally opens and closes as you yawn or swallow, which you may notice by a crackling noise or pop in your ears. Common hormonal changes cause the ear to remain open and viruses or ear infections will cause the ear to stay closed. It may take your ears a little 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 kind of clog, depending on the severeness, this can be at home or at the hearing professional. Here are a few tips when dealing with blocked ears:

You Can Try Putting Hydrogen Peroxide Drops into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be applied to break up earwax clogs, but it must be put in your ear correctly. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a pipette to carefully put it in your ear is the specialist’s recommendation. Your ear should be tilted upward as you put the drops into your ear and you should keep it that way for several seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax clog. You might have to do this several times a day for a couple of days, but eventually, the clog should clear up.

Never Clean Your Ear by Sticking Something in it

This can’t be overstated: never use a cotton swab to try to unblock your ear because you will only cause things to get worse. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by forcing the earwax into the eardrum. In fact, anything that gets inserted in your ears can lead to an earwax obstruction, and that includes hearing aids and earplugs. In order to lessen earwax buildup, you should use cotton swabs only on the outer ear.

Your Allergies Should be Treated

If you suffer from allergies, it can cause a plugged ear to get worse. Follow your doctor’s advice regarding managing your allergies and don’t forget to take your medication. Unneeded allergens should be limited during allergy season especially but also the rest of the year.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Avoid it

It probably goes without saying, but you really should never stick a lit candle into your ear to get rid of an earwax clog. Ear candling is an old practice of inserting a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The belief is that the heat of the flame produces 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 damage to your ears. Don’t forget, if it sounds wrong you should ask a specialist. Randomly trying anything is a massive danger to your hearing.

If you don’t find any other solution, you should give us a call. Unconventional wax removal can cause severe problems in your ears, like a burst eardrum or lasting hearing loss.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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