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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 yawning and swallowing can help it. You’ve tried opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ears, and chewing gum. Eventually, you might consider giving up and just keep your fingers crossed your ear unclogs on its own. But if you have discharge, discomfort, or the symptoms of an ear infection, this would be an unwise idea.

A small passageway that connects the middle ear to the place behind the nose and regulates the pressure to the ears, called the eustachian tube, will get plugged if it stays closed or open for overly long. The tube normally closes and opens as you yawn or swallow, which you may notice by a crackling sound or pop in your ears. A virus, allergy or sinus infection might cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to stay open. It may take your ears a little while to return to normal but both problems will recede over time.

Plugged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can eliminate this type of clog, depending on the severity, this can be at home or at the hearing specialist. Here are a few recommendations when dealing with blocked ears:

You Can Try Putting Hydrogen Peroxide Drops in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be utilized to break up earwax blockages, but it must be placed in your ear properly. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a dropper to slowly put it in your ear is the expert’s recommendation. Your ear should be tipped upward as you place the drops in your ear and you should keep it that way for several seconds to allow the hydrogen peroxide to break down the earwax clog. Ultimately, the clog should clear but you may have to repeat the process for a few days.

Sticking Something in Your Ear is Not The Right Way to Clean it

Seriously, this is worth restating: it will only make the predicament worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clean your ears. Cotton swabs can cause total blockage by pushing the earwax against the eardrum. Even earplugs and hearing aids can, in fact, result in an earwax blockage. In order to lessen earwax buildup, you should use cotton swabs only on the outer ear.

Your Allergies Need to be Dealt With

Clogged ears are usually made worse by allergies. Follow your doctor’s advice concerning dealing with your allergies and never forget to take your medication. Avoid any unnecessary allergens, particularly during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Clear of it

We probably shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you seriously should not put a lit candle into your ear in order to clean out an earwax blockage. Ear candling is an old and very pseudo-scientific technique of clearing earwax by inserting a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it. The theory is that earwax is drawn into the hollow space inside the candle when the heat of the flame causes a vacuum. This does not work and you will most likely cause a lot more injury to your ears. Keep in mind, if it sounds strange you should ask a professional. Don’t risk damaging your hearing by just trying anything.

When all else fails, you should call us. Unconventional wax removal can cause serious issues in your ears, like a ruptured eardrum or permanent hearing loss.

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