Audiology & Hearing Care of SWFL - Bonita Springs, FL

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

You try swallowing hard and yawning but it’s no use, your ears are clogged and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve attempted chewing gum, popping your ears, and opening your ear canal with your finger. Hoping your ears will just clear up on their own, eventually, you might just give up. But if you have discharge, soreness, or the signs of an ear infection, this would be a bad idea.

Your Eustachian tube, a little passageway that connects your middle ear to the space behind your nose and controls the air pressure in your ears, can get clogged if it stays closed or open for longer than it should. The tube normally opens and closes as you yawn or swallow, which you might notice by a crackling sound or pop in your ears. A sinus infection, allergy or virus could cause the ear to remain closed, while hormonal changes can make the ear remain open. Both issues will clear up over time, but it may take quite a while for your ears to return to normal.

Blocked ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. This type of ear blockage can be cleared with treatments, depending on the severeness, this can be at home or at the hearing specialist. Here are a few recommendations when dealing with blocked ears:

Try Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be applied to break up earwax blockages, but it must be put in your ear properly. Mixing the peroxide with luke warm water and using a pipette to slowly put it in your ear is the professional’s recommendation. After you tilt your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to dissolve the wax blockage. Ultimately, the clog should clear but you might need to repeat the process for several days.

Never Clean Your Ear by Sticking Something in it

Seriously, this is worth restating: it will only make the predicament worse if you attempt to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs actually push earwax deeper into your ear canal, which can cause a total blockage. Actually, anything that is inserted in your ears can possibly result in an earwax block, including earplugs and hearing aids. 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 plugged ear to get worse. Take your allergy treatments and follow your doctor’s advice on how to deal with it. Avoid any unneeded allergens, particularly during allergy season.

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 method 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 technique will most likely cause more harm and probably won’t do any good. If something doesn’t sound accurate, it probably isn’t and it’s best to consult a professional. Don’t risk losing your hearing by just trying things.

When all else fails, you should call us. Incorrect wax removal can trigger significant problems in your ears, like a burst eardrum or long-term 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.