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

You try to swallow hard and yawn but to no avail, your ears are clogged and you can’t do anything about it. You’ve tried opening your ear canal with your finger, popping your ear, and even chewing gum. Hoping your ears will simply unclog on their own, eventually, you might just stop trying. And truthfully, you wouldn’t be wrong to try waiting a little bit to see if the situation goes away on its own unless, of course, you have soreness, drainage, or other symptoms of an infection.

Your Eustachian tube, a little passageway that connects your middle ear to the space behind your nose and regulates the air pressure level in your ears, can become plugged if it stays open or closed for longer than it should. You might notice a crackling or popping noise in your ears as this tube closes and opens when you swallow or yawn. A sinus infection, allergy or virus could cause the ear to stay closed, while hormonal changes can cause the ear to stay open. It could take your ears a little while to go back to normal but both issues will recede with time.

Clogged ears can also be caused by a buildup of earwax. Ear treatment can eliminate this kind of clog, depending on the seriousness, this can be at home or at the hearing specialist. When managing plugged ears, here are some suggestions:

You Can Try Putting Hydrogen Peroxide Drops into Your Ear

Hydrogen peroxide can be applied to dissolve earwax blockages, but it must be placed in your ear correctly. Hearing specialists recommend that you mix the solution with warm water making sure that the water isn’t too hot and then place a drop or two in your ear with a dropper. After you turn your ear upward and put the drops in, a few seconds should be sufficient to dissolve the wax blockage. Eventually, the clog should clear but you may have to repeat the process for a few days.

Putting Something in Your Ear is Never The Right Way to Clean it

Seriously, this is worth restating: it will only make the situation worse if you try to use a cotton swab to clear your ears. Cotton swabs actually push earwax deeper into your ear canal, which can cause a complete blockage. As a matter of fact, anything that is inserted in your ears could cause an earwax blockage, including hearing aids and earplugs. To avoid earwax accumulation, you should use cotton swabs only on your outer ear.

Your Allergies Need to be Managed

Clogged ears are usually made worse by allergies. Follow your doctor’s directions about how to treat your allergies and never forget to take your treatment. Avoid any unneeded allergens, particularly during allergy season.

If a Remedy Sounds Odd, Stay Away From it

We probably shouldn’t have to tell you this, but you really should never stick a lit candle into your ear in order to get rid of an earwax clog. Ear candling is an old technique of pushing a hollow candle in your ear and lighting it which is extremely unscientific. The thought is that the heat from the flame produces a vacuum which forces the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This does not work and you will likely cause a lot more damage to your ears. If something doesn’t seem accurate, it most likely isn’t and it’s best to contact an expert. Don’t chance losing your hearing by merely trying things.

You should call us if all else fails. Irreversible loss of hearing or a ruptured eardrum are the sorts of repercussions you could experience from incorrect earwax removal.