The ears have a canal that allows sound waves to enter and earwax to exit. Unfortunately, the ears can become clogged due to factors both inside and outside the ear. Clogged ears can impair hearing and balance and cause discomfort and pain. Most of the time, clogged ears are caused by an accumulation of clear fluids, a change in altitude, middle ear and sinus infections, allergies, too much ear wax in the Eustachian tube, and other factors.
Most people experience clogged ears during certain seasons, such as cold and allergy season. While ear pressure is annoying, it’s usually quickly resolved, in most cases with no surgical or prescription intervention. If you want to learn how to unclog ears, read this article to find out everything about home remedies for clogged ears that provide immediate relief.
Pop Your Ears
This method is referred to as the Valsalva maneuver. To perform the Valsalva maneuver, you should hold your nose closed with your index finger and thumb on your nostrils. Then, keep your lips closed and blow out. That’ll make your cheeks puff up. Just be careful not to blow your nose too hard because you can cause problems with the eardrum.
Valsalva maneuver will cause an instant “pop” sensation that will relieve your clogged or stuffy feeling. It helps open the Eustachian tubes. However, it’s not recommended to do it repeatedly. Also, this method is helpful when your ears are clogged due to pressure changes, like altitude changing. If you have excess fluid in your inner ear, this method won’t help you.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Mix 3% hydrogen or carbamide peroxide with warm water in a bowl. To use these ear drops, insert a 5-mL syringe or dropper into your ears and inject two drops of the peroxide solution. You need to tilt the head in the opposite direction of your affected ear. As the wax dissolves in the peroxide solution, you might notice some fizzing in the ear as the wax is cleared from your ears.
Use a soft cloth to clean your ears on the outside. You should not use a higher concentration because it might cause burning inside the ears. You can use this solution for two days, twice a day.
To unclog your ears, use an over-the-counter ear irrigation kit. Ear irrigation is a common procedure for removing excess wax from the ears. You can perform ear irrigation at home using the kit. Follow the instructions carefully in the kit. You probably need to do it twice or three times per day, or you can consult your healthcare provider to be sure.
Once the wax has softened, flush it with a syringe filled with warm water. Perform this procedure with the utmost caution. Avoid ear irrigation if you have recently had ear surgery or an active ear infection.
The earwax can be too hard and packed, making it impossible to leave the ear canal naturally. When this happens, you can apply a warm compress to the ears to allow some steam to enter the ear canal.
A hot bath will also help you. It’s a good idea to take a hot shower for 10-15 minutes to allow the steam to clear the wax.
Use Mineral Oils
You can use mineral oil, olive oil, and even baby oil to clear clogged ears. They soften the wax and relieve the clogged ears. Warm 2 to 3 tablespoons of your preferred oil; just don’t overheat it. Check it on your wrist to ensure it’s safe, and the temperature doesn’t irritate your skin.
Then, using an eyedropper, put two to three drops to your affected ear. Keep your head tilted for at least 15 seconds. To remove the collected earwax, wipe your ear and repeat the process 2 to 3 times or as many times as needed to clear the blockage.
While uncomfortable and annoying, the good news is that you can treat clogged ears at home. The length of time it takes to go away depends on the underlying cause and how quickly you decide to treat your ears. You can resolve ear clogging caused by water or air pressure quickly. Earwax buildup and infections can last for up to a week.
In some cases, you should see a doctor to determine the cause of your ear problems, especially if they last longer or are accompanied by other symptoms.