Have you noticed that you are having a hard time hearing lately? You may be feeling stressed already because you have assumed that it is related to your hearing ability. However, the truth may only be that you suffer from blocked ears.
Blocked ears usually occur when the Eustachian tube cannot work normally. The eustachian tube is a canal that connects the middle ear with throat and nose. Its function is equalizing the pressure between the middle ear and air pressure outside.
If some factor causes the clogging of the Eustachian tube. You may feel an earache, hearing impairment, ear popping, whistling sensations, a feeling of fullness and even temporary loss in hearing.
According to the Medicinenet, a blockage of the eustachian tubes can be caused by nasal congestion, an ear infection, allergies, earwax accumulation and eustachian tube inflammation. For a better treatment to unclog the ears, you need to find the underlying cause of this problem.
Common Causes of Blocked and Clogged Ears
- Airplane ear occurs when your ear cannot adjust to the drastic change of air pressure on an airplane. You can feel it when the plane takes off, lands or when diving.
- An ear infection is also known as otitis media, it can lead to pain and clogged ears. You may feel your ear filled with fluid. Cold and stuffy sinuses can be the common causes of ear infection.
- Children are more prone to clogged ear because they have low immunity and are more likely to get colds and ear infections.
- Earwax buildup can block the ear canal and lead to clogged ears. Wearing hearing aids may worsen this condition.
- Swimming or bathing can cause the water entering the ear canal. This will make the water trapped in the ear and lead to an infection.
- Some small devices such as cotton swabs may be left in the ear canal. This will lead to clogged ears.
- Sometimes, allergies can also cause a clogged ear.
How to Get Rid of Ears Clogged From Sinus
A sinus infection can cause clogged ears because your sinuses and ears are connected to the head. When your nasal cavities are inflamed or allergic, it will become swollen and affect the pressure in your ears.
Congested sinuses will cause ear pain, ear blocked and even temporary hearing loss. To get rid of the ears clogged from sinus, you need to treat your sinus infection first.
Home remedies to get rid of clogged ears from a sinus infection
1.Moisture your nose: This can help keep your sinuses from drying out and ease the pressure in the ear. Apply a moist and warm washcloth to your nose. Or you can use a nasal saline spray 3-5 times every day. A humidifier is another good choice for maintaining air humidity.
2. Try a decongestant: Some over-the-counter decongestants can help clear the sinus cavities and relieve clogged ears. Make sure not to use them too often or you may feel more congested.
3. Take medicines: Some over-the-counter medicines such as naproxen, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve the ear pain from a sinus infection.
4. Avoid extreme temperatures: Hot or cold temperatures can make your sinus problems worse.
5. Drink plenty of water: Maintaining moisture can help keep your nasal mucus thin. This can relieve your sinus problems.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar: This vinegar contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help remove the clogged ears from sinus infection effectively. Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and alcohol. Then drip the mixture into your ear and leave it for 5 minutes. Turn your head to the other side. Let the liquid flow out and dry your ear.
How to Get Rid of Clogged Ears From a Cold or Allergies
A head cold or allergies can cause sinus congestion and lead to fluid and mucus trapped in the middle ear. This may clog your ears temporarily.
Home remedies to get rid of clogged ears from a cold or allergies
1. Warm Compress: This is the best method that you can use when you suffer from colds or flu. It can also be used when you suffer from allergies. Just dip a hand towel in warm water and apply it to your affected ear. Wait for about 5 minutes and drain the fluid out and dry your ear. If you have a heating pad, you can use this instead of the hand towel. It can keep the heat for a longer period of time.
2. Steam: This is another effective home remedy for clogged ears from a cold. This can help remove the steam and the mucus effectively. Prepare steaming water in a large bowl and inhale the steam slowly. You can also add the essential oil of your choice to make it have a better effect.
3. Shower: You can also take a hot shower to help your ears feel better. Prepare a warm bath or take a warm shower for about 10 – 20 minutes each time. This will help lessen the pressure on your ear considerably.
How to Get Rid of Swimmer’s Ear
Swimmer’s ear is inflammation or an infection of the ear, it is usually caused by the water trapped in the ear canal. Other factors such as skin conditions, chemicals, and objects inserted in the ear can also lead to this condition.
Swimmer’s ear can cause ear pain, swelling, dizziness, ear clogged and even difficulty hearing. You may also suffer from severe pain when your ear is moved. With appropriate treatment, it can be removed quickly.
Home remedies to get rid of Swimmer’s ear
1. After swimming, remove the trapped water from your ears.
2. Use an earplug or cotton with Vaseline to plug your ears when swimming.
3. If your ear is already infected or inflammation, avoid swimming or exposure to water. Moreover, try to avoid external devices such as hearing aids and headphones.
4. For the children’s swimmer’s ears, some antibiotics or pain medications may be needed to reduce the ear pain and itching. You’d better go to the hospital for treatment.
5. Heat is also an effective way to remove swimmer’s ear. You can use a heating pad, a hair dryer or a hot towel to warm your ears.
6.White vinegar remedy: If the swimmer’s ear is mild, you can use white vinegar to rinse the ear canal. Mix equal amounts of water and white vinegar. Be sure to dilute, otherwise, the acid is too strong, which will hurt your ears. Lie down and place the affected ear up. Use a dropper to drip the diluted vinegar solution and wait for 5-10 minutes. Then turn the head to the other side. This can help drain the solution. Make sure not do this if the ear tubes are injured.
7. Garlic oil: This remedy is also very useful for swimmer’s ear. Garlic has antibiotic properties that can be very effective to cure ear infections. It can also help relieve the pain from clogged ears. This remedy can help you get rid of the clogged ear instantly.
Prepare 2 peeled garlic cloves and mash it to get the oil. Mix the garlic oil with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat them in the microwave. Make sure it is not too hot, otherwise it may damage your ear. Put a few drops of oil into your ear with a dropper and wait for 5-10 minutes. Tilting your head and let the oil drain out.
How to Remove Ear Wax Blockage
Earwax can help you clean the ear canal and prevent debris from getting into your ears. It is usually soft, but sometimes it may become hard and lead to a clogged ear. This will cause ear pain, dizziness or ringing in the ears.
People usually clean the earwax with a cotton swab. But this method will push earwax deeper when made incorrectly.
1. Warm olive oil: This is very useful for the blockage from earwax buildup. It can help soften ear wax and drain out the fluids. This can also help cure the ear infections and ear congestion. Make sure to use warm oil instead of hot oil. Hot oil can damage your ear canal.
Warm a teaspoon of olive oil with hot water or a microwave. Lie down and put the clogged ear up. Then place a few drops of olive oil into your ear with a dropper. Wait for the ear wax to become soft. This might take about 10 minutes. Gently remove the oil and ear wax with a cotton ball. Turn over to your other side and repeat this process if needed.
2. Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is another effective method for dissolving earwax. It can also help drain the fluid in the Eustachian tubes. You need to dilute it to prevent your ears drying out.
Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide and some distilled water in a clean bowl. Lie down with your affected ear upwards. Apply a few drops of the diluted hydrogen peroxide into your ear with a dropper. Leave it on for about 40 seconds and turn your head to the other side. This can help drain the fluid easily. Repeat this process 1-2 times daily until the blockage disappears.
How to Get Rid of Airplane Ear
The pressure in the ears will change rapidly when you are diving or fly in an airplane. This will cause the Eustachian tube not to equalize pressure properly. As a result, you may experience a temporary clogged ear.
Simple Tricks to getting Rid of Airplane Ear Fast
1. Valsalva Maneuver: This is probably one of the most useful remedies to get rid of your clogged ears. This technique can help you equalize the pressure in the middle ear. Make sure that you know the right way to do this so you will not hurt your eardrums.
Take a deep breath and keep your mouth closed. Then pinch your nose and with your fingers and blow out gently. It would seem like you are trying to blow through your nose but since it is covered, the air will go out through your ears instead. You will hear a ‘pop’ sound if you have done this effectively.
Make sure do not to keep your nose too hard and slightly tilt your head back. If your ear is still blocked, repeat this action after a few minutes.
2. Open Your Mouth and Yawn: Yawning can help you open up the eustachian tube and equalize the air pressure in your ears.
Some people may find this easy because they can yawn whenever they want to. However, it is not easy for others. You can try to make a fake yawn, which will still give you the desired result.
Open your mouth and speak ‘aaaaa’, you will hear the ‘pop” sound in your ears. You can try to make yourself yawn by looking at a person who is yawning. Think about yawning, it is likely that your body will do it afterward. Sometimes not breathing enough can also cause you to yawn.
3. Swallowing or Chewing: You can consciously practice swallowing techniques. Swallowing can force your eustachian tube to open and let the air enter. This will help equalize the pressure inside your ears and relieve the feeling of blocked ears.
If you think swallowing is difficult, you can also drink water or chew gum to help you swallow easily. You can also depict the movement of chewing even when you are not chewing anything. Do this repeatedly until the pain goes away.
4. Avoid Sleeping: Some people usually sleep during a long trip. Sometimes this is not a good habit. Sleeping can increase the pressure inside the ear when the car is ascending a mountain or when the plane is about to land.
When people sleep, they do not swallow or chew and this can help make the pressure stay in much longer. It is okay to sleep as long as you know that you are far away from places that might cause air pressure on your ears. If you know that you are near the place and you are feeling sleepy, try to keep busy by doing various things.
When Should You See Your Doctor?
There are many home remedies that can help get rid of the blocked ears. However, sometimes you need to see your doctor immediately.
- If you have tried many home remedies, but still can’t unclog your ears.
- If the earwax is so hard that you can’t remove it at home.
- Dizziness or hearing loss.
- Serious ear infection with ear pain or lots of discharge in the ear.
- Foreign matter inside the ear that may damage the ear canal or periosteum.