Clogged ears refer to the blockage of ear canals that leads to muffed hearing. It has nothing to do with hearing loss or actual hearing ability. It occurs when the Eustachian tube does not open and close properly to regulate and equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the pressure in the atmosphere outside the ear.
Symptoms of Clogged Ears
The following are the symptoms of a clogged ear,
- Reduced hearing capacity
- Popping sensation in the ear
- Windy sound inside the ear
- Feeling of having mucus or liquid in the ear
- Common Factors Causing Clogged Ears
The following are the common factors that causes clogged ears.
- Wax build-up
- Air flow blockage to the Eustachian tubes
- Pressure differences in the middle ear
Clogged ears may affect people of all ages but it most commonly noticed in children during colds. It could be annoying as well as painful to have this condition persistent for a long time. Hence it should be treated as early as possible.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Clogged Ears
By following the below mentioned home remedies, it is easy to get rid of clogged ears.
1. Valsalva Maneuver
Valsalva maneuver is a technique which can be followed in order to relieve the stiffness and pain in the ears.
How to Do?
- Close the mouth and pinch the nostrils closed with the fingers
- Take a deep breath
- Blow the air out of your nose to regulate air pressure
- If done correctly, a slight popping sound will be heard which indicated the re-opening of the Eustachian tubes
- Caution should be taken that one should not blow the nose too hard as it may damage the ear drums
2. Olive Oil
For clogged ears due to the buildup of wax inside the ears, olive oil is an effective treatment. It helps in softening the ear wax so that it could be easily removed.
How to Use?
- Gently warm two tablespoons of olive oil
- Using a dropper put few drops of this lukewarm olive oil in the affected ear
- Allow it to settle for 10 minutes so that the earwax becomes soft
- Keep the head sideways and remove the oil and ear wax using soft cotton buds
- Do this very gently and carefully so that the delicate organs in the ears do not get hurt
- Alternatively, you may also use baby oil or mineral oil for the same
3. Alcohol and Apple Cider Vinegar
A combination of alcohol and apple cider vinegar is used to destroy any kind of bacterial infection that may be the cause for clogged ears.
How to Use?
- Mix equal parts of alcohol and apple cider vinegar
- Lie down on one side and use a dropper to put a few drops of this mixture in the affected ear
- To keep the mixture from spilling out, place some cotton near the ear
- Do not raise the head for the next 5 to 10 minutes so the mixture to do its work
- Remove the ear wax with an ear bud
- Repeat the process for the other ear in case it is clogged too
4. Warm Compress
Warm compress is an effective treatment for clogged ears associated with colds and sinus congestion. The heat from a warm compress helps in loosening the congestion, unclog the ear and ease the pain.
How to Use?
- Soak a washcloth in warm water and wring out the excess water
- Hold this washcloth over the affected ear for 5 to 10 minutes
- This will help in easing the pain and promote fluid drainage
- Alternatively, you may wrap a hot water bottle in a thin towel and apply it to the clogged ear for 5 to 10 minutes to relieve pressure and open up the clogged ear
Inhaling steam is also one of the simplest and effective ways to get rid of clogged ears resulting from a cold. The steam will help in loosening the mucus and relief congestion in ears. It can also help to loosen the earwax causing clogging.
How to Use?
- Pour some hot steaming water in a large bowl
- Add a few drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil to it
- Cover the head with a towel and inhale the steam slowly in order to open the clogged ears
- Alternatively, you may also take a hot shower for 10 minutes to relieve clogged ears
6. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide can be used to unclog the blocked ears by wax accumulation.
How to Use?
- Using a dropper, put 2 to 3 percentage hydrogen peroxide in the affected ear
- After hearing a fizzing for few minutes, the sound will stop
- Wait at least 10 minutes for the fizzing to stop
- Tilt the head to let the solution and earwax drain out
- Be careful about the amount of hydrogen peroxide used, as it may harm the ear drums
The above given home remedies can be easily followed in order to get rid of clogged ears. In case the problem persists, it is better to consult an ENT specialist.
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