Clogged ears can affect absolutely anyone anytime. It doesn’t have any set age groups or populace that it attacks. Any sort of buildup of wax and fluid in the Eustachian tube of the ear can lead to blocked ears. The buildup can be a result of a myriad of conditions like sinusitis, infections or even simple air pressure. Clogged ears don’t really pose much of a threat, but cause a lot of inconvenience, like weakened hearing capability, dizziness and intense pain in the ear, so it is important to unplug ears.
There are many ways you can unplug ears. You can get it done at home or go to a ear specialist and get your ears cleaned. Let us learn of a few ways to deal with clogged ears.
How to Unplug Ears ?
Removal of earwax
Earwax is the leading cause of clogged ears. Basically, earwax protects the inner cavity of the ear from water, dust and infections. However, if the earwax buildup increases too much, it hardens, clogging the ears and inducing pain and weakened hearing ability.
- Ear Irrigation – Persistent buildup of wax can be removed with the help of ear irrigation method. Sterile water is filled in a syringe and then squirted into the blocked ear. The force of the water helps clear up the ear by loosening the wax. The wax itself flows out with the water and unplugs the ear Ear irrigation kits are available at medical stores, and are pretty easy to carry out at home.
- Wax softeners – Wax softeners can also be used for clearing earwax. Baby oil and olive oil are famous for their therapeutic uses, one of which is wax softening. Glycerin, carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are also effective earwax softening agents. These are simple enough to use. All you have to do is apply a few drops of the wax softener to the affected ear, let it rest there for a few minutes, then rinse it out with water.
Clogged ears can also be a result of blockage due to medical conditions like sinusitis, cold, fever and allergies. If the cause is medical, then doctor should be consulted to avoid further problems.
- Antibiotics – In case of infections, antibiotics work the best. Taking the right antibiotics is also important, so don’t forget to consult with the doctor before taking them.
- Inhaling steam – This process basically helps you get rid of a cold, thus clearing up clogged ears. Just fill up a bowl with steaming water and lean over it so that your face is right over the steam. The steam melts away the mucus and drains out built-up pus and debris.
- Decongestants – Decongestants are used to get rid of sinus problems. They keep the sinus clean by clearing up mucus fast and help unplug ears.
Microsuction is the process of suctioning out the wax and fluids from the ears. It is one of the most successful ways of unplugging ears and can be done at home as well.
High altitudes can create pressure changes in the inner and outer canal of the ear. This change in pressure around the eardrum can cause piercing sensations and high levels of discomfort in the ear.
- Chewing gums – Chewing gums increases movements of the jaw and adjoining muscles, which keeps the pressure balanced around the ears and keep them unblocked.
- Yawning – When in the upper altitudes, you should remember to yawn from time to time as yawning opens up the Eustachain tube that allows the air to pass through unrestricted, equalizing the pressure inside and outside the ear.
How to unplug clogged ears after a cold
- Nasal spray – Nasal sprays are antihistamines which can clear out sinus blockages caused due to allergies.
- Popping the ears open – This is a very easy method where you just have to pinch your nose and close your mouth and then exhale.
- Decongestant – They also help clear out sinus blockages, thus unplugging the ears.
- Neti pots – These are saline drops which can be applied in the affected ear and then rinsed out along with the accumulated wax and debris.
How to unplug clogged ears after swimming
It is very common for the ears to get clogged after some time in the pool. To unplug ears after swimming, stand on one foot and tilt your head to the side of the planted foot. Jump a few times in that state while shaking your ear with your forefinger, and then repeat the entire procedure with the other foot and the other ear. After around 10 times or so of jumping, you should feel the water come out of your ears.
How to unplug clogged ears after flying
Flying causes the same ear clogging symptoms as in the case of barotraumas, so the method to unplug ears after flying is also the same. Flying creates a pressure imbalance in the inner and outer ears, thus creating a blockage. Yawning can help clear out the imbalance of pressure, and so can swallowing hard. Popping your ears by pinching your nose can also help unplug ears when flying.
What to avoid doing to unplug ears
Unplugging ears can lessen the discomfort attached with clogged ears, but overdoing it can also have adverse effects.
- Prodding the ear with cotton swabs can worsen the earwax problem by pushing them deeper into the ear canal.
- Always visit an ear specialist if foreign objects get stuck in your ear accidentally. Never attempt to get them out on your own as it can harm your eardrum.
- After a ear surgery, if you experience pain or discomfort of any sort, do not hide it from your doctors. Let them know immediately what is happening.
- Even though ear irrigation and microsuction procedures are easy enough to carry out at home, do not attempt them without first consulting the doctor. Also stay away from ear candles.