If you have a feeling that multiple cotton pads have been stuffed in your ears, then you are suffering from clogged ears. Clogged ear is characterized by symptoms of decreased hearing, a sensation of popping in your ears, a feeling of having liquid or mucus in the ear or sound of wind inside the ear. Clogged ear is not only annoying but also very painful. It needs to get early treatment.
Medical Treatment to Unclog Ears
How to unclog ears? The treatment depends on what is the cause of clogging of ears. Here are some options.
- Try taking an OTC (over-the-counter) antihistamine or decongestant medicine to decrease nasal congestion caused by allergies or infections of the upper respiratory tract.
- See your physician and get prescription nasal steroids. They may help in reducing the inflammation and in relieving nasal congestion, which enables the Eustachian tubes to resume their normal function.
- If the cause of your clogged ears is swelling and inflammation of Eustachian tubes, then clean your nose two times every day with a saline rinse. The tubes may get irritated and swell due to breathing in pollution, pollen, dirt, fumes and dust. You can buy a saline nasal spray and flush your nose using it so as to remove any foreign substances. You can buy a saline nasal spray from a local pharmacy or retail store.
- Soften the excess ear wax by putting in a few drops of glycerin, peroxide or mineral oil and then flush it out using a bulb syringe and lukewarm water. You should visit an otolaryngologist to get your ear wax removed manually if you are not able to remove it with home treatments.
- Visit your doctor to get antibiotics for ear infections. During an infection of the ear, there is swelling of the ear canal with trapping of fluid. This results in an increase in pressure in the ear. The pressure and pain that accompany an ear infection should resolve with a few days of antibiotics.
- How to unclog ears? Undergo a myringotomy, which is an outpatient procedure in which ventilation tubes are inserted in the ears to allow the drainage of fluids from the ears to reduce pressure in the ear. During this procedure, the fluid present behind the ear drum may be suctioned. This procedure may require the use of general anesthesia in some cases.
When to Visit a Physician
If you have the following symptoms, visit a physician:
- Hearing loss
- Ringing sound in ears
- Pain in ears
- Discharge from ears
Natural Remedies to Unclog Ears
Try chewing gum, swallowing or yawning to open your Eustachian tubes. This may also relieve the pressure in your ears. Some of the natural remedies to unclog ears are as follows:
1. Valsalva Maneuver
Perform the Valsalva maneuver to unclog your ears. It will also relieve pain and stiffness in the ears.
Close your mouth. Close your nostrils using your two fingers. Take a deep breath. Blow out the air from your nose to regulate the pressure of air. If you are doing it correctly, you may hear a slight sound of popping, which implies that the Eustachian tubes have opened up. You should not blow too hard from your nose as it may damage your ear drum.
2. Olive Oil
How to unclog ears due to ear wax? You may use olive oil to do this, which may soften the wax so you can remove it easily.
Warm some amount of pure olive oil. Take a dropper and put a few drops of lukewarm oil in the ear. Allow it to remain in the ear for around 10 minutes. In this time the ear wax will become soft. Tilt your head to the side and remove the ear wax and oil using ear bud. Take care to do this gently and not hurt the eardrum or the ear canal.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar and Alcohol
A combination of apple cider vinegar and alcohol can be used to treat any type of bacterial infection of the ears.
Mix equal quantities of apple cider vinegar and alcohol. Lie on your side and using a dropper, put a couple of drops of this mixture in the ear. Put a cotton ball in the ear to prevent spilling out of the mixture. Let the mixture remain in the ear for around 5-10 minutes. Now using an ear bud remove the ear wax. Repeat with the other ear, if it is also clogged.
4. Warm Compress
It is an excellent natural treatment to treat clogged ears due to sinus congestion and colds. The heat of a warm compress helps loosen the congestion, ease the pain and unclog the ear.
Soak a clean cloth in warm water. Remove the excess water. Keep the washcloth on the affected ear for around 5-10 minutes. You can also wrap a thin towel over a hot water bottle and place it over the affected ear for 5-10 minutes. This will relieve ear pressure, ease pain and open the clogged ear.
How to unclog ears due to infection? Garlic has anti-bacterial properties that help in clearing infection in the ear. Using garlic oil regularly not only prevents infection, but also relieves blocked ears.
Remove the skin of 2-3 cloves of garlic and crush them. Add the crushed garlic to 1 tbsp. of any oil. Heat it for a couple of minutes. Allow it to cool. Lie down on your side and put a few drops of the oil in the affected ear. Put a cotton pad so that the oil does not come out. Let it remain in the ear for around 2 minutes. Now let the fluid drain out of the ear. Do the process regularly.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, due to which it has the ability to cure ear infection. It can also be used to cure any type of respiratory infection including sinus infection.
Put a few drops of tea tree essential oil into a glass of boiling water. Mix well. Put your ear over the glass and let the steam enter the ear. You will get instant relief from this process.