A clogged ear can make you feel like you are underwater. Find out more about chin strap for sleep apnea from Positive Health Wellness – https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/ The sensation that something is stuck inside your ear is uncomfortable, and some people experience tinnitus (buzzing, hissing or ringing sounds inside the ear), dizziness or trouble hearing clearly. These symptoms may not be painful, but it’s hard to concentrate or think straight when your ears are clogged.
Causes of a Clogged Ear
Several different things can cause your clogged ear, so your first step is to figure out what the problem is. If you have an infection or there is a foreign object in your ear canal, you should get medical attention as soon as possible. Symptoms of an ear infection include pain, discharge from the ear, a sore throat, and hearing loss. Toddlers are more prone to putting small objects—such as green peas—in their ears than most adults. However, insects will occasionally crawl into someone’s ear while they are sleeping. See a doctor as soon as possible to remove the object or insect before it causes an infection in your ear canal.
If the problem is a build-up of earwax, there are several household ingredients that you can use to dissolve or soften the clog. Do not fish for earwax with a pen, unfolded paper clip or knitting needle. These objects can injure the delicate lining of your ear canal. Remember your mother telling you not to put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear? Q-tips fall into this category. While the cotton tip will not lacerate the ear lining, you may end up forcing the earwax further back into the canal.
Simple Solutions for Earwax
The purpose of the waxy substance in our ears (officially known as cerumen) is unclear. Earwax may be the ear’s way of protecting the canal by trapping dust and bacteria—or insects! Earwax is supposed to slowly move from the ear canal and exit through the outer ear, but it can harden and get stuck.
Hydrogen Peroxide. Many people swear by hydrogen peroxide as a remedy for an earwax clog. Hydrogen peroxide in a 3% solution for home use is readily available and cheap. Put one or two drops in the affected ear. The hydrogen peroxide will sizzle or bubble; don’t be alarmed by the tickling sensation. Tilt your head and allow the fluid to drain out of your ear.
Baby Oil, Mineral Oil or Glycerin. Some people use baby oil, mineral oil or glycerin to help with impacted earwax. Like hydrogen peroxide, these ingredients can be found in most drug stores and are not expensive. They can be effective in softening hardened earwax and providing extra lubrication so the wax can exit. Warm olive oil can also be used.
Warm Water. The Mayo Clinic recommends softening the wax and then flushing with warm water to resolve a clog. Squeeze a couple of drops of mineral oil, baby oil or glycerin into the affected ear with an eyedropper. Do this twice a day over the course of four or five days. Follow this by using these steps to irrigate your ear canal with warm water:
Fill a clean rubber-bulb syringe (a turkey baster or plunger syringe) with body-temperature water.
With one hand, grab your outer ear and pull it towards the back of your head. (This helps open your outer ear canal.)
With the other hand, position the syringe at the opening of your ear and squirt the water towards the top of your ear canal.
Turn your head so your ear is facing down and let the water drain out.
Hopefully, the softened earwax will exit with the water. If it doesn’t, apply more softening drops for several days and try again. If you have a ruptured eardrum, you should not irrigate your ear.
Earwax Removal Kits. You can also buy an inexpensive earwax removal kit at the drug store, such as the brands Auro, Debrox and Murine. Commonly, these kits contain a carbamide peroxide solution, which is similar to hydrogen peroxide, and a bulb syringe. Follow the directions. Do not use these kits if you have a ruptured eardrum.
Medical Treatment for Clogged Ears
Most people will be able to solve their ear clog problems using these simple remedies. However, if you are uncomfortable irrigating your ears, have persistent ear clogging or are unable to resolve the problem on your own, make an appointment with your doctor.
The doctor will examine your ears to check for foreign objects, ear infection, or a perforated eardrum. If earwax is the problem, the doctor may irrigate your ear after putting in softening agents or carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. Alternatively, the doctor can remove the earwax with a smooth-edged, spoon-like instrument called a curette.
A clogged ear is usually not a serious medical problem—but it can be incredibly annoying. Try these simple home remedies or buy a commercial home-use kit. Once you get the hang of putting in drops or flushing, you’ll be able to take care of earwax clogs safely, effectively and cheaply.