Fortunately, there are several home remedies you can deploy to free up your ears! To know which one works, you need to determine the cause of your plugged-up ears. But first some words of advice:
Don’t stick anything in your ears
NEVER use a cotton swab or pencil to clean your ear or remove a blockage. It can pierce your ear drums or otherwise damage your ears.
To illustrate, the Henry Ford Hospital conducted research on patients with ruptured ear drums, and found a direct association with the use of cotton swabs. You can read more about these findings here.
Be on the Alert for Serious Ear Problems
The plugged up feeling of your ears could be caused by more than common causes like earwax. In that case, you should definitely consult with your house physician. Also, if you do not want to try a home remedy, or if they are not working, do not hesitate to make an appointment.
Here are the symptoms that might indicate more is going on with your ears:
- Any loss of hearing
- Pain in your ears
- A ringing sound in your ears
- Discharge coming out of your ears
If you recognize any of these symptoms, you could be suffering from more complex problems like a fluid imbalance in your inner ear (resulting in dizziness) or an ear infection (ear pain and/or discharge). Do NOT try any of the home remedies in these cases, and get a diagnosis from your doctor in these cases.
If you’re curious, watch this more extensive explanation about various symptoms:
Common Causes and their Solutions
A clogged ear that does not come with any of the above mentioned complaints, is usually caused by earwax or a common cold. We described these causes and their remedies below:
Most commonly your ear is blocked by a wad of wax buildup. Earwax is a type of fluid that resides in the ear canal. Its main task is to protect the skin of the ear canal against dust, bacteria, damage and moisture.
Usually there is not a specific cause for the blockage with a wad of wax. It could be however that by using a cotton swab you have pushed the wax into a wad, deeper into your ear. Another possible cause is excessive picking or scratching.
These are the Top Solutions for an Earwax Blockage:
- Soak a cotton ball with a mix of cool hydrogen peroxide and hot tap water
- Tilt your head and drip the peroxide in the clogged up ear
- Leave the peroxide in your ear for 30 seconds
- Tilt your head to the other side, and catch the fluid coming out with a washcloth
- Repeat this two more times, to make sure all the wax has been dissolved and drained
- Soak a cotton ball with a mix of warm water and vinegar
- Tilt your head and drip five drops of the mixture in your ear
- Drain out
- Boil a pan of water
- Get the pan of the source of heat and put on a flat surface
- Put a towel over the pan
- Let the water cool down a little bit so the steam does not burn your face
- Sit with the towel over your head, and your face above the pan. Turn your face so one ear gets steamed, hold for five minutes
- Turn your face the other way, steam that ear for five minutes
- The team will loosen the plug, and will leave your ear
- Soak a cotton ball and drip some oil in your ear
- Let it soak for a couple of minutes till you feal the plug softening up
- Drain your ear on a washcloth
- Mix some water with baking soda
- Leave the mixture in your ear for about a minute
- Drain out
If the above methods don’t work, have your doctor perform an ear irrigation on your ear to get the earwax out.
Here you can see the complete procedure of ear irrigation by a physician:
The common cold is often the culprit for dense ears. The cavities in your head are blocked with too much phlegm and mucus. Additionally, because your Eustachian tube is closed by inflamed and swollen tissues in your nose, the pressure level inside your head changes. Your eardrum is pulled inward. It will feel as if the ear is completely closed off, like you might experience when a plane quickly descends.
You can open up your cavities again with this fix:
Homemade Nasal Spray
Nasal spray dissolves the mucus in your nose. An additional effect of nasal drops is that the mucous membranes and the blood vessels in your nose slightly shrink from the salt and in this way give you more air.
- Boil clean (and if possible: softened) water for then minutes
- Let the water cool down to lukewarm
- Add 200 ml of the boiled water in a cup and add one teaspoon of salt. Stir until all the salt is dissolved.
- Let it cool down and keep it in a clean closed off bottle in the fridge
- Your saline solution will keep up to 7 days
How to use Nasal Spray:
- Put a little salt solution into a clean deep spoon. Make sure that you have some tissues within reach.
- Now stand over a sink and sniff the saline through one nostril, while keeping the other closed.
- Then repeat with the other nostril.
- After about a minute you will feel the solution starting to work.
- Close off one nostril and gently blow the fluids out of the open nostril. Repeat for the other nostril.
- Repeat this whole process again, starting with the other nostril.If your nose is too clogged to sniff up the solution, you can get a clean syringe without a needle, and inject it into your nostrils, one at a time.The salt in the solution can activate your nose to produce more mucus. As a result you might get a runny nose but soon you will feel it all disappear in your nose and sinuses.
Addiction to Nasal Spray or Nasal Drops
Use ANY nasal solution preferably no longer than 1 week. The salt may be addictive. Your nasal mucosa have a tendency to swell up again, as well as the blood vessels in your nose, because they get used to the salt in the nasal spray.
You can damage cilia in the nose by the frequent use of nasal sprays or drops. You’ll also be more susceptible to infection in your nose and thus might use nose drops more quickly again.
Alternative to a nasal spray: Onion
Cut an onion through the middle and place one half (with the cut side up) on a plate next to your bed. You will notice that your nose stays open better.
For all these remedies applies: Do not use them too frequently. Overuse might damage your ear. If they do not work, consult your doctor.