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Clogged Ears – Causes and Remedies

Written by Dr.Mary
IN THIS ARTICLE:

What are Clogged Ears?

Clogged ears are an aggravating condition that often causes symptoms that are painful. If an individual feels as if they are underwater, then this is likely a clogged ear condition. Becoming aware of clogged ears, its causes and any symptoms associated will help in knowing what the problem is at an early phase. Also, there are clogged ears relief methods that can be performed at home.


A feeling as if something is obstructing the ear passage is probably the most noticeable sign. Severe to moderate ear pain also is a symptom. Some literature suggests that up to 85% of children experiencing ear pain is because of clogged ears.

Clogged Ears Causes

In most cases of clogged ears, the cause is ear wax that has impacted in the ear canal. Another often cause for clogged ears is rapid change in the pressure of the environment that the individual is in. This is the major reason that passengers on air flights grumble of ears being clogged after flying. Other causes for clogged ears include:

  • Infection
  • Allergies
  • Sinusitis
  • Jaw tension
  • Dysfunction in Eustachian tube
  • Middle ear problems
  • Inner ear conditions

Some of these problems can be treated with at home remedies. Other problems will need to be treated by a primary care physician so that he/she can prescribe medication to help drain the ear when there is an infection.

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Clogged Ears Remedies

Whenever clogged ears are left not treated, serious complications can occur – for instance ear infections, hearing loss or trouble hearing. So, even when not very severe, treatment of any ear problem needs to be timely in order to avoid cases becoming worse. For any method of relief for clogged ears to be effective it needs to be determined what the cause is. Below are some remedies for unclogging ears that can be very effective:

  • With children, bathing improperly or delaying in cleaning wax from the ear can often clog the ears. In these cases, take care while bathing children and use normal earwax removal methods to clear ears that are clogged.
  • Often, swallowing repeatedly will help in the dissipating clogged ears. Taking a shower that is hot for ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes can also aid in helping unclog the ears. Steam loosens clogged ear wax. After the shower, clean the ear wax carefully with buds.
  • Another method to unclog ears due to wax buildup is to use diluted hydrogen peroxide. Apply only one drop of this solution to the ear that is clogged and this will help in ridding the ear of wax.
  • Another method for ear removal is to use olive oil that is warm. Lie down and put one (1) to two (2) drops of warm olive oil in the ear. Stay in that position for about five (5) minutes allowing the wax in the ear to soften. At that time, clean with ear buds.
  • For clogged ears during landing or take-off of a plane flight, an individual can frequently yawn or chew some gum. Doing either of these will balance the pressure of the air in the ear and usually clear clogged ears.
  • Ears that are clogged and infections of the sinus are in some cases related. Sinusitis increases mucus secretion and that along with often blowing the nose can result in clogged ears. To sidestep this, don’t blow the nose hard. As well keep the mouth open while blowing the nose.

Cleaning ear wax properly will help to avoid clogged ears. Never use instruments that are sharp such as pencil or pin. If any of the above home remedies do not provide any improvement, it might be time to consult with your primary care physician for treatment. This needs to be done in a timely manner and the individual needs to remember that clogged ears due to infections or other serious ear conditions cannot be treated at home.

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