Dealing with a blocked or clogged ear is both irritating and debilitating, especially if you don’t have any ear drops to hand. Your ears are very sensitive, so you need to be careful with how you treat them when they’re blocked. This video covers the safest, most effective natural remedies to try in place of prescribed medication at home.
First, let’s quickly look at the common causes of clogged ears.
Your ear or ears might become blocked because of something as simple as too much earwax in your ear canal. Earwax is perfectly normal and serves a purpose in the ear.
It protects the skin in the ear canal and helps the ear to stay lubricated, hydrated, and clean. It also provides some protection against bacteria and fungi, as well as insects, water, and other foreign bodies that could enter the ear canal.
Other common causes of blocked ears include a blocked nose, cold and sinus infections, and an allergic reaction affecting the nasal passages, throat, and ears. You may also experience ear blockages through inflammation, the accumulation of water in your ears, or changes in atmospheric pressure, like when you’re taking an airplane journey. Finally, using certain hearing aids or earplugs can also cause blocked ears.
You’ll normally always know when you have a blocked ear or ears. You’ll experience a reduction in hearing sharpness and a possible ringing or buzzing in one or both ears. You may also experience a mild to severe earache, an occasional itching in one or both ears, and maybe even dizziness and loss of balance.
So, how can you best treat blocked ears? Try one of these home remedies yourself for instant relief.
1. The Toynbee Manoeuvre
The Toynbee manoeuvre is one of the simplest ways to unblock ears that aren’t too clogged up. Just keep your mouth closed and pinch your nostrils together, then swallow several times. Swallowing pulls open the eustachian tubes in your ears, as well as compressing the air that passes through the tubes to the middle ear, equalizing the pressure.
2. Chewing gum
For many people, the simple act of chewing gum does the trick for unplugging ears. Try to select a healthy brand of gum that’s sugar-free if you plan to use chewing gum regularly to unblock your ears.
Here’s another really simple trick for unblocking ears that aren’t too clogged up with wax. A good yawn tends to be all it takes to open up your ear canals once more.
4. Use olive oil
According to experts, olive oil will help soften and dislodge the natural earwax that has built up and become more compressed, making it a good option for ears that are particularly blocked up. Olive oil can also be used for clearing out a foreign body like dust or an insect in your ear.
Just warm the olive oil until it reaches lukewarm temperature and transfer it to an ear dropper. Then pull on your earlobe to open up the entrance to the ear canal and carefully insert the oil.
Make sure to only allow three to five drops of oil to enter your ear. Then leave the oil in place for a good five minutes, before tilting your head in the opposite direction to allow the olive oil and loosened ear wax to trickle out. To finish, use a cotton wool ball or soft tissue to soak up and clean the entrance to your ear canal.
5. Use a water flush
The water flush technique is similar to the olive oil technique, only you use lukewarm water instead. Follow the same preparation and application process, but allow the warm water to stay in place for 5 to 10 minutes before draining.
Just be sure to gently squeeze the ear dropper bulb. Water will enter your ear more quickly than oil, which puts the eardrum at a higher risk of damage.
6. Try nasal sprays
There are times when plugged ears are caused by a blockage in your sinuses. To solve this, simply try out an over the counter decongestant nasal spray.
Once you’ve sprayed it into your nose, the small arterial blood vessels in the lining of your nose should constrict, decreasing your nasal congestion. This should, in turn, relieve your plugged ears.
7. Warm cloth
To try out the warm cloth method, all you need is a warm cloth, like a flannel, and warm water. Simply wet the cloth and wring it out, then apply the cloth to the affected ear, both on and under the ear, for about five minutes. Make sure the water doesn’t actually enter the ear canal.
Remove the cloth, then rub the affected ear with the palm of your hand for several seconds. Next, place the palm of your hand over your entire ear to seal it.
Push your palm in, then pull it away, like a plunger. Repeat about ten times until wax starts to appear in the palm of your hand and your ear unplugs.
There’s no need to book a visit to your doctor if your ears are only mildly blocked. All of these home remedies prove useful in preventing blockages – just make sure to follow the instructions carefully to prevent damage to your eardrum.
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