Swallow To Help Open Up Your Clogged Ears
If your clogged ears are due to a sudden change in air pressure, like what happens during an airplane landing, suck on some sugar-free lozenges or chew sugarless gum.
This stimulates saliva production and increases how often you swallow. As you swallow more, the Eustachian tubes open more frequently and may relieve the excess pressure in your ears.
Causes Of Ear Congestion
- Common Cold. A viral infection of the nose is the most common cause. The nasal congestion also blocks the ear tube . The ear tube normally keeps air in the middle ear.
- Ear Infection. Middle ear pus can also cause muffled hearing on that side. This commonly happens with an ear infection.
- Middle Ear Fluid. Fluid may remain in the middle ear after the infection is cleared up. It can last for months. The main symptoms are popping and crackling noises in the ear.
- Blowing the Nose. Blowing too hard can force secretions into the ear tube.
- Allergic Rhinitis. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollens. It causes nasal congestion, clear drainage and sneezing. It also can block the ear tube and back up secretions in the ear.
- Airplane Ear. If the ear tube is blocked, sudden increases in air pressure can cause the eardrum to stretch. The main symptom is ear pain. Sometimes, it just causes congestion. It usually starts when coming down for a landing. It can also occur during mountain driving.
Is Water In The Ear Serious
If youve got water in your ear canal, youre likely to dismiss it as an annoyance or a minor problem. But when water is left in your ear, it can cause inflammation and pain, often referred to as Swimmers Ear. Inflammation of the ear drum can eventually end up causing permanent hearing loss or damage. Furthermore, if the water trapped in your ear is dirty or contains bacteria, then you can develop an ear infection, which can also cause pain, discomfort, and hearing loss.
Despite these serious symptoms, theres no need to panic when water becomes trapped in your ear. As long as you drain your ears of the fluid, you arent likely to develop an infection or suffer hearing loss.
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Care Advice For Ear Congestion
Ways To Properly Clean Your Ears
Ideally, the safest way to eliminate earwax buildup is by visiting your doctor. During the removal process, your doctor might use tools such as a suction device, a cerumen spoon, and forceps to get rid of the blockage.
If you wish to clean your ears at home, follow these tips for a safe ear cleaning process:
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Why Do Dogs’ Ears Get Dirty
Dog ears are similar to human ears. However, there are some differences:
- Dog ears have a longer ear canal.
- Their ear canal has an L-shape.
Because their ear canal has an L-shape, debris, wax, water, and plants can get trapped in their ears. If you see your dog shaking their head repeatedly, they may be struggling to dislodge something from their ear canal.
Are Cotton Swabs Ok To Use
Although many people use cotton swabs to clean their ears, this practice isnt safe for either you or your child. Cotton swabs are not meant to be used in the ear canal, warns Dr. Masciantonio. Putting cotton swabs in the ears can not only push earwax further up in the canal, but it can cause damage to the canal and eardrum, resulting in pain, bleeding, infection, eardrum perforation, and permanent hearing loss.
She backs up the danger by explaining that pediatric eardrum injuries caused by cotton swabs are seen in the emergency room every single day.
Using cotton swabs in clean ears is unilaterally condemned in the medical community. If you look for it, cotton swab packaging specifically states that they are not intended for use in the ears. We strongly advise against using cotton swabs, concurs Dr. Mener. They tend to push ear wax further into the ear canal.
You should also resist any urge you may have to use cotton swabs in your own ears, especially in front of your child. Your kid is likely to want to mimic you, so its important to set a good example.
One thing to keep in mind is an old adage: Never put anything smaller than your elbow inside your ear or your childs. Obviously, your elbow isnt ever going to fit in your or your kids ear canal, but it emphasizes the importance of never sticking anything in either of your ears.
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When To See A Doctor
There are many ways to treat issues of clogged ears at home, but sometimes seeing a medical professional can help speed up the recovery process, or at least more effectively kickstart it.
For example, both sinus infections and middle ear infections benefit greatly from a prescription. When thinking about whether or not to see a doctor, consider your other symptoms.
If youre experiencing any of the following, contact a physician:
- hearing loss
- a ringing sound
These things dont necessarily mean that something is seriously wrong. They may just point your doctor to a specific course of action.
Try The Ear Irrigation Method
Flushing your blocked ear with comfortably warm water may help soften the impacted earwax and facilitate its speedy drainage.
You are advised to use a large syringe that can hold 20 mL of warm sterile water to gently irrigate the ear canal. Sterile or saline water is preferred over tap water to minimize the risk of infection. If you must use tap water, boil it first and then let it cool before use.
Caution: Young children, as well as those who are not well versed with the technique of ear irrigation, are strictly advised against performing this type of self-treatment.
Note: Stop the process immediately if you experience any pain or bleeding. If you use the syringe a few times and do not get relief, a professional examination of your ear is necessary.
Ear irrigation may serve as a convenient, cost-effective, and time-saving intervention for earwax removal. You can perform it at home, provided you follow the right technique and proper precautions as directed by the ENT.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- My ears feel full and dont feel better when I yawn. Could I have Eustachian tube dysfunction?
- What can I do to make my child more comfortable?
- My child has Eustachian tube dysfunction. Does this mean he/she will have ear infections?
- Is there anything I can do when I travel to make myself more comfortable?
- Could my allergies make Eustachian tube dysfunction worse?
- What is the best way to treat my Eustachian tube dysfunction?
When To See Your Gp
Contact your GP surgery if you have particularly troublesome symptoms or eardrops haven’t helped after three to five days.
Your GP or practice nurse will look inside your ears to check if they’re blocked and might carry out some simple hearing tests.
They may suggest using eardrops for a bit longer, or they may carry out a minor procedure called ear irrigation to clean out your ear canal.
If these treatments aren’t suitable or don’t help, your GP may refer you to the ENT department of your nearest hospital for more specialised treatments such as microsuction or an aural toilet.
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Symptoms That Are Likely To Show Up
When your ears get clogged, you tend to show certain symptoms that affect you in one way or the other. Some of these common symptoms include:
- Popping sound in your ear
- Buzzing, ringing, wheezing and thumping in the ear
- Pain in the outer and inner ear
- The high temperature in the ear
- Reduced hearing capability
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms that are mentioned above, you must seek treatment immediately from a professional doctor who specializes in ENT .
However, there are also some simple methods which you can follow in order to effectively treat the problems that you experience in your ears.
How Can I Unclog My Ears At Home
Cold weather is not all about pretty snowfalls, campfire and cozy garments. It also brings about several health issues such as stuffy nose and clogged ears. Clogged or stuffy ears may cause considerable discomfort that includes
- A sensation of ear pressure or fullness
- Ear pain
Your ears are connected to your nose through a tube-like passage known as the eustachian tube. Swelling or blockage of the eustachian tube causes clogged ears. This may affect one or both ears. Clogged ears may result due to several causes such as
- Sinus or ear inflammation due to colds, allergies or infections
- Fluid accumulation in the ears
- Inflammation of the eustachian tubes
- A growth or tumor in the ear
You may try the following home remedies to unclog your ears
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Be Suspicious Of Home Remedies That Sound Strange
You shouldnt stick a lit candle in your ear which should go without saying. Ear candling is an old and very unscientific way of removing earwax by sticking a hollow candle into your ear and lighting it. The belief is that the heat of the flame causes a vacuum which forces the earwax into the hollow tube in the candle. This approach will probably cause more injury and probably wont help. Keep in mind, if it sounds strange you should consult a professional. Randomly trying things is a big risk to your hearing.
You should contact us if your ears dont clear up. Long-term loss of hearing or a ruptured eardrum are the kinds of consequences you could suffer from inappropriate earwax removal.
What Is Actually Giving You The Sensation That Your Ears Are Clogged
Our ears are comprised of an outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. Our middle ear is connected to our throat by our Eustachian tube. This tube is responsible for keeping the air pressure in our middle ear equal with the air pressure in the outer ear. If the Eustachian tube does not keep things equal, we have the perception that our ears are clogged.
The simple solution to this problem is to get air to go through our Eustachian tube into our middle ear space to regulate that pressure. Under normal circumstances, our ears will naturally âunclogâ just by swallowing. However, when swallowing isnât enough, you need to use tricks to get air through your Eustachian tube into your middle ear space.
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What To Do If You Think Your Ear Is Blocked
Never try to remove a build-up of earwax yourself with your fingers, a cotton bud or any other object. This can damage your ear and push the wax further down.
If the earwax is only causing minor problems, you can try buying some eardrops from a pharmacy. Using drops may make your hearing or symptoms a little worse at first before getting better. These can help soften the earwax so that it falls out naturally.
There are several different types of eardrops you can use, including drops containing sodium bicarbonate, olive oil or almond oil.
However, eardrops aren’t suitable for everyone and some can irritate the skin. For example, eardrops shouldn’t be used if you have a perforated eardrum .
Speak to your pharmacist about the most suitable product for you and make sure you read the leaflet that comes with it.
What Is Ear Wax
The medical term for the ear wax is the cerumen, which occurs automatically in the outer ear canal. This is the area between the outer part of the ear and the middle ear.
It protects the ear canal of the human body for the purpose of cleansing and as well as moisturizing. When the wax is produced it makes his way through the outer ear canal to the opening of the ear. The wax either falls out or removed when you wash it properly.
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Five Reasons Your Ears Could Be Blocked And How To Unblock Them
Having a blocked ear can be a serious inconvenience, and at times, a health risk. Blocked ears can muffle and distort sounds, reducing your capacity to hear your surroundings. Having blocked ears is not only irritating, but usually comes with other symptoms such as ear pain, itchiness, or dizziness.
When a blockage occurs, especially if it seems out of the blue, you may wonder why your ear is blocked. There are many causes of a blocked ear surprisingly, its not always the case of ear wax buildup. Although there are many reasons an ear can be blocked, we highlight the five most common reasons your ears are blocked.
Ears Self Cleaning System
As mentioned, the ears are capable of cleaning themselves. How do they do it? The cerumen or the earwax is a natural self-cleaning agent that the human body can produce. Its job is to accumulate debris, dirt, and bacteria. The earwax will leave the ears on its own and go out of the ear through jaw motions and chewing.
For most people, ear cleaning is no longer necessary. However, it might be needed due to earwax buildup that can alter your hearing. It could even lead to earwax blockage called impaction.
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How Can I Clean My Dog’s Ears
To clean your dog’s ears, you will need to gather some ear-cleaning supplies:
- A cotton ball or gauze
- A dog ear-cleaning solution
- A towel
Refrain from using Q-tips or anything with a pointed tip, as these can damage your dog’s ear canal and push debris further down the canal. But, of course, the same is true for humans.
How Not To Clean Your Ears
Cleaning of the ear is a practice that should only be carried out in extreme circumstances with the right tools. The ear has an in-built self-cleaning mechanism, which means you should not have to routinely clean them. This may run counter to a practice that many have been employed throughout their lifetime.
Yawn To Release The Pressure Within Your Ear
The Eustachian tube normally remains closed, but when you yawn or swallow, the paratubal muscles stretch it open briefly, thereby improving the pressure equalization in the middle ear.
It is when the ear tube ceases to open intermittently in this manner that the sensation of ear fullness, popping or crackling sounds, and ear discomfort or pain usually set in.
How To Tell When A Dog’s Ears Need Cleaning
While it is essential to regularly groom your dog and clean your dog’s ears, you don’t want to over-clean your dog’s ears. Over-cleaning may lead to ear infections or irritation.
If you notice the following, your dog’s ear may need cleaning:
- Visible debris
- Inflamed or irritated skin
- Smelly: yeasty or stinky
Another good way to tell if you need to clean your dog’s ears is if your dog is shaking his head and you notice a mild odor. Contact your veterinarian if you see a significant inflammation and suspect your dog could have an ear infection. Common ear infections include ear mites and allergies.
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Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide
Food grade hydrogen peroxide can help you get rid of a buildup of ear wax quickly and effectively which can help you to unplug your ear. Hydrogen peroxide has an antiseptic effect that can help to prevent skin infections. According to doctors at WebMD, the bubbling action helps to bring up dirt and loosen it.5
Researchers from Harvard Medical School recommend using 3% hydrogen peroxide for ear wax removal.6
If you want to get rid of a congested ear using hydrogen peroxide, this is what you should do:
- Put two drops of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide in your clogged ear. Dont exceed that amount or you could damage your eardrum.
- Wait until you hear a fizzing sound .
- Let it fizz for few minutes until it stops.
- Tilt your head to the side, so that the solution and ear wax can drip out.
Do this every time you need to unclog your ears from excess ear wax.
Hydrogen peroxide can also treat ear infections due to its antiseptic properties, and you can read more about in my article on how to use hydrogen peroxide for an ear infection.
For more ideas on how to use hydrogen peroxide read my post about 11 amazing uses for hydrogen peroxide.
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