Most individuals have likely encountered the feeling of a plugged or muffled ear on occasion due to various factors. Common causes of plugged ears include mucus and phlegm build-up in the Eustachian tube, water in the ear, altitude changes (often experienced during airplane flights), sinus infections, middle ear infections, allergies, and rhinitis. While both children and adults can experience plugged ears, it is more prevalent in children, particularly when they have a cold.
There are several ways to unclog an ear, including pharmaceutical remedies as well as natural and home remedies. However, it is important to acknowledge that in certain situations, it may be necessary to consult a doctor for a thorough examination.
In order to figure out how to unclog an ear, it is best to first identify whether the underlying problem originates from the middle ear, behind the eardrum, or in the outer ear, specifically the ear canal.
To relieve clogged ears, try the Valsalva Maneuver by pinching your nose closed, keeping your mouth shut, and gently blowing through your nose to equalise pressure. Be cautious not to blow too forcefully. You can also use decongestants or nasal sprays to alleviate congestion, especially during flights or when experiencing nasal or sinus congestion.
These medications help reduce swelling and open up the nasal passages for better airflow and relief from ear pressure. Remember to consult a healthcare professional if symptoms persist or worsen, or if you have specific concerns about your ear health.
The ear is an extremely sensitive part of the body, requiring careful and gentle handling when attempting to unplug it. It's important to avoid two common methods for cleaning the ear: Q-tips and ear candles. Q-tips can push earwax deeper into the ear canal, potentially causing damage to the eardrum and promoting infections. Similarly, ear candles are unreliable and may leave residual earwax in the outer ear canal or on the eardrum, posing a risk of burning oneself and introducing hot wax into the ear canal. It's crucial to prioritise safe and effective methods for ear hygiene.
While there are numerous home remedies for clogged ears, seeking medical advice can expedite the recovery process. If you experience symptoms like hearing loss, dizziness, earaches, or noises in the ears (tinnitus), it is best to consult a specialised doctor for an accurate diagnosis and to determine the most appropriate course of action for your specific condition. Although your symptoms may not necessarily indicate a severe underlying issue, it is important to have them evaluated.
Book an appointment and come and visit us at one of our Amplifon clinics, our hearing care professionals will be ready to answer any of your curiosities about the world of hearing and to show you our range of Amplifon hearing aids.