Nothing can be as uncomfortable and irritating as a blocked ear. This mostly occurs due to inflammation or blockage in the Eustachian Tubes. These tubes are connected with the middle ear to the back of your throat. This means that the tubes do not have a proper opening or closing end. Plugged ears are a result of wax buildup. This is one of the most common reasons that give rise to a clogged ear. The ears naturally produce wax to protect the ear canal from infection, germs, and foreign particles. But, excessive production of wax inside the ear canal is the sign of the ear’s natural cleaning process. This wax sometimes accumulates inside the ear canal causing itching, pain, and even infection. This eventually clogs the ear canal and prevents the sound from reaching the eardrums. This article is about various natural remedies that can help to pop your ears and unclog the ear canal.
Ear wax is painless even if it is built up in excessive amounts. Sometimes the ear may feel itchy and clogged but no wax is witnessed while popping the ear. This is a sign of infection in the ear canal, accompanied by pain and inflammation.
Some Common Causes of Clogged Ears
While suffering from cold, you ear is likely to get clogged. This blockage is the result of stuffy or blocked nasal passages. As the Eustachian Tubes connects your nose to the ears. The moisture is trapped inside the tubes causing infection.
Sometimes water gets trapped inside the ear canal while swimming or taking a bath. This can cause a plug inside the ear canal that is built up due to the trapped moisture.
Though, it is fairly easy to flush put trapped water from your ear canal.
3.) Altitude Changes
That sudden pop while yawning inside the plane is almost witnessed by every individual who often travels by air. A change in the altitude can make your ears feel heavy and plugged. This is because the ear tries to equalize the pressure between the outer and the inner ear. Scuba Diving can also be a cause of clogged ears.
4.) Acoustic Neuroma
If your ear feels heavy and clogged but no wax is witnessed while popping them. This might be a case of an Acoustic Neuroma. It is a noncancerous, uncommon tumor that develops near your ear’s acoustic nerve and is a result of a genetic malfunction.
Natural Remedies to Pop your Ears
(A) Remedies for Plugged Ears Due to Infection
1.) The ACV and Rubbing Alcohol Remedy
Apple Cider Vinegar helps to dissolve the mucous and drain it out from the ear canal. The anti-bacterial properties of ACV help to cure the infection and easily pop your ears.
- Mix ACV and rubbing alcohol in equal quantities.
- Pour it into a dropper or a bulb syringe.
- Now, lie down by keeping the plugged ear on the top.
- Put a few drops of the prepared solution in the ear.
- Use a cotton pad to secure the solution inside the ear.
- Turn your face downwards and hold the position for a while.
- This will help to drain out the fluid easily.
2.) Nasal Saline Spray to Pop your Ears
Plugged ear can sometimes also cause serious infection in the ear canal. It can also trigger inflammation caused by sinus infection. Nasal sprays act as a mild decongestants that helps to pop your ear by unplugging them and also reduce inflammation.
- Boil a cup of water in a pan.
- Allow it to cool at room temperature then pour it into a container.
- Add 1/4th teaspoon of non-iodized salt and half a teaspoon of baking soda to water.
- Pour the solution into a dropper.
- Tilt your head at 45 degrees and place the tip of the dropper into the nostril.
- Push the solution gently into the nostril.
- Allow the solution to drain either from the nose or mouth.
- Spit the remains if any.
- Repeat the procedure for the other nostril as well.
- Now, blow your nose.
- Repeat the remedy 2-3 times a day to pop your ears easily.
3.) Garlic to Pop your Ears
Garlic has natural antibacterial and antibiotic properties that help to cure the infection and pop your ear easily.
- Crush 2-3 garlic cloves and mix a tablespoon of any lukewarm base oil.
- Olive, mustard or sesame recommended.
- Lie on the bed with the affected ear upwards.
- Pour a few drops of the mixture into the ear.
- Secure it with a cotton swab.
- Let the oil work for at least 2-3 minutes.
- Now, drain out the oil from your ear.
- Repeat the remedy regularly to get rid of the infection and clogged ear.
Garlic and Salt Compress:
- Alternatively, you can also boil garlic cloves in water for 10 minutes.
- Crush the cloves to form a paste and mix half a teaspoon of salt.
- Smear the paste on a thin and clean washcloth.
- Wrap and place the compress on the affected ear.
- Hold for a few minutes.
- Repeat the remedy to pop your ears and cure the infection.
4.) Tea Tree Oil for a Clogged Ear
Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial, antiseptic anti-inflammatory properties that help to pop your ears and get rid of the infection. These properties make tea tree oil the best available remedy for sinusitis and respiratory infections.
- Dilute tea tree oil in a glass of boiling water.
- Lean your head over the glass and allow the steam to enter the ear canal.
- This helps to provide instant relief against infection and treat a clogged ear.
- Alternatively, you can also dilute tea tree oil with lukewarm olive oil.
- Use a dropper to put a few drops in the affected ear.
- This will flush out the mucus and also decongest the sinuses.
(B) Remedies for Plugged Ears Due to Pressure
5.) Valsalva Maneuver to Pop your Ears
Valvasa maneuver is a process that takes place when on entries to exhale with their nostril by closing the mouth. This builds up pressure in the middle ear and chest, thus helping to ease and equalize the pressure inside the ear canal.
- Start by closing your mouth and pinching your nose.
- Try to blow the air out from your nose until you hear a “pop” sound from your ear.
- Relax and open your mouth.
- Do not blow as hard that it becomes unbearable.
- As this can damage your ears as well.
6.) Jaw Wiggle Exercise
This one of the simplest methods that helps to pop your ears and unclog them easily. Also, it can be performed anytime and almost everywhere.
- Wide open your mouth and wiggle your jaws.
- Move them side to side quickly.
- Continue with the wiggling until your ear pops.
7.) Hop on Your Foot
This way sound weird but it surely works. The process takes the advantage of the gravitational force by gentle hopping on your foot. It is an effective remedy if the clogged ear is a result of trapped water in the ear canal.
- Stand on your foot and tilt your head to a side with the affected ear.
- Hop on one foot with the head still tilted downwards.
- Keep doing until you get some relief.
- Another remedy is to lie on your side with a pillow below the clogged ear.
- Stay in the same position for 15-20 minutes.
- This process will drain out the fluid from the ear canal.
- Repeat the remedy as required.
- This will help to pop your ear easily.
(C) Remedies for Plugged Ears Due to Wax
8.) Olive Oil Remedy
Olive oil helps to unclog the ear by breaking the hardened wax accumulated inside the ear canal that causes pain.
- Heat olive oil until lukewarm.
- Pour 3-4 drops of the oil in the affected ear before going to sleep.
- Remember to lay with the affected ear upwards.
- Repeat the remedy up till 3 nights in a row.
- On the 4th night, replace the oil with lukewarm water to clean the ear.
- This will help to pop your ears and get rid of the wax.
NOTE- Do not use Olive Oil if you have a perforated Eardrum.
9.) Hot Compress to Pop your Ears
Hot compress is the easiest and the most effective way to soften the wax in your ear. It also eases congestion caused due to cold. Make sure that the compress is not too hot.
- Iron a clean cloth and hold it against the affected ear.
- Keep it for a few minutes or until the warmth stays.
- Repeat the process for at least 1o-15 minutes.
- Regular application will help to soften the hardened wax and pop your ears easily.
- Soak a clean washcloth in lukewarm water.
- Squeeze to remove excess water.
- Hold the cloth against the affected ear for 5-10 minutes.
- Repeat the method regularly for effective results.
10.) Homemade Wax Cleaner
- Half a cup of warm water
- Few drops of Glycerin
- Bulb Syringe or a dropper
- Mix glycerin with warm water and stir well.
- Lie on one side with the clogged ear upwards.
- Pour the solution into the affected ear.
- Hold the position for 10 minutes.
- Now, tilt your head to the other side.
- This will drain out the solution along with the wax particles.
- Repeat the remedy thrice a day and not more.
NOTE- In the case of infection, do not opt for the remedy.
If the pain in the ear is accompanied by yellow or green discharge, do not opt for the remedy and immediately consult a doctor.
Tips to Prevent Clogged Ear:
- Regularly clean your ear.
- Avoid the contact of your ears with extreme temperatures.
- Scuba diving is not preferred for patients diagnosed with the respiratory infection, asthma, bronchitis, cold and sinuses.
- Hot foods like Garlic, onions, jalapeno, radish, chilies etc. help to relieve nasal and ear congestion.
- Warm soups especially chicken soup help to ease congestion.
- Gentle inhaling and exhaling regularly help to prevent clogged ears and nose.
- Always suck on candies or chew a gum while traveling by air. This opens the Eustachian Tubes and equalizes the pressure buildup inside and outside the ear.