3 Simple Steps to Unclogging an Ear

Summary

 

  •  Step 1: Choose a liquid solution to remove an earwax plug
  •  Step 2: Unclog your ear with the liquid solution.
  •  Step 3: Unclog your ear during a plane trip

 

 When earwax accumulates excessively in the ear canal, it can create an earplug. Some people have a naturally abundant production of earwax. But other factors can also cause earplugs when:

  •  you misuse a cotton swab, for example, and push the earwax back into the ear canal;
  •  earphones, hearing aids, or earplugs are worn regularly;
  •  you swim in the sea or pool; earwax can swell on contact with water.

 

 Air travel can also cause a blocked ear feeling; this is not due to an accumulation of earwax but to a pressure difference between the outside and the inner ear.

 

 Find out how to unclog an ear below:

 

1. Choose a liquid solution to remove a plug of earwax

 To unclog an ear, you have to soften the earwax that forms a plug in the ear canal. Different liquid solutions can be used for this:

 

  •  a spray based on seawater and bicarbonate sold in pharmacies;
  •  physiological saline solution;
  •  a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and lukewarm mineral water.

 

 2. Unclog your ear with the liquid solution

 To unclog your ear with a liquid solution: 

 

  •  Lie on your side with the ear to be unclogged facing up, and place a towel under your head.
  •  Pull gently on the top of the pinna to help the product flow into the ear canal.
  •  Pour the liquid product into your ear, using a pear, dropper, or merely a small container. In the latter case, be sure to let the fluid flow gently.
  •  Lie on your side for about ten minutes to let the solution work to soften the earwax.
  •  Gently straighten your head and tilt it over a towel, bowl or sink to let the liquid drain. You can gently pull on the earlobe to help the fluid drain.
  •  Wipe the edge of the ear canal with a clean cloth or tissue.

 

 Necessary: If you still feel uncomfortable after trying to unclog your ear yourself, consult a doctor for help.

 

 Unclogging your ear during a plane trip

 Air travel can cause ear pain and give the impression of having blocked ears. This phenomenon occurs especially during takeoff and landing of the plane.

 

 To avoid or lessen the feeling of ear plugging in airplanes, you can, during takeoff and landing:

 

  •  chew gum or suck a candy;
  •  yawn or open your mouth wide repeatedly;
  •  put cotton in the bottom of two plastic cups and place them on the ears as if you were making a helmet;
  •  if the sensation persists when descending from the plane, you can plug both nostrils with the pulp of your thumbs, close your mouth, and exhale strongly through your nose.

 

 Materials you will need to remove a plug of earwax:

  •  Hydrogen peroxide at about $3
  •  Saline Saline at $2 per 30 doses
  •  Towel You Already Own

For more advanced help to treat your hearing loss, you can schedule an appointment with the Audiologist at Harbor City Hearing Solutions, Dr. Liz White.

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