How to Naturally Unstuff Your Ears
The buildup of wax can plug your ears and make it difficult to hear. Here are some home remedies to help you relieve this issue.
Your ears can become plugged for different reasons. It can happen due to excess wax or excess water (from swimming in the pool for example). In this article, we’ll look at some all-natural home remedies you can use to unstuff your ears, and in turn, avoid discomfort, poor hearing, and possible infections.
Why do ears plug up?
One of the most common reasons tends to be a respiratory infection, which occurs in the upper respiratory system as is the case with sinusitis or colds. The connection nasal passages with the inner ear fills with mucus and can cause the ears to plug up.
The second reason is due to wax buildup, especially when there’s a thick blockage that can only be removed with tools and appropriate knowledge.
As previously mentioned, contact with water can cause the ears to become plugged. This is why swimmers suffer a lot from this problem; water builds up in the inner ear canal if they don’t use earplugs.
This also explains why people tend to get stuffed up ears in the summer, since many go underwater in the pool, sea, or river without paying attention to the water (and other organisms) that can enter the body.
If you’re at an altitude that is different than what you’re accustomed to, it’s easy to get plugged ears. This is why people who frequently travel by plane can be bothered, especially during takeoff. It also occurs during trips to places that are several miles or meters above sea level.
How to unstuff your ears depending on the cause
When wax begins to build up (before it’s completely stuffed) you can unstuff your ears with certain home remedies:
Mix equal amounts of alcohol and vinegar. Then tilt your head and add some drops using an eardropper. Tilt the ear to the side and let them stay there for 5 minutes. Put a little cotton ball in the ear and return to the vertical position.
Another option to unstuff your ears is to mix a few drops of warm water with olive oil or baby oil. Tilt the ear to the side and leave it for 5 minutes. Clean any excess fluid that can come out of the ear with a rag. Rinse with warm water to soften the wax and gently dry with a towel.
In any case, you should resist the temptation to use cotton swabs, since they can compact the earwax and help form a blockage.
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Pressure from altitude
When you have plugged ears from a trip or flight because of a difference in pressure, you can alleviate it by chewing gum or sucking on a piece of hard candy. Getting together a good amount of saliva in the mouth and swallowing once can also help balance the pressure.
Another good option is to open the mouth as wide as possible to force a yawn. The air can balance the pressure. You can also squeeze your nose to plug the nasal passages with your mouth closed, but don’t do it too forcefully because you can damage your eardrums.
If your ears become plugged from a cold or sinusitis, you can do a steam bath as a perfect solution. Inhale the vapor to decongest not only the ears but also the nose. If you add a few drops of lavender oil or eucalyptus with a little salt, you will have even better results.
You can also blow your nose with a tissue, several times, to get rid of the excess mucus and alleviate general congestion.
You can also use hydrogen peroxide, by adding a couple of drops to the stuffed ear, in addition to the things that we already mentioned. We recommend that you lay down with the ear free because you may need several minutes to feel any relief.
If the congestion is a result of living in a dry environment, you can use a cold humidifier in your room. This will help eliminate built-up mucus and unstuff your ears and nasal passages.
One home remedy that people have used for years is to put hot water in a bottle and seal it. You can also use a typical water bottle or for those more modern people, an electric pillow. Lay down over the hot water with your ear on the bottle. In a few minutes you will feel like the earwax is beginning to run.
Finally, we also advice to consult a doctor if your ears continue to feel stuffed and none of the remedies seem to be effective. It’s important not to apply too much or too often, since you can have some more serious ear problems. The safest thing to do is to consult your doctor for advice.