For different reasons your ears can become plugged, due to excess wax or because there is 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 be plugged up.
The second reason is due to wax buildup, especially when there is 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 as 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 are at an altitude that is different than one you are accustomed to, it is 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 ears begin to build up from wax (before it is completely stuffed) it can be unstuffed with certain home remedies:
Mix equal amounts of alcohol and vinegar, tilt the 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 in the ear and return to the vertical position.
Another option 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. Leave 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.
When ears are plugged 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 the nose to plug the nasal passages with the mouth closed, but don’t do it too forcefully because you can damage the eardrums.
If the ears are 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 the 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 have already been mentioned. It is recommended to be laying 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 mucus that has accumulated and unstuff your ear and nasal passages.
One home remedy that has been used for years (passed down from generations) 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, it is also advisable to consult a doctor if your ears continue to be stuffed and none of the remedies seem to be effective. It important not to apply too much or too often, since you can have some more serious ear problems. The safest thing to do is consult your doctor for advice.