Recently I began experiencing a very frustrating and debilitating condition that simply wouldn’t go away for more than a few hours at a time — a clogged up left ear.
The plugged up ear coincided with the arrival of a “polar vortex” in Michigan just outside of Detroit where I lived, and it made life quite difficult at times.
My hearing capabilities dropped by as much as 40-60% or so at times, making even the most simple conversations difficult.
While attending a basketball game in Ann Arbor, a friend of mine shouted to me to pick him up a bottle of water at the concession stand, but I couldn’t hear him since he was talking into my left side, and I had to lean over a couple sitting next to us in order to get the message (it may have been a little rude but I couldn’t just ignore my friend!).
Clogged ears can be difficult to manage, and there are multiple causes.
In my case, I think it may have been from an earwax build up, something I’ve been prone to acquiring over the years. An imbalance of pressure seems to have caused the issue along withe build up of wax.
Plugged up ears can also be caused by high altitudes after flying in a plane or driving through mountains, from swimming, or from congestion caused by colds and/or flu, and potentially an ear infection.
Five Home Remedies for Clogged Ears
There are many different approaches to clearing up clogged ears that can be undertaken. If it’s been a persisting problem you may want to consult a doctor and listen to their recommendations first before deciding which remedies to use.
That being said, there are plenty of useful remedies including the following:
Hydrogen Peroxide Ear Wash- Food grade hydrogen peroxide is one of the absolute best substances for clearing up infections in the body. If you suspect or learn from a doctor that this may be the cause, try the following solution:
-3% Hydrogen Peroxide (One half of solution)
-Filtered water of your choice (One half of solution)
Apply with a dropper 2-3 times per day.
Balance the Pressure- Several times throughout the course of the day with clogged up ears something would “pop” and the pressure in my ear would be normalized, along me to hear well again (for a few minutes anyway). There are various techniques you can use for this, including:
-Chewing on something (I would say gum but healthy varieties are hard to come by…you could try cloves)
-Inhale, plug your nose and then exhale through your mouth
-Have a big, long yawn
Olive Oil Treatment- Warm up a little bit of olive oil in a pan (not too, stay on the lower levels of the burner) and then allow it to cool a bit. This can be applied to the ears in order to help loosen up whatever may be clogging them.
Ear Candling- While ear candles are intimidating and some salons charge as much as 30 bucks for them to be applied, you can do them at home using a paper plate (or some aluminum foil) and with the help of a friend.
Having mine done made my ear more clogged at first but eventually led to the elimination of more wax that cleared things up better in the long run for me in combination with better breathing.
Apple Cider Vinegar Plus Q-Tip- This tip is especially useful for people who suffer consistently blocked ears.
I personally tried a Q-Tip to unclog mine while watching the Super Bowl but it wasn’t too effective. Adding a drop of high quality non-GMO apple cider vinegar to the mix can have a much better net result.
Give this one a try or combine it with other techniques the next time you have a plugged up ear and see how well it works for you.
P.S. We want to know about your own personal remedies for clogged ears too, so let us know in the comments below!