17 useful home remedies for clogged ear

17 useful home remedies for clogged ear

Ears are natural hearing aids for humans. The unknown yet essential fact is, it is the balancing organ of the body. Sometimes, you feel the clogging of your ears. It is due to the obstruction caused in eustachian tubes. Eustachian tubes run between your middle ear and the back of your nose. Clogged ears discomfort you and give you a strange feeling. 

Clogging of ears happens due to simple reasons which you should know. Here are a few causes for clogged ears.

Barotrauma of the ear

The pressure difference causes trauma to the tissues in your body. It is called barotrauma. During ascending or descending the airplane, your eardrum vibrates abnormally due to rapid environmental pressure changes. It causes you the feeling of clogged ears. It is called the airplane ear. Scuba diving and hyperbaric oxygen chambers can also cause barotrauma.

Blockage of the eustachian tube

The Eustachian tube equalizes pressure when you yawn or swallow. Sometimes fluid or air gets stuck in the middle ear. It causes the pressure difference between the middle ear and the environment. It leads to the blockade of the ear tube. Conditions may include cold, allergies, and sinus infections.

Swimmers ear

Some of the lakes, oceans, and rivers contain more bacteria due to improper maintenance. When people swim in that water, bacteria enter their ear canal and get trapped there. This leads to an ear infection where the ear gets clogged.

Excess earwax

Excessive buildup of earwax can clog your ears. Usually, earwax moves out of the canal. When earwax is produced in excess, it gets hard. Sometimes, it goes deeper when you try to remove it. It eventually clogs your ears.

Benign Tumors

These are non-cancerous growth caused due to overproduction of cells. This tumor grows and pressures the nerve. Large tumors can pressure brain structures as well. It causes the fullness of the ears.

Clogs are common yet irritating. You can cure this very quickly with simple and effective remedies. Here are a few useful home remedies for clogged ear.

1. Olive oil

Sometimes, earwax gets hardened and blocks your ear. Olive oil softens that hard earwax and makes it easy to remove.

Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to soothe clogged ears in case of any infections. It is also rich in antibacterial properties that destroy bacteria in your ear canals.

Ingredients you need –

  • 3 drops of olive oil
  • A tissue

What you have to do –

  • Just massage the skin in front of your ear.
  • Add the olive oil to your ear.
  • Lay down for 15 minutes on your side.
  • Wipe off excess oil with a tissue.

How often you should do this –

Do this 3 times a day to get rid of clogged ears.

2. Saltwater

Saltwater loosens the hardened ear wax. So, you can easily remove it out of the ear canal. It is one of the most effective home remedies for clogged ear.  

Saltwater reduces inflammation in your ear canal. You can also use it to draw out fluid from the ear in case of infections.

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • A cotton ball

What you have to do –

  • Dissolve salt in warm water thoroughly.
  • Dip a cotton ball in saline water.
  • Squeeze the cotton ball and let the drops get into the ear.
  • Let the saltwater sit in your ear for 4 minutes.
  • Place your ear facedown to allow the saline solution to drain out of your ear.

How often you should do this –

Do this once a day until the excess wax drains out.

3. Coconut oil

Bacteria can cause ear infections. Infections cause fluid buildup and increase pressure leading to discomfort and pain. Coconut oil reduces pain and inflammation in case of ear infections.

Coconut oil softens the hard ear wax. It unclogs the ear and reduces irritation. 

Ingredients you need –

  • 3 drops of coconut oil
  • Ear dropper

What you have to do –

  • Slightly warm your coconut oil.
  • Add the oil to your ear.
  • Keep your head tilted for 5 minutes.

How often you should do this –

Do this twice a day to unclog your ears.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol dries out the fluid and reduces infections. It is an effective home remedy to treat a swimmer’s ear. Alcohol reduces the itchiness and discomfort caused due to clogging of the ears.

Alcohol reduces the pain and redness in the ear. It restricts the growth of bacteria by providing an unfavorable environment.

Ingredients you need –

  • 3 drops of alcohol
  • 3 drops of white vinegar
  • A sterile ear dropper

What you have to do –

  • Add the alcohol and white vinegar to a small bowl. Mix them well.
  • Now add 3 drops of this solution into your ear.
  • Leave it for 30 secs.
  • Drain the liquid out by placing your ear facedown.
  • Repeat for the other ear as well.

How often you should do this –

Use this remedy once a day to unclog your ears.

5. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces infection and inhibits the growth of bacteria in the ear. Terpineol is the active ingredient in tea tree oil that acts against microbes.

Tea tree oil is one of the best home remedies for clogged ear in case of any infections.

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 drop of tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • An ear dropper

What you have to do –

  • Add the tea tree oil and coconut oil to a small bowl. Mix them well.
  • Tilt your head and add 3 drops of oil into your ear.
  • Leave it for a minute.
  • Keep your head straight and allow the oil to come out of it naturally.

How often you should do this –

Do this once a day to get rid of clogged ears.

NOTE: Always dilute the tea tree oil with a carrier oil to avoid irritation of the skin.

6. Hydrogen peroxide

Excess earwax can cause pain, difficulty in hearing, and discomfort. So, it is necessary to remove the extra earwax. Hydrogen peroxide softens, breaks down, and dissolves the excess ear wax that clogs your ear. 

Hydrogen peroxide adds oxygen to the ear wax, causing it to bubble. It softens the wax and makes it easy to remove. It is one of the most common ingredients in ear drops.

Ingredients you need –

  • 2 drops of Hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 drops of water
  • A sterile ear dropper
  • A tissue paper

What you have to do –

  • Add the Hydrogen peroxide and water to a small bowl. Mix them well. 
  • Now tilt your head and add 2-3 drops of this solution to your ear.
  • Leave it for 2 minutes.
  • Bring back your head to a normal position.
  • Wipe off the excess fluid with a tissue.

How often you should do this –

You should use Hydrogen Peroxide once to get rid of a clogged ear.

NOTE: You should not use hydrogen peroxide when you have ear infections.

7. Steam inhalation

Steam inhalation is an effective home remedy to treat clogged ears in case of infections and allergies. Fluid and mucus move from ear to back of the throat during cold. 

Sometimes, this fluid gets stuck in the middle ear and clogs the ear. Inhaling steam will loosen the mucus and provide you relief from clogged ears.

Ingredients you need –

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of carom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 7 mint leaves
  • A towel

What you have to do –

  • Add the water to a saucepan and set it aside to boil.
  • Once it boils, add carom seeds, turmeric, and mint leaves to the pan.
  • Switch off the heat and cover the pan for two minutes. 
  • Drape a towel and cover your head.
  • Keep your head 10 inches away from the water.
  • Now inhale the steam slowly and exhale out.
  • Repeat this for a few minutes. 

How often you should do this –

Do this twice a day to get rid of cold as well as clogged ears.

8. Gargling saline water

At times, sore throat can be related to clogged ears. Saltwater gargle is an effective home remedy in those conditions. It reduces the mucus buildup in both ears and nose, thus relieving clogged ears. 

Saltwater gargle reduces pain and inflammation during tonsillitis. It can also help reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections. Gargling with saline water can also help you get rid of toothaches or infections. It is also known to calm down ulcers in your mouth. 

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ a cup of water

What you have to do –

  • Add the water to a pan and warm it up for 2 minutes.
  • Now pour the water into a glass and add the salt.
  • Dissolve the salt by stirring the water continuously. 
  • Gargle with the water for a few minutes.

How often you should do this –

Do this twice a day to get rid of clogged ears.

9. Garlic oil

Garlic is one of the most beneficial home remedies for clogged ear. It is antibacterial and antifungal, which helps to treat any infection in your ear.

Garlic oil is rich in pain-relieving properties, making it the best for earaches or clogged ears caused due to infections. A study conducted in 2001 suggested how garlic oil helps to manage ear infections and pains just as effectively as over-the-counter products.

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 clove of peeled garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A sterile ear dropper

What you have to do –

  • Add the olive oil to a pan and set it aside on a low flame.
  • Now finely chop the garlic and add it to the pan.
  • Stir the garlic in the oil for 4 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
  • Strain the garlic pieces, and pour the oil in a small jar.
  • Add these oil drops into the ear with the help of a dropper.
  • You should keep your head tilted for 15 minutes for the drops to travel inside your eardrum properly. 

How often you should do this –

Do this once a day to get rid of clogged ears.

10. Ginger

Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which help to calm down the inflamed nerves in your ears. An ear infection might be causing fluid buildup or inflammation in your ears.

The active ingredient of ginger, gingerol, is rich in antibacterial properties and helps fight against bacteria or microbes causing infection. The pain-relieving properties of ginger would help you get rid of the infection and earache, thus unclogging your ears. 

Ingredients you need –

  • 1-inch piece of ginger 
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A sterile ear dropper

What you have to do –

  • Add the olive oil to a pan and set it aside on a low flame
  • Mash or chop the ginger finely and add it to the pan.
  • Stir the ginger in the oil on a low flame for 4 minutes.
  • Cool the mixture down.
  • Now strain the ginger and pour the oil into a small jar.
  • Add 3 drops of this oil to your ear using a sterile dropper
  • Keep your head tilted for at least 10 minutes.

How often you should do this –

Do this once a day to get rid of clogged ears caused by ear infections.

11. Valsalva maneuver

Valsalva maneuver is a simple breathing technique that can be used to unclog your ears. At times, air can temporarily block the tube of your inner ear. This usually happens during the landing or take-off on an airplane.

This breathing technique unclogs your ear by forcing the air through sinuses and eustachian tubes. This technique is also used for restoring your heart rhythm.

What you have to do –

  • Take a deep breath and hold it in.
  • Pinch your nose shut and close your mouth.
  • Now bear down, like having a bowel movement.
  • While you are bearing down, exhale slowly, like you are trying to blow up a balloon. 
  • Do this for 10-15 seconds.

How often you should do this –

Do this once to get rid of clogged ears.

12. Toynbee maneuver

Toynbee maneuver is a passive technique used to unclog the ears. It helps open the eustachian tubes by allowing the air to pass through the tube and the middle ear. Pressure is equalized, and ears get unclogged during this process.

What you have to do –

  • Pinch your nose closed.
  • Have a mouth full of water.
  • Now keep your mouth shut and try swallowing.

How often you should do this –

Do this once to unclog your ears.

13. Mineral oil

Mineral oil helps soften the hard wax in your ear. The ear wax turns into a soft liquid substance and drains out of your ear on its own, thus unclogging your ears. 

Mineral oil can also be used for cracked feet, eczema, and to get rid of dandruff. It has lubricant laxative properties, thus relieving constipation.

Ingredients you need –

  • 4 drops of mineral oil
  • A sterile ear dropper
  • A washcloth

What you have to do –

  • Add room temperature mineral oil in a small jar.
  • With the help of a sterile ear dropper, drop the mineral oil to the affected ear.
  • Leave it overnight.
  • Remove the excess oil and wax from the surface of your ear in the morning.

How often you should do this –

Do this once a day when your ears get clogged due to ear wax.

14. Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is a type of essential oil that clears mucus and reduces inflammation. It softens and breaks down the hard wax in your ear. 

Peppermint oil is one of the best natural home remedies for clogged ear. It is also rich in pain-relieving properties, which might help you with your earaches as well. The calming aroma of the oil helps improve mental function. 

Ingredients you need -.

  • 1 drop of peppermint oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • A sterile ear dropper
  • A washcloth

What you have to do –

  • Add the peppermint and olive oil to a small pan and mix them well.
  • Now warm up the oil on low flame for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the oil into a glass jar.
  • With the help of a sterile dropper, drop 3 drops of this oil into the ear.
  • Leave it for 5 minutes.
  • Wipe off the excess oil.

How often you should do this –

Do this once a day to get rid of clogged ears. 

15. Apple cider vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is rich in anti-inflammatory properties. An ear infection, either viral or bacterial, can affect your middle ear, the part just behind the eardrum. This inflammation blocks your ear. Apple cider vinegar helps to calm down the inflammation and unclog your ear.

The active ingredient of apple cider vinegar, acetic acid, can help treat mild ear infections. A study conducted in 2018 tested different bacterias that might be responsible for ear infractions. They analyzed that apple cider vinegar was able to restrict the growth of both bacterias. 

Ingredients you need –

  • 4 drops of apple cider vinegar
  • 4 drops of warm water
  • A sterile ear dropper
  • A washcloth

What you have to do –

  • Add the apple cider vinegar and warm water to a small jar.
  • Mix it well.
  • With the help of a sterile dropper, drop 3 drops of this mixture into the affected ear.
  • Keep your head tilted for 5 minutes.
  • Now tilt the head in the opposite direction.
  • Allow the fluid to flow out from the ear.
  • Clean it with a washcloth.

How often you should do this –

Use it twice a day to unclog ears.

NOTE: Always dilute apple cider vinegar before you use it. Avoid using it if you face any skin irritation.

16. Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is a great anti-inflammatory agent. It is usually used to treat sinus infections, colds, and allergies. Sinus infection can cause blockage in your ear. 

The calming aroma and refreshing flavor of peppermint tea help open up your clogged sinuses as well as your ears. The antimicrobial property of the tea may also help treat your digestive issues and relieve menstrual pain.

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 cup of water
  • 7 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon

What you have to do –

  • Add the water to a pan and set it aside to boil.
  • Now add the mint leaves to the pan.
  • Let them steep in the water for 5 minutes on low flame.
  • Strain the leaves and pour the tea into a cup.
  • Add honey and lemon to the cup and stir it well.
  • Drink the tea while it is still warm.

How often you should do this –

Drink peppermint tea once a day to get rid of clogged ears caused by sinus infections.

17. Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil is one of the most effective home remedies for clogged ear. The oil has antimicrobial properties, which act against bacteria and microbes. It soothes and eases your ear pain. 

Eucalyptus oil treats clogged ears in case of ear infections as well as sinus blockages. Inhaling eucalyptus oil would help relieve cold and cough. You can also use diluted eucalyptus oil for arthritis and skin ulcers.

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 drop of eucalyptus oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • A sterile ear dropper
  • A washcloth

What you have to do –

  • Add the eucalyptus and olive oil to a small jar. Mix them well.
  • With the help of a sterile dropper, drop 3 drops of this mixture into your affected ear.
  • Keep your head tilted for at least 5 minutes.
  • Now tilt your head on the opposite side to draw out the fluid.
  • Wipe off the oil with a washcloth.

How often you should do this –

Do this twice a day to get rid of clogged ears.

How to prevent clogged ears

Even though clogged ears are common, they cause discomfort and irritation. By following simple measures, you can prevent clogged ears. Here are a few tips to prevent clogged ears.

  • Clean your ears regularly.
  • Dry your ears after swimming and bathing.
  • Yawn while ascending and descending an airplane.
  • Take care while using swab sticks to clean your ear.
  • Protect your ear from irritants.
  • Take herbal teas in case of cold and sinus infections.

When to call a doctor

It is better to call a doctor before your problem worsens. Here are a few conditions when you should visit a doctor.

  • When the symptoms persist even after using home remedies.
  • When it is associated with fever.
  • When you have severe and irresistible pain.
  • When you experience any giddiness.

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