Clogged ears? Well, an individual suffers from this ailment at least once in his or her lifetime. Though adults are not commonly affected, it is the children, who face the heat when they are affected with colds. There are many causes for colds, and they vary according to the health of a person and the circumstance. There are persons who become perturbed when they face the discomfort and start worrying about their hearing ability.
When the ear canal is blocked, you face a blocked ear – The Eustachian tubes – present between the back of the nose and middle of the ears face hurdles in the movement of air. However, the good news is that there are some best home remedies for clogged ears. Before we list them to you, let us take a quick look at its causes and symptoms.
Causes of Clogged Ears
Have you ever wondered what causes blocked, plugged or congested ears? Well, it is when the Eustachian tubes (that are in-between the middle of ears and the back of the nose) become obstructed. The tubes lose the ability to open & close properly in regulation and equalization of ear pressure. Usually, some pressure is built in the middle ear and the external atmosphere of the ear.
Symptoms of Clogged Ears
- Dizziness – the causes may be due to allergies, cold or sinus problem
- Low hearing capability
- You can feel the wind rushing in your ear
- You can also feel mucus or other liquid moving around in the ear
- Some may face severe pain/ some will face discomfort/ some will feel no pain
- You can face other symptoms such as a headache
- Lack of sleep
- Irritation or itching in the ear
In rare cases, bleeding or discharge will come from the affected ears.
Caution: The symptoms should never be ignored, as they may lead to hearing loss.
Why Do My Ears Feel Clogged?
Now let us look into the reasons why your ears might be clogged.
You may get one when you fly in an airplane or because of a common cold. It will be cleared in the due passage of time. If the ear is subjected to sudden changes from the environment, it can lead to this ailment. The tube, in coordination with the eardrum, can regulate the air pressure flowing amidst the middle ear and outer ear. This condition might not happen only on board an airplane, but also when you drive a steep mountain cliff or during scuba diving.
In the case of cold or a hearing difficulty, the causes can be a wax buildup. If the symptoms persist for more than two days along with pain, have a consultation with the doctor.
The ears have a cleaning system in place to clear the wax. However, as in all cases, a portion of the population might produce excess earwax.
In case you find the same, go to a specialist, as they will have the right amount of tools to remove the wax. Any self-treatment can prove harmful to the internal organs of the ear are very delicate.
The excess debris is transferred to the throat by Eustachian tubes, and the ears are kept clean. However, when the tube is blocked due to various reasons, such as adenoids, blocked nose, sinus congestion, enlarged tonsils or congestion because of allergies or cold, the fluid may be trapped. Children can suffer more due to their small Eustachian tubes. Children, and in some cases, individuals, if not given proper treatment, after 48 hours, can suffer from severe pain, hearing loss, loss of balance or dizziness.
Some of the other common triggers of clogged or plugged ears are:
- Accumulation of water within the ear (due to swimming, known as Swimmer’s ear)
Swimming in contaminated waters can result in the build-up of harmful bacteria and inflammation of ear canal. This can also lead to ear congestion. This is known as swimmer’s ear or otitis externa.
Top 10 Home Remedies for Clogged Ears
Here are some simple ways to get rid of the blocked earwax:
10. Sesame Oil
According to Ayurveda, using sesame oil can do great wonders to clogged or plugged ears. It is well known to reduce ear pressure and lower inflammation. So, here are clear instructions to help you treat your congested ears:
- Step 1: When you are using sesame oil, you need to slightly heat them first.
- Step 2: Once it is lukewarm, pour two drops of it into your ear.
- Step 3: Insert both your index fingers into the ears and breathe through the mouth.
- Step 4: Store some air in the mouth. Gargle along with air for 2 to 3 minutes. This action helps the cheeks to bulge & contract.
Note: Do not heat or overheat the oil. Excess heating makes all its essential nutrients evaporate. You are only supposed to warm it.
How Does This Work?
Sesamum indicum or sesame seeds are tiny gems, which pack a powerful punch. It constitutes oleic acid (monounsaturated), linoleic acid (polyunsaturated), and palmitic acid (saturated fat. Sesame seed are rich various nutrients like calcium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, magnesium and thiamine. Also, they contain a good proportion of dietary fiber; thus, supporting a strong colon.
Did you know that lack of vitamin K leads to cupped ears and under-developed ears in newborns? This is what this research paper clearly says. In fact, it is quite shocking to know that most chronic disorders are due to vitamin K deficiencies. But the good news is that we have the Mother Nature’s boon – Sesame. It has significant amounts of vitamin K and provides about 17% of everyday value for 100 grams.
According to youthingstrategies.com, conditions like ringing in the ears (Tinnitus), excess earwax, lockjaw, TMJ, and poor hearing can be treated using sesame oil. They suggest putting five drops of lightly warmed sesame oil in every ear to treat these disorders.
Sesame Oil Is Not Good, If:
- You are taking certain medicines for ear problems or using eardrops already. It might interact with the drug and cause a serious side effect. Consult with an ENT before you use.
- You are allergic to sesame. It might cause skin rashes in the ear.
9. Basil Leaves
Apart from treating plugged ears, basil leaves is a well-known remedy for ear infections too. It is widely used by Indian herbalists and is practised since ancient days. Basil leaves have many medicinal and healing properties. So, there is a good reason why people call it as the “Holy Basil”. To try a remedy using basil leaves for your blocked ears, follow the steps given below:
- Step 1: Take a handful of fresh basil leaves. Wash them.
- Step 2: Use a sieve to extract the juice.
- Step 3: Pour two drops of the extracted juice into the infected ear.
- Step 4: Do this for 3 to 4 days.
How Does This Work?
Like sesame, even basil leaves are rich in vitamin K, which is required for treating ear infections or other ear-related problems.
Besides used in cooking, Basil leaves can treat many health problems. To name a few, it can calm coughing, boost your energy levels, and soothe a headache. Basil leaves have antiseptic, antibiotic and healing properties. According to a research at Purdue University, basil leaves contain various essential oils that are fortified with phenolic compounds and polyphenols like flavonoids and anthocyanins. The herb also contains large amounts of (E)-beta-caryophyllene (or BCP), which is helpful in treating inflammatory bowel disorders and arthritis.
Basil Is Not Good, If:
- You are allergic to any of the compounds present in basil leaves.
- You are already using some other eardrops.
8. Olive Oil
There is a myth that the olive tree was presented to humanity by Goddess Athena. Ancient famous author Homer has compared olive oil to liquid gold. Thomas Jefferson, one of the Presidents of USA had praised it as the ‘richest gift of heaven.’ The popularity of this oil has spread everywhere. Medical research is yet to discern all the medicinal properties, but it has been proved that olive oil has numerous benefits.
One of the healthiest diet in the world – as per medical researchers – the Mediterranean – boasts of having olive oil among its midst. Even though there are numerous medicinal food items in the diet such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and other items, olive oil can be termed as an integral part of the benefits.
Some of the health benefits of olive oil are treatment in breast and colon cancer, heart problems, weight loss, promotion of metabolism, anti-aging benefits, and prevention of cancer. Moreover, this oil can also be used effectively for ear blockages. To try a remedy using this ingredient, try the steps given below:
- Step 1: Take a teaspoon of olive oil and make it warm in a bowl.
- Step 2: After testing with the tip of your index finger, take the help of a dropper to put three drops of the same oil into the affected ear.
- Step 3: If the clogging of the ears is due to excessive earwax, let the oil remain in the ear for ten minutes.
- Step 4: Let it become soft.
How Does This Work?
Even if the ailment is only due to more earwax, the anti-inflammatory, as well as antimicrobial properties (due to phenols such as tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol), will cure the place of any infection. The flavones such as luteolin and apigenin display anticancer properties.
One of the most important antioxidants (phytonutrient) is oleuropein. This component can reduce many conditions of stress and prevent damage to nerve cells.
Olive Oil Is Not Good, If:
- You have symptoms of ear drainage and ear pain
- You have problems of hearing loss; buzz sounds in the ear etc.
7. Alcohol and Apple Cider Vinegar
Home remedies have been in occurrence since ancient times, and their main intention is to reduce the symptoms of the ailment and give relief. Coming to unplugged ears due to wax, alcohol and apple cider vinegar makes a lethal combination to get relief if an insect has been trapped in the ear, bacteria infection or wax build-up. If the ear pain remains consistent for more than two days, it is vital to consult a physician. The reason is that extreme pain may point to symptoms of a ruptured eardrum.
The history of vinegar is aplenty, as this liquid was used by Hippocrates to treat wounds, and for stomachaches. However, to try a remedy using this combination, follow the points listed below:
- Step 1: Mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of alcohol in a small bowl.
- Step 2: Lie on the side the ear is infected and using a dropper, put two drops of the mixture into the affected ear.
- Step 3: Avoid the mixture coming out by placing a cotton ball.
- Step 4: After a rest duration of ten minutes, let the mixture do its work.
- Step 5: The earwax can be removed with a selected harmless ear bud.
How Does This Work?
Kindly note that the vinegar is prepared through a fermentation process. It has many active components such as catechin, acetic acid, lactic acid, ascorbic acid, propionic, succinic, tartaric, caffeic acid, epicatechin which have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
The strong acidic properties of apple cider vinegar assist the body in clearing the mucus and can clear out the sinus. The antibacterial properties are thus useful in the case of infections. The vinegar changes the pH nature of the ear canal to acidic, thus changing to a condition where the virus and bacteria cannot thrive, thus giving relief to ear blocked problems.
This Remedy Is Not Good, If:
You are using some other eardrops already. It may interact with the components of drug and cause a problem. Consult with an ENT before you use.
6. Warm Compress
This type of treatment, as you can make out, is very effective in the treatment of ear pain (clogged by sinus congestion or colds). The heat obtained from warm compress can assist in loosening the congestion, the ears can get unclogged, and the pain will be reduced – you get relief. Here is what you need to do:
- Step 1: Dip a clean white cloth in warm water.
- Step 2: Wring out the extra water. Hold the cloth below the affected ear and on the affected ear for 5 to 10 minutes. Ensure that the water does not go in the ear.
How Does This Work?
In many cases, you will get ear pain when the canals are blocked. When you use the heat option, the drainage of the fluids will be made easy. The blocks will disappear, there will be free flow, and you get relief from blocked ears symptoms.
Warm Compress Is Not Good, If:
- You have an ear infection. This remedy should not be practiced as the conditions might worsen. The symptoms are – yellow discharge from the ear
- You have a slight fever because of ear pain or cannot turn your head in the opposite direction from the affected ear. It is mandatory that you consult an ENT expert as soon as possible.