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emilyrose's avatar

How do I un-clog my ear?

Asked by emilyrose (2269points) January 25th, 2008

I have been kind of sick and I don’t know if it’s a cold, allergies, or whatever, but my right ear is clogged and now there is an annoying cracking sound when I eat. How do I unclog it? I tried sudafed and kind of overdosed on it already… i also already took a bunch of homeopathics

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21 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

Homeopathics will do nothing, save your money. They’re simply placebos.

Unless you’re in pain, indicating infection, I’d just let gravity do its work. Rest with the ear pointing down; if it’s obstructed, it’ll clear.

Maverick's avatar

If its caused by water, you can tilt your head to the side that is clogged and hop on the opposite foot while shaking the other leg. I know, it sounds silly, but it always works. Of course, if its some type of blockage or caused by your sickness then all bets are off.

GD_Kimble's avatar

pour a tiny bit of hydrogen peroxide in your ear, and lay on your side for a little while. always works for my stuffy ears when my allergies/sinuses/cold symptoms flair up, rubbing alcohol works too.

skfinkel's avatar

If water gets in the ear, a swab of rubbing alcohol on a q-tip works well. Otherwise, for clogged ears from planes, I have found that Time, as in so many cases, cures the pain.

Zaku's avatar

Be careful about sticking any solid into your ear, even q-tips. Can be done safely, but you really don’t want to accidentally hurt your inner ear.

hearkat's avatar

Hi. I’m an Audiologist. I hope you have resolved this by now; but if not the best thing is to go to your Doctor.

Your problem may be a blockage of ear wax (which is what I suspect from your description), or it could be a build-up of pressure and/or fluid behind the eardrum (which is also possible if you have had nasal/sinus congestion). The only way to know for sure is to have someone look in there.

There are also other problems that can occur in the inner ear or along the auditory nerve that give the perception/sensation of fullness in the ear. If your Doctor does not find anything wrong with your outer or middle ear, then a comprehensive audiological evaluation should be ordered to properly assess the functioning of your ears.

kawaii_ninja's avatar

@GD Kimble – at first i thought you said pour acid or something into your ear…and i was like….WTF?!?!!? WOULDN’T THAT MAKE IT WORSE?!?!

But then i read your answer again and felt really stupid!

skeh0138's avatar

visit a physician, if it’s just blockage- it’s a simple procedeure, kind of link having a garden hose turned on inside your head but painless.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

i had the same thing you did a month or 2 ago. I went to see a doctor and they recommended some ear drops from cvs, and I went back a week later for a flu checkup. I had gotten the ear drops but they didn’t do anything for me. So they squirted warm water in my ear until this chunk of something came out. Felt really weird. someone had told me about the peroxide or rubbing alcohol thing but I was reluctant to try that.

Salty's avatar

I use hydrogen peroxide. Works every time. It dissolves wax, If it is really bad, it might take a few days to get it cleared. Also good to use for a head cold. Leave in ear for about 10 minutes on each side.

anameli's avatar

I went to the doctor and he cleaned my ears and gave me some antihistamine but that was 3 days ago and I still have the
ears clogged so I’m going to try the Hydrogen peroxide.
I suffer from allergies but I think this time must be a virus.

Mr_No_Name's avatar

Whats better to use? peroxide? or some sort of over-the-counter Ear Drops meant for softening up/removing earwax? idont knowwhich to try at all or which to try first. share your opinion on which is better and why you think so please, thanks. ( I have ear wax build up in my left ear and need to get it out somehow, besides irrigation (yet), which is what 8lightminutesaway had gotten. the feeling makes me panic because of bad anxiety.

dexterwolfe's avatar

The BEST way to clean your ear is to go to your nearest health food store or Whole Foods and pick up a pair of EAR WAX CANDLES. Seriously I have had allergies my whole life and no medicine has ever made me feel this good. All you need is a friend, a paper plate, lighter or match, and a bowl of water. Even when you have a sinus infection this will help you feel a million times better. You can only do this once every 7 to 8 months. I have done this for years and never had burns or any complications. Whoever answered this question with Homeopathics are placebos is just ignorant! Try it!!!! You will thank me for sure.

hearkat's avatar

@deterwolfe: Ear Candling is very dangerous (yes, I have seen patients with burned ears) and does not ‘clean’ the ears. I’m on my iPhone right now, so digging for links is a pain, but if you search ear candles on the web, you will find studies proving its worthlessness. There may have been other posts on Fluther where I’ve posted links, too. It is the heat that provides releif, which can be acheived with a hot water bottle or Mack’s Ear Dryer.

heysherley's avatar

i have the same freakin problem but my mom doesnt wanna take me to the doc. what a freaking bitch. and it hurts

tcady's avatar

Assuming it is not wax, when we get sinus infections or ear infections – or even just a cold or allergy attack- it can cause the middle ear canal, the eustachian tube, to clog. The membrane around it swells just like the nasal membranes do that give us a stuffy nose. Think about the last time your could not even breath through your nose and you will be able to picture what happens in the Etubes too. The tubes can get stuck closed due to a vacuum effect, or like a suction cup – and then fluid is trapped in the area behind the eardrum inside your head. The fluid stuck behind your eardrum will cause a variety of symptoms, all very annoying! The only way to get relief is have the Dr pierce the eardrum and let it drain OR use a neti pot and nasal spray to relieve it at home by attacking the swelling from the inside. You can see all the long steps to this process at the Earadicator web site. Source is below. Read the testimonies to see all the people who have tried it and got relief. It is amazing. There are also Youtube videos showing ow to do it. You can also read all the symptoms to see if it matches what you are feeling in your ears. If you keep getting a clog with out even having an infection or a cold, you could have ETD or Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. Read more about that and the surgery solution below.


mollypop51797's avatar

Get on your bed. Lie on your side. Make sure your body is full on the bed, you can go horizontally or vertically but just make sure you’re all stretched out. Lay on your side (with the clogged ear down). Then adjust yourself so that you can dangle the bottom arm off (the arm on the same side as your clogged ear). This way, your arm can lay straight off with your head, but the rest of your body is on the bed. Then take the same arm that is dangling off the side. Now this may get confusing, to try to stay with me. Now take your palm (the thick muscle by your thumb is the part of your palm that I’m talking about) Now take that part of your palm and push it so it’s on your earlobe. Then push upward, towards your ear canal, and use the rest of your palm to push on the other part of your ear. In case this is confusing, your palm so push against your ear so that forms a suction. (Kind of like a suction cup over your ear). Make sure you do this with the bottom hand, while your clogged ear is faced toward the floor. Do this as many times, and really try to get the suction over your ear. Sometimes the water will drip out onto your palm, or the suction action will just loosen up the water in your ear. If this is too confusing, you can also hop one foot and tip your head. (hop on the foot opposite to the side that you tilt your head, or the side that has the clogged ear). I hope this helps or helped!

jsmcclen's avatar

OMG, this last one worked for me, I was reading through and it sounded so impossible I gave it a try. I looked it up and it’s making a negative pressure with the ear forcing the wax out. So be SURE it’s just wax, otherwise this can hurt the ear.

nondoc's avatar

after attempting the hydrogen peroxide several times, I was unable to unclog my ear. It was pretty bad, since I had pushed on the inner ear from my arm while sleeping on my side, so it had the better part of the night to clog up and dry or do whatever it does.

What Worked:
I had previously used warm olive oil one time before, so I placed a little bit in my ear and let it sit. The oil dripped into the clogged area and I felt it do so.

I cleaned it out, then I performed the hydrogen peroxide application by putting a small amount in my ear and letting it bubble. At one point I was literally lying on my couch with my head off the side to get the best vertical angle on the spot where I felt it was clogged.

It worked! After several times of going back and forth for the oil to get in the spot and the hydrogen peroxide to bubble it out, the HP finally dropped into the clogged area and i felt it bubble and pop and was a beautiful release!

All is well now! good luck and I hope this helps

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