Your ears are an important part of the body. They interpret sound waves and help maintain balance in your body. This organ has a canal that allows the inflow of sound waves and the removal of earwax. However, it is also a sensitive organ, and it can sometimes get clogged due to internal or externals factors.

Although having a clogged ear won’t cause pain or discomfort, the muffled sounds can be annoying. Apart from being a nuisance, clogged ears may be a symptom of other problems. Therefore, diagnosing the real problem may be difficult, mainly due to the variety of reasons that cause clogged ears. Some of the common causes include wax buildup, sinus infections, colds, altitude changes, water in the ear, jaw problems, hearing loss and many more.

Tips on how to clear clogged ears

In most cases, your ears will unblock on their own after a few hours or days. However, there are several other home remedies that you can use to unclog them and regain your normal hearing ability. Some of these remedies include:


There are a variety of natural solutions that you can use to soften earwax and unclog your ears. You can add two to three drops of either of the following eardrops:

  • Baby oil
  • Glycerin
  • Mineral oil
  • Hydrogen peroxide

However, there are over the counter (OTC) eardrops that you can use for ear cleaning and to remove the excessive earwax. Remember to keep your head in a tilted position after applying the eardrops to flush the earwax. 

Ear syringing

After you have softened the wax, wait for 20-30 minutes and use the syringing tool to add water into your ear. Ensure that the water is at room temperature to avoid dizziness. However, you should never use this method if you have a punctured eardrum because water will flow deeper into the canal.

Try the Valsalva trick

This strategy involves opening the Eustachian tube. To use this trick, start by taking a deep breath and then nip your nose. Open your mouth and try to exhale through your nose. By doing this, you will be creating enough pressure to unclog your ears. However, don’t force your breath, or you’ll end up damaging your eardrums. After the Eustachian tube has opened up, suck on candy or chew gum to keep it open.


Just like the Valsalva technique, yawning can help open the Eustachian tube. If you’re unable to yawn on cue, you can fake a yawn. Start by opening your mouth wide open as you breathe in and out. This will result in a yawn. Continue yawning after every few minutes until you hear your ears pop.

Avoid using cotton swabs

Never attempt to use cotton swabs to clean your ear canals. Cotton swabs may push the earwax deeper into your ear. Additionally, avoid digging out earwax as you may end up causing damage to your ears.

Use a warm washcloth

Placing a warm washcloth or heating pad against your ear can help open the Eustachian tube and eliminate congestion. Moreover, this method can be soothing, especially if you have earaches. However, this remedy can be more effective if your ears have clogged due to allergies, cold, or the flu.

Get over-the-counter medication

Some OTC medication can help treat your clogged ear if the clog is caused by allergies, colds or sinus damage. In case you have a cold, consider a sinus or cold medication containing a decongestant. Alternatively, you can take an antihistamine. Remember to follow the directions as indicated on the label.

Ear irrigation

This is a safe way to unclog your ears at home. After the earwax has softened, the irrigation procedure can help flush it out. However, don’t use this method if you have recently had an ear injury or surgery. Additionally, follow all the instructions provided on the ear irrigation OTC kit.


If you often experience airplane ear, then you may want to consider getting earplugs. These devices are fitted with filters that help promote airflow and ensure there is balanced pressure in both ears.

Visit an audiologist

There are many causes of clogged ears, and they require different treatment methods. To restore your hearing ability, ensure that you see an audiologist to determine the cause, and also unclog your ears. Sometimes, you may unintentionally cause more harm and damage to your ears with home remedies. If your ears don’t resolve after using any of the above at-home methods, call today at (864) 810-6238 to learn more about Davis Audiology, and how we can help you.