Usually, a clogged ear is an annoying but not serious issue that you can easily take care of at home. But if you experience a blocked ear that doesn’t go away after a few days, or if it’s getting worse, you may need to visit a doctor.
The most common causes of a clogged ear are excess earwax, sinus pressure, fluid buildup, noise damage, and allergies. But other things can also cause your ears to feel stuffed up, including air pressure variations, hearing loss, and certain medical conditions like Meniere’s disease.
The small passageway between your ear and the space behind your nose regulates pressure in your ears. When it doesn’t work properly, your ears can become clogged and this is called eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD).
If you ever fly or SCUBA dive, your Eustachian tubes may fail to equalize the rapid change in air pressure and this can lead to a clogged ear. If you want to help alleviate this, try a nasal or oral decongestant half an hour before your flight or dive.
A bowl of warm distilled water and hydrogen peroxide can be used to clear your ear of wax, too. Place 1-2 drops of the solution into your clogged ear and hold your head at an angle for 10-15 seconds.
Dripping mineral, olive, or baby oil into your clogged ear can relieve pain and soothe the ear canal. Add a few drops to your ear using a dropper and repeat 1-2 times a day until the blockage is resolved.