April 18, 2024
Learn about natural and home remedies for ear blockage and earwax removal. Discover myths and facts about earwax and the science of hearing. Find out when to see a doctor about ear blockage symptoms and pick up prevention tips for future ear problems.


One of the most frustrating experiences is having blocked ears. Whether it’s a feeling of fullness in the ear, difficulty hearing, or even a sharp stabbing pain, it can be immensely aggravating. Ear blockage or earwax buildup can impact anyone, and it’s important to seek out remedies to solve this problem immediately. Ignoring ear blockage symptoms can lead to further issues such as an ear infection or temporary hearing loss. In this article, we will dive into different natural ways to unplug ears and home remedies for blocked ears. We will also debunk common myths about earwax and provide insights into the science of hearing.

Ways to Unplug Ears Naturally

If you’re experiencing clogged ears, you can try a natural remedy before seeking medical attention. Here are a few methods that can help.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is an age-old remedy to soften earwax and make it easy to remove. Warm some olive oil and pour a few drops into the affected ear. Stay still for about 5-10 minutes so that the oil can make its way down and soften the wax. Then, tilt your head to the side and let the oil and earwax drain out.

Warm Compresses

Applying warm compress can alleviate pressure in the ear and reduce discomfort. You can use a warm water bottle or a towel dipped in warm water and placed over the ear. Keep pressing gently for a few minutes; the heat should help to liquify the wax.


Gravity can help dislodge earwax and clear congestion. Place a few drops of warm olive oil in the affected ear to soften the wax. Then, sit down, tilt your head to the side with the blocked ear facing downwards, and wait for a few minutes. Most times, after a few minutes, you’ll hear a popping sound (earwax flushed out), and you’ll feel some relief.

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is an unexpected but effective solution for congested ears. Chewing can help relieve pressure and help the ear pop while gently clearing out earwax.

Home Remedies for Ear Blockage

If natural remedies didn’t work, you can use home remedies to alleviate ear blockage symptoms. Listed below are some options:

Hydrogen Peroxide Drops

Hydrogen peroxide is an antibacterial agent that can dissolve earwax. Using a dropper, put a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution into each ear. Afterward, lie down on your side to let the solution settle for around six minutes. Then, turn around and wait for the solution and earwax to drain away, or rinse your ear with warm water.

Garlic-Infused Oil

Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain and inflammation caused by ear blockage. Crush a few garlic cloves, cook on low heat with a tablespoon of olive oil, strain the oil to remove the garlic pieces, then pour a few drops of the solution in the affected ear. Wait a few minutes for the solution to soften the wax and let it drain out of the ear.

Steam Inhalation with Essential Oils

Inhaling steam with essential oils such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil can help to clear up any congestion in the sinuses and ears. Boil a pot of water, add several drops of essential oil, and place your head over the pot. Make sure to keep your face at a safe distance from the hot water, and inhale the steam for a few minutes.

When to See a Doctor

While attempting home remedies to unplug ears is a good initial step, prolonged symptoms can warrant medical advice. Here are some guidelines for when to see a doctor:

Identify Warning Signs

If you’re experiencing any drainage from the ear canal, trouble hearing in both ears, severe ear pain, or any numbness or facial paralysis, get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible.

Emergency Situations

If you’re experiencing dizziness or vertigo, significant balance issues, or an explosion-like noise in your ear, go to the ER immediately.

Getting Medical Attention

If you think you have an ear infection, an audiologist or an ENT specialist should be the first medical practitioner you see. The doctor would likely review symptoms before examining the ears and recommending relevant medication or treatments, such as prescribing eardrops, suctioning, or healing antibiotics.

Myths and Facts About Earwax

Here are a few things to know about earwax:

Common Misconceptions

Many people have the notion that earwax is unhealthy and requires regular cleaning. However, this is not the case. Earwax is crucial to keeping ears healthy and preventing infection. It also has antibacterial properties that reduce the risk of foreign objects staying in the ear canal.

Safe & Effective Ways to Keep Ears Clean

If the buildup of earwax is causing ear blockage symptoms, the best way to handle this is to seek medical advice. Doctors can safely remove excess earwax using medical tools. Using Q-tips can push the wax deeper into the ear canal and cause further damage. The old adage “Don’t insert anything smaller than your elbow in your ear” holds; you cannot expect to clean what you cannot see.

The Science of Hearing

Introduction to Auditory System

The auditory system is responsible for sound detection and processing. Sound waves enter the outer ear and are funneled deeper into the ear canal by the shape of the auricle, which is comprised of cartilage covered by skin. From the ear canal, sound waves hit the eardrum, causing it to vibrate, which in turn causes the ossicles to amplify and transfer the vibrations down the cochlea. The brainstem and the temporal lobe then process the information and create the sensation of hearing.

Common Causes of Blockage

Excessive earwax is one of the most common causes of ear blockage. Other reasons also include a foreign body lodged deep in the ear or a sinus or respiratory infection.

Prevention Tips for Ear Problems

A few prevention tips for future ear blockage issues include keeping ears clean with warm water and a washcloth, wearing protective earplugs when swimming or showering, and periodically washing earplugs and removing excess earwax under the supervision of an audiologist. Avoiding inserting foreign objects or fingers into the ear canals, practicing proper ear hygiene, and avoiding loud noises can also help reduce your risk of ear problems.


If you experience ear blockage, there are several natural remedies and home remedies to consider before seeking medical attention. However, if the symptoms persist, it is essential to see a doctor to avert any potential complications. By understanding common myths and facts regarding earwax and adopting preventive measures, you can avoid future ear problems. Share this article with others to help them deal with ear blockage problems efficiently.

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