Top 10 Home Remedies To Get Rid of Ear Congestion(Clogged Ear) September 16, 2016

You have this weird feeling in your ear – it feels like there is excess pressure, giving you a sense of fullness in the ear. This is accompanied by muffled sounds and, sometimes, even crackling noises inside the ear. You might be suffering from ear congestion, or what is commonly called as clogged ears (1). But, worry not! This post lets you know how to unclog ears, given here are the simple ways in which you can get rid of the condition. Would you like to know more? Keep reading!

Let us understand what exactly happens inside the ear. Our ears are complex structures that maintain the pressure inside with respect to the environment around us. Of the inner, middle, and outer ear, the middle ear is connected to the Eustachian tubes. Any obstruction in these tubes hinders fluid drainage, thereby blocking the ears. Blocked ears cannot equalize pressure within your ears, and this leads to the ears feeling blocked (2).

What Causes Clogged Ears?

Ears can get blocked and/or clogged due to several reasons.

  1. Eustachian tube dysfunction due to infection
  2. Excessive earwax build-up (3)
  3. Cold and blocked nose
  4. Allergies
  5. Sinus problems (4)
  6. Water accumulation in the ear
  7. Altitude changes

Some of the less common causes include cysts and tumors within the ear. If the ear congestion is not relieved and continues to build up along with pain, please consult a doctor immediately.

Symptoms Of Ear Congestion

A blocked ear can be very annoying. You

  1. Cannot hear anything
  2. Constantly feel an itch
  3. Have discomfort in on or both the ears
  4. Experience pain
  5. Experience headache from the incessant ringing
  6. Feel you might lose balance

[ Read: Home Remedies To Treat Ear Popping ]

Home Remedies To get Rid of Ear Congestion:

Try out these remedies and get relieved from ear congestion.

1. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide For Ear Congestion

Image: Shutterstock

This method can clear the wax and unblock your ears.

What You Will Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Hot water

Process

  1. Mix equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and hot water in a cup.
  2. Lie down comfortably and pour a few drops of the solution into the affected ear.
  3. Let the solution work its way through the wax. Once it is done, turn your head and drain the entire substance out.

When You Need To Do This

This method works effectively and quickly, and is required to be done only once.

How This Works

Hydrogen peroxide has been shown to have earwax degrading capability (5). This helps in relieving ear congestion that occurs due to earwax build-up.

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2. Olive Oil

Treating Blocked Ears With Olive Oil

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Decongest your ear easily and quickly with warm olive oil.

What You Will Need

A few drops of warm olive oil

Process

  1. Just pour a few drops of the oil into the affected ear with a dropper.
  2. Let it work on the congestion for five to 10 minutes. Then, remove the softened material with the ear bud.

When You Need To Do This

Do this once or twice a day till the problem is solved.

How This Works

Like hydrogen peroxide, olive oil also softens the earwax, and this can then be easily cleaned (6).

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3. Tea Tree Oil

Ear congestion using Tea Tree Oil

Image: Shutterstock

This essential oil is proving to be the next multipurpose home remedy for most ailments.

What You Will Need

  • A few drops of tea tree oil
  • Hot water

Process

  1. Add a few drops of oil to boiling water.
  2. Mix well and gently tilt your head, placing the affected ear directly over the steam.
  3. Let the steam relieve your blocked ear.

When You Need To Do This

This simple home remedy will give you instant relief from plugged ears.

How This Works

Tea tree oil is anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. It is a good remedy for sinus infections. The oil can clear your ear congestion caused due to respiratory infections as well (7).

[ Read: Amazing Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil ]

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4. Garlic Oil

Garlic Oil For Clogged ears

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Garlic is effective is relieving ear pressure congestion if it is caused due to excessive earwax. This home remedy does not work for blocked ears due to altitude changes, for instance, flying.

What You Will Need

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

Process

  1. Smash the cloves of garlic and heat them with olive oil.
  2. Let the oil cool and pour two or three drops into the affected ear.
  3. Drain the ear after a minute and feel immediate relief.

When You Need To Do This

Doing this process once will give instant relief from clogged ears.

How This Works

Garlic works better in treating infected ear canals owing to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has been used since centuries to treat ear-related infections (8, 9).

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5. Apple Cider Vinegar & Alcohol

Apple Cider Vinegar and Alcohol for Clogged ears

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This is a potent combination to unclog ears.

What You Will Need

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol

Process

  1. Mix apple cider vinegar and rubbing alcohol in equal amounts.
  2. Tilt your head to one side and pour few drops of the mixture into the affected ear.
  3. Let the solution stand for several minutes before removing it with a cotton bud.

When You Need To Do This

Doing this process once will give instant relief from clogged ears.

How This Works

Apple cider vinegar dissolves the mucus that has built up inside the ear and is causing the ear congestion. This mixture also clears the infection along with the congestion as ACV has antibacterial properties (10). You can also use regular white vinegar, in case ACV is not available.

[ Read: Ear Exercises You Should Do Regularly ]

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6. Steam Inhalation

Steam Inhalation for ear congestion

Image: Shutterstock

A natural and simple home remedy to get rid of ear congestion is to inhale steam.

What You Will Need

  • A large bowl of water
  • 2-3 drops of essential oil

Process

  1. Heat water in a large bowl and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to it.
  2. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam until the mucus loosens up.

When You Need To Do This

Repeat this two to three times a day until you get ear congestion relief.

How This Works

The steam will soften the congestion in the ear, and also in the nose and sinus. It can even loosen ear wax (11).

[ Read: Home Remedies For Sinusitis ]

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7. Glycerin

Glycerin for ear congestion

Image: istock

Glycerin is a common ingredient in most ear drops. Its basic form can be used as a simple home remedy to unclog ears.

What You Will Need

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Few drops of glycerin

Process

  1. Take a few drops of glycerin and mix well in the warm water.
  2. Use a dropper to pour two to three drops of the solution in the clogged ear. Keep your head tilted through the process.
  3. Let the solution stand for 10 minutes and then drain it.

When You Need To Do This

You can repeat the process once again if desired.

How This Works

Especially in the case of clogged ears due to water, glycerin works the best in opening the congestion. It dries up the excess water, thus relieving the excess pressure that had built up in the ear (12).

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8. Hot Compress

Hot Compress for ear congestion

Image: Shutterstock

What You Will Need

  • A small towel
  • Warm water

Process

  1. Dip the towel in the warm water. Wring out the excess water.
  2. Place this towel on the affected ear for five to 10 minutes.
  3. You could also hold a warm container against the ear.

When You Need To Do This

Repeat this two to three times a day till the problem is solved.

How This Works

The hot or warm compress loosens congestion and relieves ear pain (13). This method will have no side effects if performed gently. Make sure the compress is not too hot.

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9. Salt Water Gargle

Salt Water Gargle for ear congestion

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Clearing that throat infection might solve ear congestion too.

What You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A glass of warm water

Process

  1. Mix the salt in warm water and gargle for 15 seconds each time you take a mouthful.
  2. Gargle a few times, till you use up all the water.

When You Need To Do This

Repeat the process as often as you can until the throat infection eases.

How This Works

This has a soothing effect on the Eustachian tubes as they are connected to the base of the throat (14). This is one of the most effective natural remedies for ear congestion.

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10. Nasal Decongestant

Nasal Decongestant for ear congestion relief

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Nasal decongestants are not only effective in relieving nose blockages, but also help in getting rid of ear blockages.

What You Will Need

  • 1 cup of hot sterilized water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of non-iodized salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Process

  1. Prepare a homemade solution by mixing the salt and baking soda in the hot water.
  2. Use a dropper to pour a few drops of the solution into your nose.
  3. Once the solution drains, blow your nose.

When You Need To Do This

Repeat this every few hours until the clogged sinus and blocked ears are relieved.

How This Works

Sometimes, the ear congestion can be a side effect of nasal congestion. This method helps relieve congestion in the nose that might have been caused due to allergies or infection. As a result of the sinus clearing up, the Eustachian tubes open up, giving relief from the plugged ears.

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Now that you are armed with the right home remedies for ear congestion, go ahead and get relief from the condition.

Did you find the post helpful? Do you know any other effective ear congestion remedies? Please share with us in the box below.

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