Ear congestion refers to some kind of blockage in the ear canal. This blockage is created due to various reasons such as sinus infection, cold, wax accumulation, water trapping, allergy, or pressure difference in the ear due to change in altitude. Ear congestion is not particularly harmful, but it creates an annoying and weird kind of discomfort in the ear. It sometimes creates a feeling of fullness or produces muffled, windy sounds or creates itching sensation. In some cases, it is painful and also interferes with the hearing capacity. Ear congestion is not a grave problem, and can be immediately dealt with home remedies. Below given are 10 effective home remedies for ear congestion.
1. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide is very helpful in treating ears which get clogged due to build-up of ear wax. Mix Hydrogen Peroxide and hot water in equal quantities and pour a few drops of this mixture in the affected ear with the help of a dropper. Lie down with your troubled ear upwards and wait for 15-20 minutes. Now turn your head downwards and all the melted wax would drain down. Be careful not to add extra Hydrogen Peroxide as it can harm ear drums.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil brings immediate soothing relief to the clogged ears caused by wax accumulation. Simply pour some drops of lukewarm olive oil to the ears. After 10-15 minutes, clear the softened wax with the help of ear-bud. With the removal of ear wax, you shall soon find comfort and respite.
3. Tea Tree Oil
If you have clogged ears due to ear infection, sinus infection, cold or flu, then tea tree oil is a perfect home remedy. A compound called terpenoid in tea tree oil imparts it anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which makes the oil an exceptional remedy for ear congestion. Take a bowl full of boiling water and add few drops of tea tree oil. Now place your ear directly above the steam coming out from the bowl. This steam will directly clean up the mucus and provide instant relief.
4. Garlic Oil
A compound called Allicin makes garlic antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic in nature and helps in fighting ear infections. Add 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic to few drops of olive oil and gently heat it. Once the oil becomes lukewarm, add it in the upset ear. Within just one or two minutes, drain the oil out of our ear, use ear-bud to clean the ear if required. Garlic is strong enough to treat the ear infections in this short period of time.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar & Alcohol
Mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Alcohol is a multi-purpose remedy for ear congestion – it is useful against ear congestion caused due to wax build-up as well as against sinus or bacterial infections. The mixture has anti-bacterial properties and can dissolve accumulated mucus from the ear to provide immediate relief in blocked ear. Mix ACV and Alcohol in equal quantity and pour a few drops in the affected ear with the help of a dropper. Lie down with your affected ear upwards for 15-20 minutes. Now tilt your head to trench out the fluid from the ear. In addition to removing the wax, low pH of ACV also minimizes itching sensation in the ear. If ACV is unavailable, regular white vinegar can also be used.
6. Steam Inhalation
One of the most effective ways to deal with the clogged ears caused due to sinus or cold is by inhaling steam. Take a huge bowl full of boiling water and add few drops of any readily available essential oil in it. Now cover your head with the towel and inhale the steam coming out from this bowl. The steam will soften the mucus and provide immediate relief from the uncomfortable ear blockage.
7. Hot Compress
A hot compress can instantly provide relief from the pain of the clogged ear by softening the earwax. Soak a piece of cloth in hot water and squeeze out the excess of water. Now place this warm cloth against your clogged ear for about 10-12 minutes to unblock your ear. Alternatively, a hot bottle or container can also be used as a hot compress to hold against the affected ear. Just a word of caution is that the compress should not be too hot or else it can inflate the pain.
Glycerin is very effective to clear the ear clogging caused due to accumulation of water while bathing or swimming. Simply pour few drops of glycerin to the distressed ear and keep it tilted for about 15 minutes. Then drain off the solution to find immediate relief from stuffy ears.
If the ears get blocked due to decrease in air pressure, like during take-off or landing of flight or change in altitude of location, yawning can be useful. Open the mouth faintly and then try to yawn till you hear a slight pop in the air. Repeat this yawning till you feel better. Yawning balances the air pressure inside the air by activating the ear muscles. An alternate way to deal with clogged ears caused due to difference in air pressure is by constantly chewing gums. Chewing gum also constantly maintains air pressure inside the ear. We bet you never thought about these remedies.
10. Gargling Saline Water
Gargling with saline water is well known remedy to clear off infections caused due to sinus, cough or cold. It is undoubtedly one of the most used home remedy for dealing with throat infections. You shall be surprised but, in addition to dealing with throat infection, gargling can also bring relief to the clogged ears. Add two teaspoons of salt to one glass of hot water and stir it till the salt dissolves. Take a sip and gargle with it for about 15-20 seconds. Continue gargling till you find relief from your clogged ears.
In most cases, your clogged ear will get immediate relief with these home remedies. But in case if the pain persists, or you witness discharge or bleeding from the ears, then it is the best to seek a medical advice.