Treatments for plugged up ears range from simple breathing techniques to "popping" your ears to elaborate procedures done in a doctor's office. The type of treatment you receive depends on how clogged up your ears are and what caused it. Ears can become plugged due to a malfunctioning Eustachian tube (which can be caused by a cold, sinus infection or allergies), hearing loss from aging or impacted ear wax. Every person has ear wax---some more than others. Wax protects the ear drum from dust and other particles. Ear wax is important but there can be too much (and too little) of a good thing.
Most treatments for plugged ears attempt to remove excessive ear wax. If ear wax isn't the problem, wait awhile. Sometimes ears become blocked for a short period of time. Otherwise, try ear wax treatments. Excessive wax builds up in the ear canal and hardens, eventually obstructing your hearing. Treatments either remove the wax or soften it so your ear can naturally cleanse itself.
A simple treatment for plugged ears is to hold your nose, close your mouth and gently blow out to "pop" your ears open. If that doesn't work and you're suffering from a cold, infection or allergies, try taking a decongestant. Otherwise, you can soften ear wax with a homemade solution or over-the-counter ear wax lubricant removal treatment. Use warm baby oil or mix a solution of half water, half hydrogen peroxide and drip it into your ears. Ear wax also can be removed with a rubber ear syringe and lukewarm water. Ear candling is another method used to remove ear wax. To try this age-old remedy, put a specially-made ear candle in your ear, light it and the smoke is supposed to create a vacuum that draws out the wax.
If your ears become blocked often, add regular ear-wax maintenance to your daily hygiene routine. Once a day, or at least once a week, soften your ear wax with a homemade or store remedy. Irrigate your ears once or twice a month. Regular maintenance will prevent your ears from becoming blocked.
Consider getting your ears cleaned by a health care professional. A doctor will irrigate your ears or use a small tool called a curette to pull out the wax.
Always consult with a health care provider before attempting to clean your ears. People with eardrum damage should not put anything in their ears. Don't put Q-Tips, your fingers or other long objects into your ears. A Q-Tip or similar object can damage your eardrum or canal.