How to Unblock Your Ears Now and Hear the World Sing

Updated on August 3, 2016
healthbooklet profile image

Trained in dentistry, Sree is currently studying lab sciences. She enjoys researching various health topics and writing about her findings.

Has your day been ruined simply because something keeps you from clearly hearing what your friend is trying to tell you? Are you having trouble thinking of anything else because your ears are failing you?

Blocked ears cause discomfort. They can be painful, temporarily impair your hearing, and even effect your balance, generating a dizzy feeling that could easily ruin your day.

Common causes of blockage include colds and sinus issues, impacted earwax, and air travel. Before you turn to medicine, learning a few natural techniques for unblocking your ears might be helpful. Of course, if none of these simple solutions work, it's time to consult your doctor.


Anatomy of the Human Ear

Learning how to unblock your ears starts by understanding how they work. The ear is comprised of three structures: inner, outer, and middle ear. Three tiny bones (stirrup, anvil, and hammer) make up the middle ear and generate sound from the eardrums all the way to the fluid-filled cavity called "cochlea." Another important component is the small Eustachian tube that connects the middle ear and the back of your throat. Normally, the tube is closed, though it opens whenever you swallow or yawn.

Blockages usually happen whenever air pressure within the middle ear becomes negative because the Eustachian tube is not functioning properly. The negative pressure causes the block and muffles the sounds coming through.

The First Things to Do to Unblock Your Ears

  1. Open your mouth slightly and yawn. Keep your mouth open to form an "O" shape as you would when saying "ahhhh" to yawn. Stop whenever you feel your ears pop. Yawn again if the popping persists. You'll know it's working if the pressure starts to rebalance. Once you feel and hear the pop, your hearing will be greatly improved.
  2. Rest your head back and push your jaw forward at the same time. Looking upwards puts the Eustachian tubes into a better position. With your jaws thrust forward, yawn, and the tubes will open up to relieve the pressure.
  3. Extend your jaw all the way downward; the motion has to be wide enough so your throat is fully open.
  4. Chew gum. Even mimicking how you would chew gum can help. The jaw's movement equalizes the pressure in the inner and outer ear. Just like yawning, the act of chewing may also prevent the blocking of the ears in the first place. During altitude changes (in an airplane, for example,) chew gum to ease the pressure.
  5. If you have hard candies/lozenges, suck on them. Just like chewing gum, sucking on hard candies, mint, or lozenges for a certain time equalizes the pressure on both parts of the ears as well.
  6. Drink water—lots of it! A large glass of water should suffice. Pull your head back so the Eustachian tubes are positioned, and take water in large gulps. If done correctly, the blocking should subside.
  7. If you think you got water inside your ears while bathing or swimming, use your finger to carefully create pressure to pull the water out. If the pain persists even if you are already out of the water, utilize gravity to help you out: Bend to the side at the waist until your blocked ear is parallel with the floor. Push a finger gently into the ear (not too far!) and pull it out, just like you would when using a toilet plunger. This gently eases off the pressure until your ears release the water.

Remember to never stick a finger too deeply into your ear. Doing so may cause damage. You're trying to ease the pressure and move the blockage, not dig it out!

If That Doesn't Work, Try These Solutions for Unblocking Your Ears

  • Gargle lukewarm, salted water (the hotter, the better). Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle a mouthful, then take a minute break, and gargle again—repeat until you've gargled the whole glass.
  • If you think earwax buildup is the cause of the pressure imbalance, unplug your ears with alcohol and vinegar. Mix 70% isopropyl alcohol and white vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Then tilt your head gently to the side and apply a few drops of the solution using a medicine dropper. Keep your head tilted for a few minutes. The solution should help loosen the wax that had accumulated inside your ears. (A 1:1 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water might also work.)
  • Treat yourself to something super spicy. How about a jalapeño pepper? It may not be your first food choice, but the jalapeño surely gets the work done. Your mucus will be up and running right away. Once the mucus has started running and flowing, blow your nose immediately and move the jaw around at the same time.
  • Certain yoga postures may help ease the pressure, ultimately restoring your hearing back to normal. Karnapidasana, also known as the ear press, is one such posture. Start by lying flat with your back on the floor and legs outstretched. Raise your legs until your thighs are pressed against your ears. By this time, your toes should touch the floor, just behind your head. While at it (probably for 3 to 6 seconds), breathe normally.
  • Use a neti pot to help clear out the sinuses and unblock your ears. Fill the neti pot with prepared saline solution and insert it into your nostril while your head is tilted to one side. Gravity does the rest, drawing water into one nostril and out the other, clearing the sinuses along the way.
  • You could also try craniosacral therapy, which works to rebalance the natural cerebrospinal flow inside the body. Although it is used for a broader set of therapies and disorders, craniosacral therapy could aid in correcting and stabilizing the pressure imbalance in your ears, particularly through the Eustachian tubes where ear congestion usually starts.


If you are congested or have a sinus infection, you may need medication or a decongestant to unclog your ears.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      2 months ago

      This works a little bit put it just goes back to normal and its very annoying. Thanks for the help though!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)