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18 Safe Home Remedies To Treat Clogged Ears

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Do you feel a sudden sensation in your ear? Or, does it seem like someone has stuffed your ears with a lot of cotton balls? A clogged ear is a very common health problem. It also affects hearing abilities. There can be various reasons that your ears get plugged, like a sinus infection, respiratory problems, ear wax, cold or any other allergy or change in the atmospheric pressure.

A blocked or clogged ear is a situation in which the Eustachian tubes don’t work properly and are not able to equalize the pressure inside the ear and the atmospheric pressure outside the ear. It can happen to anyone at any age. You can try some of the given home remedies to get rid of clogged ears. Although, it would be better to consult an ENT specialist if the problem persists.

1. Alcohol and Vinegar Drops

Sometimes, the reason behind clogged ear could be a bacterial infection. Alcohol and vinegar can help combat bacteria. Mix vinegar and alcohol in equal quantity. Lie down properly and pour a few drops in your ears using a dropper. Put a cotton ball in your ear and do not move your head for a few minutes. Let the solution work for sometime. It will give you an instant relief by unplugging your ear canal.

Note

  • 1) Patients with ear surgery history should not use it without medical prescription.
  • 2) This remedy is strictly prohibited for those who have a perforation in the eardrum.

2. Salt Water Gargle

Gargling is very helpful in unclogging ears as well as de-congesting the nose. Mix a tsp of salt in a glass of water to make a solution. Gargle with it for 15-30 secs. Spit out the solution. Repeat it until you get relief. It reduces the pain as it gives warmth to your respiratory system.

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3. Olive Oil Drops

A significant reason for a clogged ear is Earwax. Olive oil can help soften the earwax and eliminates it easily. Heat some olive oil in a pan. Put the drops in your ear with the aid of a dropper. Let it settle for ten minutes to soften the earwax. Remove the oil by keeping your head sideways. Use ear buds gently to remove the softened earwax.

Note

  • 1) Patients with ear surgery history should not use it without medical prescription.
  • 2) This remedy is strictly prohibited for those who have a perforation in the eardrum.

4. Garlic Paste

Garlic is packed with anti-bacterial properties that heal the ear infection. You can use the garlic paste in many forms:

  • Take 3-4 garlic cloves and crush them after peeling off the skin. Add olive oil or mustard oil to it and heat the mixture for a few minutes. Let it cool down. Pour it into your clogged ear while lying on your side. Hold the oil in your ear using a cotton swab. Let the fluid drain out of your ear after a couple of minutes. Repeat it regularly to get faster relief.
  • Alternatively, add 5 -7 peeled garlic cloves to a glass of water. Remove the cloves after heating them for 15 minutes. Now, crush these cloves to make a paste and add half a tsp of salt to it. Stir well to mix it. Apply this paste on a thin cloth and wrap it. Put this cloth on the affected ear and compress for a few minutes. Do it twice or thrice a day.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar Drops

Take equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Mix them properly. Pour this mixture into the infected clogged ear using an ear dropper. Let it rest and work for ten mins. Use earbuds gently to remove the earwax. Repeat it for a few days to unclog your ears completely.

6. Glycerin and Baby Oil It is an effective clogged ear remedy. Mix a few drops of glycerin and baby oil in hot water. Add an equal amount of hydrogen peroxide to it. Pour some drops of this softening solution in the affected ear. You will hear the sound of bubbles in the treated ear. When this sound stops, drain out the solution. Use it almost three times a day.

7. Sunflower Oil

This oil acts as a lubricant and gives relief to a scratchy throat or ear. Mix one or two teaspoons of sunflower oil with warm water. Gargle with this solution and spit it out. You will feel a lot of relief in a couple of days.

8. Warm Compress

Heat can cure blocked ear as it helps loosen the ear wax.

  • Soak a washcloth in warm water and press it against your clogged ear. Hold it for ten mins. It will ease out the pain and help promote fluid drainage.
  • Alternatively, wrap a hot water bottle in a towel and compress it on your ear. Keep it for ten mins. It will relieve the air pressure and unblock the ear.
  • Or, you can use an iron to heat a clean cloth. Put this cloth on your affected ear. It will release the congestion. Repeat it regularly.

9. Saline Spray

You can suffer from clogged ear because of an allergic inflammation too. A saline nasal spray not only unclogs your ear but decongests your nose as well. Boil a cup of water in a pan to sterilize it. Let it cool down to room temperature. Pour it into a sterilized container. Add half tsp of both baking soda and non-iodized salt. Mix all the ingredients well. Pour it into a bulb syringe. Lean your head to 45 degrees and pour drops into your nostril. Let the solution drain the nose and mouth. Spit the solution that remained in your mouth. Blow the nose before repeating it on the other nostril. Do it twice or thrice daily.
Note: Don’t store the solution for more than two days.

10. Clove Oil

Clove is a natural pain reliever that fights several infections. Heat a quarter cup of olive oil in a pan. Add crushed cloves to it. Let it cool down and sit for 15-30 mins. Lay on the side so that your affected ear is facing up. Pour a few drops of oil in the ear. Wait for 10 mins to let it work. Do it twice or thrice a day.

11. Jalapeno Slices

Jalapeno is considered to be one of the most efficient natural remedies for clogged ears. It gives immediate relief from the ear congestion. The only thing you need to do is to eat jalapeno slices. You can hear your ear popping after it. It will be the sound of releasing pressure inside your ear.

12. Mineral Oil Drops

Mineral oil can also help unblock congested ears, especially, due to earwax. All you need to do is to pour a few drops of mineral oil in your ear using a dropper. It will soften the earwax which can now be removed easily. Do it for 3-4 days regularly for effective results.

13. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide itself is an excellent remedy for unclogging the ears. You can use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide for it. Put 2 drops of it in your blocked ear. You will experience hiss in your ear for some time. Wait for ten mins before draining out the solution by tilting your head to a side.

Note

  • 1) Using raw hydrogen peroxide in your ear might cause an infection and dizziness to some.
  • 2)Do not use this remedy if you have an ear infection. You can clean up the outer parts of your ear with it.
  • 3)Don’t overuse hydrogen peroxide as it may harm your eardrums.

14. Water Flush

Water flush is one of the most useful exercises to get rid of plugged ears. Fill an ear syringe with lukewarm water. Keep your affected ear up by tilting the head to a side. Open the ear canal by pulling the earlobe gently. Direct the syringe towards the back of your head to avoid a straight flush of water on the ear drum. Squirt the water into ear canal by squeezing the syringe slightly. Let the water soften the earwax for 5-10 mins. Afterwards, tilt your head to another side to drain out the water and earwax.
Note: Make sure that the water is not too hot to be tolerated by your ear.

Exercises for Treating Clogged Ears

15. Chewing Gum

It is a good method to unclog the ear if it is due to a sudden change in air pressure. It will help to open up the Eustachian tube and relieve the excess of pressure in your ear.

16. Valsalva Maneuver

This exercise will relieve the pain and stuffiness in the ear. Pinch your nose and close your mouth. Exhale out the air from your nose, but not with too much of pressure as it may hurt your eardrum. You will hear a popping sound in your ear while blowing air out of your closed nose. This sound means that your Eustachian tubes are open.
Note: If it causes dizziness, stop immediately.

17. Jaw Wriggle

It is also an exercise to regulate air pressure in your ear. Widely open your mouth. Jiggle your jaw side to side quickly in a regular motion. Keep doing it until your ears pop which means the excessive pressure is released.

18. Hop on One Foot

This method is mostly used when the ear is plugged after swimming. Stand on one foot and tilt your head to the side of the blocked ear. After that, hop on foot while your head is tilted downwards. Hold the position until you feel the water draining out of your ear.
Note: Make sure that you don’t lose the balance, or you might get hurt.

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Health & Lifestyle

4 reasons not to mount your TV over your fireplace (and other helpful tips)

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The practice of mounting a TV over a fireplace has somehow become extremely popular in the U.S. If you didn’t do it yourself, chances are very good that you know someone who has. Who it was that thought up this idea and why they found it appealing in the first place are two mysteries that will likely follow us to our graves. But that’s all in the past now. And since science has yet to crank out a functional time machine that would allow me to preemptively ground the idea before it ever took off, the best we can do at this point is try to persuade you, dear reader, from perpetuating this practice.

Please don’t mistake our contempt for TVs over fireplaces as an insult to the sensibilities of those of you who have them set up that way. There is a very good chance you feel you have no other choice. And if you really like it that way? More power to you. At the end of the day, the guilty party is the person(s) who designed your home. They made the fireplace the focal point of your living/entertainment room, and then filled the rest of the joint with windows. Then they made sure power and cable was run to the location directly above your fireplace, virtually placing a big sign that says “install TV here.” How unfortunate.



But hold on a moment. Is putting a TV above your fireplace really that poor an idea? Well, it depends. If you can avoid it, you should, and we explain why below. But if you must, there are a few things you will want to know, and a few tips we can offer to help make it the best possible viewing experience.

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Heat + electronics = bad

Electronics don’t care for heat, and they care for smoke even less. Ever seen the windows inside the car of a cigarette smoker? Unless the smoking driver is an equally habitual window washer, those windows are covered with a hazy film of filth. Exposed to the smoke of burning wood, the same film can build up on the components inside the cabinet of a TV. You may not see the particulate when you have a fire, but it is there (you can smell it). If you burn wood — even with the flue open and fully functional — there will be a small amount of smoke and particulate emitted. And once that particulate builds up, so does the heat generated by the TV.

We have a wood burning stove, and the heat generated by that thing (that’s what it was designed to do) is enough to melt candles placed several feet above on the mantle. For us, mounting over this area is a deathwish for the TV.

Neck headaches become a problem when you start protruding your chin forward with that “looking up” posture.

To make sure we aren’t just blowing smoke (sorry), we spoke to Brian Sevigny, owner of Portland, Oregon-based A/V installation service, Digital Connex. He told us he gets asked to install TV’s over fireplaces frequently. When we asked him if he encouraged or discouraged the practice, he was quick to jump in. “Discourage,” Sevigny said firmly, “primarily because of the heat and the smoke.”

Most electronic devices simply operate best and most reliably at lower temperatures. Beyond that, excessive heat can cause temperature-sensitive materials to degrade quickly, and conductive materials can even sprout little metal whiskers, causing shorts within the TVs circuitry.

However, if you have a more conventional wood burning fireplace — and especially if you have a gas fireplace insert — the fact is you are probably going to be just fine. That TV may die earlier than it had to, but you will probably replace that TV before it dies anyway.

It’s a pain in the neck

This is an issue we experienced many times ourselves as a guest at friends’ houses and various vacation rentals. We’ve also heard complaints from many others. Still, we are informed that, for some of you, neck pain from watching an elevated TV has never been a problem. If you are in the latter camp, please feel free to move right along, and congratulations on your superior spinal support. For the rest of you, please read on.

Placing a TV above a fireplace moves the image you’re trying to watch well above eye level. Think back to the last time you went to the movie theater and had to sit in one of the front three rows. Chances are you walked out of the theater with a stiff neck. Craning your neck into an unnatural position for an extended period of time is going to cause temporary discomfort, but doing so for even short periods of time, day after day, can have lasting effects, like chronic headaches.

We spoke to Brad Simpson, a physical therapist and Clinical Director at Life’s Work Physical Therapy. Simpson’s clinic treats patients with multiple types of musculoskeletal problems and is an expert in ergonomics; he says that repeatedly sitting in an unnatural position will have lasting repercussions.

“It ends up putting your body in a position where your deep-neck stabilizers, muscle-wise — it’s kind of like the core of your lower back, but up in your neck — aren’t able to function. That position where you’re having to push your head forward and up in order to look up at the television compromises those muscles,” Simpson said. “Having your head forward like that causes a shearing force within your mid-cervical spine. That’s where a lot of pain ends up coming from … you lose the ability for your neck to stabilize.”

Woman rubbing sore neck

And muscle pain isn’t the only thing you can suffer from … headaches are a huge problem in our population, and neck headaches become a problem as well when you start protruding your chin forward with that ‘looking up’ posture,” Simpson said. He also indicated this poor posture leads to improper breathing, which causes us to overuse certain muscles which become yet another source of pain. The main takeaway from our interview: It’s not worth the pain.

Six degrees of separation from a beautiful picture

On this issue, there is no debate. We review multitudes of TVs every year, and the viewing angle on LED/LCD TVs remains a big problem, even among top-tier TVs.

An LCD screen (which is what you find on “LED” TVs) is essentially made up of a bunch of tiny, shuttered windows. These windows open and close in order to let the TV’s backlight through, thus creating an image. The problem with these windows is that they have a very limited viewing angle. If you move too far left, right, up, or down you start seeing a fraction of the produced light. The result is a washed out, lifeless picture — hardly what you had in mind when you laid out hard-earned cash for a new TV.

The result is a washed out, lifeless picture — hardly what you had in mind when you laid out hard-earned cash for a new TV.

The good news here is that you do have some options to mitigate this problem. The first is to buy a tilting wall mount with enough down angle to give you a more direct view of the screen. There are even mounts that will drop the TV down closer to your eye level (make sure not to have the fireplace going, though). Either option will improve both color saturation and contrast.

The second option is to purchase an OLED TV, which has a nearly infinite viewing angle and will look amazing no matter how high you place the TV. There are plenty of other reasons why OLED wins in an OLED vs. LED TV battle. If an OLED TV isn’t an option for you, considering an LED TV that uses an IPS LCD panel.

It’s just not cute

To be totally frank, we have the design-sense of a color-blind hippopotamus (no offense intended to hippopotamuses, but they do spend a lot of time in the mud — just saying). Having accepted our utter lack of skills in the decor department long ago, we reached out to Garrison Hullinger, owner of Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, and asked him if he had a TV mounted over his fireplace. “No, I live in a 100-plus-year-old home and would never put a TV in my formal living room over the fireplace,” Hullinger told me. “We also have a beach house with a fireplace in the formal living room, and choose not to hang a TV in that room.”

please dont mount your tv over the fireplace 1

Again, though, most modern homes have rooms built around this idea. Hullinger told us about 25 percent of the homes he has walked into had one location that was wired and ready for a TV over the fireplace. Sevigny echoed that estimation when he told us that almost all of the new construction he has seen “will have electrical and coax connections already installed above the fireplace.”

In the end, this is pure opinion, but one that is shared by many others. Take it as you will.

But I have to (or want to) anyway. What can I do to make the best of it?

In an ideal world — and, granted, we tend to be TV snobs so our viewpoint is slanted — you would place your TV in another room purpose built for enjoying TV, and maybe make music the focus of your main living area. However, most homes just aren’t designed that way, and your priorities are likely vastly different than my own. If you like the idea and look of mounting your TV over your fireplace, or if you simply have no other choice, here are a few suggestions to make the best of it.

  • Sit further back if you can — As you move away from the TV’s location, the severity of the angle to which you must crane your neck is reduced.

  • Lounge it out! — Kick back and relax when you watch TV. You will eliminate the need to crane your neck entirely.

  • Use a tilting or motorized wall mount — Altering the TVs angle to get a more direct view of the TV will improve picture quality.

  • Purchase an OLED TV — In addition to providing an outstanding picture and a super-thin profile, OLED TVs have no viewing-angle problems.

  • Don’t have a fire and watch TV at the same time — The flicker of the fire and added brightness in a darkened room can play with your pupils. and strain your eyes while watching. It’s also a bit of a distraction. If the two are close together, perhaps enjoy just one or the other at a time.

  • Hire a professional installer — Not only will a professional be able to handle cable management for a clean install, they come armed with other helpful suggestions to make the most of your TV installation.

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Zambia express optimism over Malaria eradication by 2021.

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Zambia aims to eradicate malaria, the country’s biggest killer, within three years after deaths from the disease halved last year from 2014, the health minister said on Wednesday.

Health Minister Chitalu Chlufya told reporters the southern African nation had recorded a decline in malaria incidence rates from 407 cases per 1,000 in 2014 to 336 cases per 1,000 last year and would be malaria-free by 2021.



“One of our big goals is to eliminate malaria by 2021. It counters progress in development but it is a preventable and treatable disease,” Chilufya said.

Malaria deaths in Zambia had halved to 1,400 last year compared with 2014, he said.

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Chilufya said the government had also stepped up indoor spraying, surveillance and research.

Officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Zambia could not be reached for comment.

The world has made huge strides against malaria since 2000, with death rates plunging by 60 percent and at least six million lives saved globally, WHO says.

But efforts to end one of the world’s deadliest diseases, which kills about 430,000 people a year, mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa, are under threat as mosquitoes become increasingly resistant to measures such as bed nets and drugs.

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