I’ve tried an earwax remover a couple times, and the pressure trick (papertowel at the bottom of a glass, pour a small amount of very hot water to soak, enclose your ear within the rim of the glass for a couple of minutes), but no go so far. Am I doing something wrong with these? Is there another method?
I had something like this in college once. Went to the college clinic - they put gunk in my ear (a softener), then sprayed it out with warm water (some kind of water pick thingie). Cleaned out all the wax/gunk in the ear and afterwards my hearing in that ear was the best I’d remembered it in months/years. I haven’t had that ‘won’t unpop’ sensation again in the ~20 years since…
Did you take a plane ride with a sinus problem recently? This has happened to me a couple times and there’s nothing you can do but wait. What’s going on is that fluid has entered your eardrum to protect it and it drains slowly. In a week or so your ear will start to make funny noises and you’ll be able to make it pop by moving your jaw around or swallowing hard. About a week after that it’ll be all clear.
Whenever I am on a flight I get painful pressure in my ear during the landing. This pain turns into the unpopped feeling after I land.
The best way I know to alleviate the pain is to blow out through your nose while pinching your nose shut. You have to do it pretty hard, but if you do it right, you will get the click/pop in your ear and it will start to return to normal. I have to do this, or the pain would make flying pretty intolerable.
Of course, I don’t know if your problem is the same pressure related one I get, so this may not work as well for you.
The best way to go would be to fire a non-fatal missile into your ear. Use a small drilled LCD screen as a payload and make sure that it has a parachute that deploys in front of the missile to cushion the entry.
Is it an earwax blockage (annoying loss of hearing), or just unequal pressure? If its earwax, then put a few drops of some olive oil (or any cooking oil really) into your ear, then lie on your side so it soaks in, for about 15 minutes. This softens the earwax, making it easier to clear out. Repeat twice a day until using one of those little squirty bulbs with warm water successfully clears the blockage.
Try drinking more water during and before the flight. Planes can be pretty dry, and if you drink on a long flight, you will be one dusty cunt by the time the ride is over. I had the same problem flying from Malaga to Heathrow this year, and that shit can hurt. And from Heathrow to Charles DeGaulle, and from Schiphol to Dublin, and Dublin to Chicago, both ways. One of the times, it hurt so bad, I thought I could feel my own eyes popping out like I was Cohagen from Total Recall. Hook yourself up with some Afrin beforehand, that will clear out your sinuses something fierce. If all else fails, holding your nose and trying to blow your top like a cartoon character works for me too.
Go to the drug store and buy generic Debrox (carbamide peroxide – hydrogen perodixe works OK too in a pinch, if you happen to have some of that laying around). Let it sit in your ear for a few minutes and then flush with one of those ear bulb thingies (some places sell the bulbs with the earwax remover). I know you said you tried earwax remover, but make sure you try using one of those bulbs to flush your ears after the peroxide has softened up the wax and shoot the water out of the bulb fairly forceably (but don’t stick the bulb directly in your ear canal). The high-pressure (within reason – don’t blow out your eardrum) flushing part is pretty important, in my experience (I’ve had this issue a couple of times after a few days of lots of swimming).
Also resist the temptation to try to clear the wax out directly with a Q-Tip. While it does let you get some of the wax out, it generally causes some of the wax to pack down and makes things a lot worse because the tighter the wax is, the less the peroxide can get underneath to soften it up.
You may have to repeat the earwax remover/flushing a few times for the desired results, but don’t do it for more than 5 days in a row (if its that bad, see a doctor, if at all possible).
Also, while your ears are still blocked drink a carbonated beverage. The amount of noise the fizz of the soda makes in your mouth when your ears are blocked is quite amusing.