Grommets are tubes to equalise the pressure between the middle ear and the outside world. They can become blocked from infection e.g. swimming without ear plugs or sinusitis.
A blocked grommet makes the ear feel dull and the hearing poor. If you fly with a blocked grommet it can be painful on aircraft descent.
A blocked grommet needs to be seen by a doctor as it may be blocked because it is extruding and needs replacement. There are many types of grommets but common varieties last either A: 6-12 months or B: 2-3 years.
Once a doctor has established your grommet is blocked he or she will write a script for Sofradex drops. You need to flood the ear canal twice a day, pumping the drops through the grommet using the skin tag (tragus) in front of the ear. This takes 1-2 mins per application. If you can taste the drops down the back of your throat you have succeeded in unblocking the grommet. This can take up to 3 weeks of therapy.