How to Clear Ear Congestion Fast
Published February 20, 2023
Ear congestion results from obstructed Eustachian tubes. The Eustachian tube links the nose to the middle ear. It helps balance the middle ear’s pressure.
Blocked Eustachian tubes cause ear fullness and heaviness. You may also experience ear pain and hearing loss. Middle ear or ear canal issues that affect the eardrum can also cause ear congestion (a.k.a. the tympanic membrane).
Sinus infections, allergies, and the common cold can cause ear congestion. Air travel or altitude changes can also cause Eustachian tube dysfunction, causing ear congestion. Continue reading to find out how to clear ear congestion fast and what is causing it.
How to Clear Ear Congestion
Before beginning treatment for ear congestion, it is necessary to determine the root cause of the problem. Here are some things that can cause ear congestion and how to treat them.
Earwax may be densely packed to naturally exit the ear canal. When this happens, applying a few drops of glycerin or baby/mineral oil to the wax can help soften it. Then, water can be introduced into the ear using a syringing kit after 15 to 30 minutes; to prevent dizziness, the liquid should be at room temperature.
You should avoid ear syringing if you have a hole in your eardrum or ear tubes, which could introduce water deeper into the ear canal.
Any condition that causes sinus congestion (like sinusitis, flu, allergies, etc.) can also cause ear congestion. These are the following treatments on how to drain sinus from ear to clear sinus and ear congestion:
- Gently blow your nose
- Use a nasal decongestant
- Drink plenty of water, especially at night, to thin the mucus in your nose
- Use a humidifier, a nasal rinse, or a nasal irrigation system to clear the sinuses behind ear
Air Travel (Changes in Altitude)
Rapid changes in air pressure that occur during air travel or changes in altitude can stress your middle ear and eardrum. You can prevent or alleviate congestion by yawning, swallowing, chewing gum, or eating hard candy.
You can also try the Valsalva maneuver by blowing your nose while closing your mouth and pinching your nostrils; repeat as necessary. Earplugs and nasal decongestant sprays available over-the-counter may also be helpful.
Swimmer’s ear is usually caused by water that stays in your ear after swimming or bathing. This gives bacteria a place to grow. As a result, you may experience pain, itchiness, redness, drainage of clear fluid, or pus discharge. Follow the steps below to remove water from your ear and prevent infection:
- Lie on the side with the clogged ear facing down.
- Pull or wiggle your ear lobe while tilting your ear toward your shoulder.
- Use ear drops that contain alcohol available over the counter to help dry the ear canal
- Apply ear drops containing hydrogen peroxide, and then lie down with your clogged ear facing down for a couple of minutes.
In many cases, ear infections, including Otitis Media (middle ear inflammation), resolve without treatment. Ear drops and painkillers that you can buy over the counter can alleviate your symptoms. Your doctor may ask you to take antibiotics if your symptoms become severe or last more than two days.
Know the Root Cause
Ear congestion is common, and there are home remedies on how to clear ear congestion, depending on what caused it. If your ears are clogged, you can open your eustachian tubes by yawning, swallowing, or chewing gum. If this does not work, take a deep breath and try blowing gently through your nose while pinching your nostrils and keeping your mouth closed.
Also available are over-the-counter treatments. However, if your ear congestion lasts longer than two weeks or is accompanied by hearing loss, fever, severe ear pain, or fluid drainage, you should seek medical attention.
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This Content Has Been Reviewed For Factual Accuracy
About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She started her career as a content writer for various digital magazines and renowned publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage other people to speak up.