Ear congestion is a medical issue that irritates, makes hearing difficult and, without treatment, can cause dizziness and pain. If you have it, in addition to feeling clogged, severe pain and bleeding, you may have a perforated eardrum and you need to see your doctor right away. Most of the time, however, congestion can be treated at home with a few simple techniques and over-the-counter medications.
Method 1 of 3: Relieving Pressure in the Ears
Step 1. Yawn or chew gum to open the Eustachian tubes
Sometimes the solution to a blocked ear can be as simple as yawning, which helps to equalize the pressure inside the ear. There is also the option of chewing sugar-free gum for a few minutes. These are simple ways to relieve pressure in your ears and get immediate relief.
The treatment will be over when the pressure inside your ears has dissipated and you can hear normally
Step 2. Try the Toynbee maneuver to unclog your ears
This maneuver relieves the pressure in the middle ear, undoing the obstruction responsible for the discomfort. Put a little water in your mouth, without swallowing. Keep your mouth shut and close your nostrils gently with your fingers. Then swallow the water. Repeat the maneuver up to five times.
Step 3. Relieve pressure with the Valsalva maneuver
Squeeze your nose to block your nostrils and keep your mouth closed. Try to exhale gently through your nose, avoiding excessive force so as not to damage your eardrums. You may hear a kind of snapping sound, which is an indication of relief from the pressure, but you shouldn't feel pain.
The maneuver is not only useful for those with an ear congested by the flu, but also for airmen, airline passengers and divers
Method 2 of 3: Removing Ear Wax
Step 1. Dissolve the wax with steam
Boil a kettle of water. Transfer the water to a heat resistant bowl. Lean over the bowl, leaving your face just above the steam, and use a towel to create a "tent" that covers your head and the edges of the bowl. Breathe in the steam for as long as you think necessary. It should dilute the mucus and wax, relieving pressure.
- If any wax leaks from the ear canal, wipe it off with a clean cloth.
- If you like, add a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil to the hot water.
Step 2. Apply a warm compress to the ear to drain the fluids
Place a clean cloth under the hot tap. Wring out excess water, place the cloth over the clogged ear and lie down with it face down for 10 minutes so that the liquid can run off under gravity. Repeat this step as often as needed.
Use the cloth only to wipe off excess wax from the ear
Step 3. Use a water and vinegar solution to dry the ear fluids
The solution consists of one part vinegar to four parts water. Tilt your head to the side and, with an eyedropper, drop a few drops of the solution into the ear. Keep your head tilted like this for five minutes to give the solution time to act.
Before returning your head to its normal position, place a cotton ball at the entrance to the ear canal to prevent the solution from leaking out. If the clogging is on both sides, repeat the procedure on the other ear
Step 4. Soften the wax with a few drops of oil
Tilt your head with the affected ear facing up. Using an eyedropper, drop a few drops of warm (not hot) olive oil into the ear canal. Keep your head in this position for about five minutes.
After this time, put the head back in the normal position and wipe with a clean cloth any traces of oil or wax that might come out of the channel. Repeat on the other ear
Method 3 of 3: Using Remedies
Step 1. Take a decongestant if home methods fail
Decongestants help to clear the sinuses, improving your hearing a little. Follow the instructions on the package insert and avoid taking the decongestant for more than three days in a row.
Step 2. If you are allergic, use an antihistamine nasal spray
This may be the best solution when the symptoms are suspected to be triggered by allergies. Ask the pharmacy for a nasal spray that contains antihistamines and use it according to the directions on the package insert.
Step 3. If symptoms persist, see a doctor or talk to your health plan
The fact that the pain is intense or lasts for several days is a sign that the situation requires medical attention. Depending on the cause of the pain, your doctor may prescribe topical nasal steroids or employ other treatments.
- Pull the earlobe down, up, and down again.
- Performing the Valsalva maneuver during landings and take-offs, as well as during descent while diving, prevents or minimizes the pressure difference that muffles the hearing and can cause pain (which is sometimes very intense).
- Drop an alcohol ear solution into the ear to prevent "swimmer's ear".
- Suck on a hard candy or candy during flights to equalize pressure in your ears faster.
- Resist the temptation to clean the wax with a cotton swab, which all too often ends up pushing the wax into the ear instead of cleaning it.
- If you have fever or severe pain in the ear, see a doctor.