19 answers

How to unclog a clogged ears after a cold?

I had been sick with a cold for about a week and it had started to clear up. Yesterday, I blew my nose and my left ear sort of popped. At first it didn't hurt, but later on during the evening it began to throb. I took something for the pain and when I woke up today, the pain is gone, however, my ear is still clogged. I can hear out of it but everything is muffled. Its more aggravating than anything. Does anyone know what I can do to unclog it? Any helpful tips would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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Summary

It's possible you could have ruptured your eardrum from the pressure of blowing your nose and/or an ear infection. It's also possible that you have Eustachian tube dysfunction (difficulty equalizing the pressure in your ears, common with cold and upper respiratory infections. NEVER put anything in your ear unless your ear has been examined by a health professional, preferably and otolaryngologist - ear, nose, & throat (ENT) physician - or audiologist, to ensure that your eardrum is intact.

Featured Answers

A. the same thing happened to me last year I tried sweet oil first, but it didn't work I ended up having to see a Dr. I had an infection in my tube. So try the oil first you get from walgreens.

I know you normally think of this happening in kids, but you may have an ear infection. Sounds like it . . . drainage, ear pain, muffled sound . . . They often talk about how speech development can be delayed in kids with frequent ear infections, because they cannot hear well enough to learn words. You may need antibiotics.

More Answers

I had some problems with my ear last year. My eardrum perforated & even after it healed & the infection was gone it felt clogged & sound was a little muffled. Turned out that there was fluid trapped behind the eardrum that wasn't draining down the eustachian tube. Took some antibiotics to prevent further infection & used a steroid nose spray (reduces swelling so it will drain). Also took Mucinex to thin out the mucus up there & get things flowing better. Saline nose spray could help a little too. I had a similar problem with fluid not draining a couple of months ago along with an upper respiratory infection & did the same things to clear it up. You should definitely go to the doctor. That's the only way to know for sure what is going on. When I first had the infection that caused the eardrum to rupture, it didn't hurt until right before it happened. Oh yeah, & it happened on a Friday afternoon, so I went the entire weekend with fluid draining out of my ear. So go to the doctor before it gets worse. Hope you get better soon.

It is all of the drainage from your cold. If there is not any pain it is just "overflow". This is what our ENT dr. calls it. Take a drying antihistamine like sudafed or something, you have to ask for it at the pharmacy counter and probably have your drivers liscense when you do. As the drainage clears so will your ear. If you start to get pain or have equalibrium (sp.) problems then you need to go to the dr right away. You can also chew gum to help the pressure. I hope this helps.

Hi A.,

I would go to your doctor and even a walk-in clinic. This happened to me and he gave me an ear-drop medicine! It worked and I haven't had anymore problems.

Hope this helps! D'Anne

you should probably go to the doctor. i had a similar thing with my ears and it went from everything sounding muffled to me not being able to hear at all b/c it was a really bad ear infection. by the time i went to the doctor i was in so much pain it was ridiculous.

You really should get it checked by a physician. It sounds like you may have ruptured your eardrum. This leaves your inner ear open and more likely to become badly infected. Hopefully, it's just minor, but I would recommend having it checked just in case. Your hearing is precious!

you need an antihistimine. Sudafed or something like that. You will have to ask the pharmacist for it. Our state puts them behind the counter because it is ingrediant in making meth. Anyway, antihistimine dries up your sinuses. Stay on it until it goes away and it should dry up the fluid in your ears which is causing the muffled sound.

Open your mouth in something like a really wide yawn. It might take several tries. It might not even work :( Oh, you can also try swallowing really emphatically. You can also try these things in different positions: standing, lying down, lying on one side or another or on your back.

If these things or anything else anyone suggests don't seem to be working, take heart. It will go away on its own.

Good luck! I have had this before and it's really annoying!

You might try something my ENT prescribes: a solution of half white vinegar, half rubbing alcohol, dropped into the ear with an ear dropper (about 3 drops per ear). The alcohol dries fluid and the vinegar keeps the ph level correct. If this doesn't work after 3 days of putting drops in twice a day, you probably should see an ENT.

I know you normally think of this happening in kids, but you may have an ear infection. Sounds like it . . . drainage, ear pain, muffled sound . . . They often talk about how speech development can be delayed in kids with frequent ear infections, because they cannot hear well enough to learn words. You may need antibiotics.

If you visit a health food store or beauty supply store - you will find a long tube of bees wax that has a hole on each end. The person at the counter should know what you are talking about!!! A health food store is probably your best bet.

Basicly, you put the small end in your ear and light the thick end. You would need someone to help you and it will have directions on the package, but it works. It basicly, pulls all the gunk out of your ear - It's pretty cool !

It doesn't sound to me like you busted an ear drum. I had tubes in my ears as a child and have always had ear pains when its cold or windy. The wind will definitly make it worse, so keep them covered.

Also, you could try mixing a solution of alcohol/peroxide and pooring it in your ear. This will loosen the gunk!!! It is often used for swimmers ear, and if it has solidified in your ear, the doctor may tell you to do this before he can clean it out !

Of course, if it burns - I would see a doctor.
Good Luck !

With your symptoms of pain then popping, it's possible you could have ruptured your eardrum from the pressure of blowing your nose and/or an ear infection. It's also possible that you have Eustachian tube dysfunction (difficulty equalizing the pressure in your ears, commom with colds and upper respiratory infections).

NEVER put anything in your ear unless your ear has been examined by a health professional, preferably and otolaryngolgoist - ear, nose, & throat (ENT) physician - or audiologist, to ensure that your eardrum is intact. Putting any solution in your ear with a hole in the eardrum can cause more problems!

As an audiologist, I would advise you to see an ENT physician and have a hearing test (before and after treatment). Anyone who notices changes in their hearing should have their hearing evaluated.

Good luck!

Since the ear popped, you may have a slight tear in the eardrum. This would account for the muffled hearing also. I would urge you to have the ear checked by a doctor. I had a similar thing happen to me some years ago. The ear drum will eventually heal if the tear is not severe.

Hot Saki does the trick for me.

Get a bottle at the supermarket...heat it and drink slowly.

Sleep like a baby

I had two horrible ear infections (actually swimmers ear) this last year, and after my second one, I demanded to see an ENT dr. The first sign I got before the pain, was the loss of hearing in my left ear.
The 2nd time I got the hearing loss, I went to the ergent care, and that dr. gave me a print out, that stated you could clean your ear out with a mixture of vinegar and peroxide - however, I was real reluctant to do that before seeing my doctor! Boy was I glad - she told me to NEVER put anything liquid (peroxide or alcohol) in your ear unless you are certain you haven't busted your eardrum. Even if you only had a tiny hole, you could end up deaf!
If I were you, I would see my dr. to rule out anything serious and possibly get antibiotics if there is an infection.
The ENT told me to stop using q-tips, that our ears are self cleaning. And gave me a script for some lubricating ear drops to keep my ear in prime condition. (hopefully to keep from getting infections).
Hope this helps... good luck. (I totally understand the frusration in not being able to hear clearly - I just digging in my ear, making the problem worse).

I had a ruptured eardrum a few years ago following a cold and it was terrible. You probably need to go to a dr. since you may have an ear infection that will take antibiotics to fully clear up.

Sounds like you may have ruptured your ear drum, the tiny membrane in the ear canal. I would go to an Ear Nose Throat specialist as soon as possible.
B. S. RN CCM.

A. the same thing happened to me last year I tried sweet oil first, but it didn't work I ended up having to see a Dr. I had an infection in my tube. So try the oil first you get from walgreens.

well u say its aggravated so this may not work, but if its clogged as in stuffed up from ear wax from ur cold, then ive got the perfect remedy!!
*dont forget tho that the ear is a self-cleaning organ so u may just have to give it some time, but i dont...
lean over a sink and squirt a warm salt water solution into ur ear (preferably have someone else do it) from a syringe, at an angle so as to get as deep into the ear canal as possible. it may hurt at first but u must use a lot of pressure when squirting it in ur ear so use as much as much force and pressure as u can stand, just be smart about it and dont use too much. i have to do this every couple of months. do not be worried; but if ur anything like me, u will have pea size or greater chunks of dark ear wax fall out after a little while of squirting in it. DO NOT BE WORRIED. this is whats supposed to happen. however, please be careful as this can perforate your ear drum if too much pressure is used. do with both ears and, if done correctly, they will feel amazing afterwards.
hope this helped :) however, I do not assume responsibility for anything bad that might happen.

Whenever my ears get clogged, I just use like a baby medicine dropper and drop in some hydrogen peroxide. If that doesn't make it better, check with the doc to make sure it is nothing more serious

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