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!

What can I do next?


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.

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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.

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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.

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