How to Clear the Middle Ear

Updated February 21, 2017

Being able to hear clearly is often taken for granted. However, if dealing with congestion in the middle ear, sounds may appear muffled and you may experience a disturbing ringing in the ear. Allergies, colds, the flu and sinus infections can trigger excess mucus or fluid in one or both ears. When this occurs, hearing may become increasingly difficult, and the problem doesn't always resolve itself quickly. Fortunately, numerous products and natural methods are useful for clearing the middle ear.

Keep your head titled to one side to remove fluid. Staying in an upright position causes fluid to settle in the ear. Lie on your side to help fluid drain or escape the middle ear. Alternate sides to clear the other ear.

Clear mucus in the ears. Drain mucus from both ears with an over-the-counter decongestant. Take this medication with colds or sinus congestion. Antihistamines help clear middle ear congestion that results from an allergic reaction. Use medications as directed.

Expose your ears to heat. Heat from a shower, sauna or wet cloth placed over both ears helps dissolve mucus and drain fluid from the ears.

Use ear drops. Pharmacies sell ear treatments to help break up mucus in the ear. Place ear drops in one or both ears as instructed to help clear the middle ear and stop congestion.

Balance the pressure in your ears. Chewing gum and continuous yawning stretches the jaw muscles and lets air into the middle ear. This manoeuvre alters the air pressure in the ears and helps pop the eustachian tube. Drinking liquids such as water also increases air in the middle ear and clears congestion.

Things You'll Need

  • Decongestant
  • Ear drops
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About the Author

Valencia Higuera is a freelance writer from Chesapeake, Virginia. She has contributed content to print publications and online publications such as, AOL Travel, and ABC Loan Guide. Higuera primarily works as a personal finance, travel and medical writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/journalism from Old Dominion University.