Clearing clogged ears depends on the cause, as congestion can be treated with decongestants and allergies can be treated with antihistamines. Find the right treatment for clogged ears with information from a practicing pediatrician in this free video on ear problems.
Hi, I'm Doctor David Hill and today we're going to talk about how to clear a clogged ear. Now, to know how to clear a clogged ear we gotta think about what part of the ear is clogged, and how we might fix it. Looking at this ear model, clogs can occur in a couple of places. This is the external auditory canal and it ends in the eardrum. This is a sealed system here that starts at the outer ear. And if you get swimmer's ear, swelling, a foreign body, or a wax impaction, that can cause a sense of fullness or clogging of the ear. The best way to figure this out is to let a doctor get a look at the ear canal and see if there's actually something that needs to be treated. Swimmer's ear may respond to some medications or even over the counter or home remedies such as a mix of white vinegar, one to one with alcohol or drying of the ear. But sever swimmer's ear is probably going to need a mix of antibiotics and steroids and maybe even a wick introduced in to the ear to fix it. Obviously a foreign body would need to be removed. Now the other place you can get a sense of ear congestion is here in the middle ear. This is a sealed chamber that starts at the eardrum and ends here in the Eustachian which is supposed to carry air and fluid from the middle ear in to the nose. Anything that blocks up the nose or the Eustachian tube can allow air or fluid to collect here in the middle ear. So the key here is to unblock the Eustachian tube. Now something as simple as a decongestant spray like Afrin used once or twice may do that. You never want to use those sprays more than three days in a row though or you're going to have a very difficult time not using them. For people who's clogging is due to allergies, antihistamines like Claritin or Zyrtec may help or a prescription nasal steroid like fluticasone or Mametasone will help clear this inflammation and open the tube back up. When there's a cold you may find that nasal saline drops, either drops for infants or even using neti pot which kind of looks like a teapot, that floods your nose with salt water, may help relieve the symptoms of the blockage. Additionally nasal steroids, just like you'd use for an allergy may help in the case of a sinus infection that's blocking up the ear tube especially in adults. So the key is if your ear feels blocked up or stopped up you gotta know why. Do you have cold symptoms, do you have allergies or do you feel like there's a blockage pain or obstruction in the outer ear? Your doctor can help you figure that out and you can work on other home remedies, over the counter remedies or prescription remedies to fix the problem, whatever it is. Talking about relieving a stuffed up ear, I'm Doctor Hill.