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How to Get Ear Congestion to Break

Updated April 17, 2017

Stuffed up sinuses can put pressure on your ear canals. This pressure can cause you to feel that your ears are congested, making them ache. Sinus pressure can also make you hear things as if they are muffled, which may make you feel rather off. The only way you can break the ear congestion is to relieve the sinus pressure, which means that you have to clear your nasal passages of mucus. One way to clear mucus-stuffed sinus passages is with an over-the-counter nasal spray.

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  1. Take a piece of facial tissue and hold it over the end of your nose. Close the left nostril of your nose by pushing is shut with your finger. Now, take in a deep breath through your mouth and close your lips. Blow that breath out through your open nostril hard and fast, emptying as much mucus from that nostril into the tissue as possible. Repeat this process with the other nostril. Keep alternating between nostrils, getting a new facial tissue when necessary, until your nose is as clear as possible.

  2. Take your nasal spray and shake it, if directed to do so by the instructions on the packaging. Now, remove the cap on the nasal spray.

  3. Hold the bottle of nasal spray like you would a syringe, with the nozzle between your pointer and middle finger and your thumb at the bottom of the bottle.

  4. Position the nozzle of the bottle of nasal spray at the opening of one of your nostrils. Spray the nasal spray into the nostril by pressing up with your thumb while holding down with your pointer and middle finger. While doing this breath in like normal, not like you are taking a deep breath. Repeat this process with the other nostril.

  5. Tip

    Run a hot shower long enough to allow your bathroom to fill with steam before blowing your nose, to help loosen the mucus.


    Don't overuse the nasal spray, overuse can cause symptoms to worsen. Make sure that you read the packaging to find out how often and for how long you can use the product. You should see a doctor if symptoms worsen while using the nasal spray, or persist after you have used it for the maximum amount of time specified on the packaging. Check with your doctor before using a nasal spray if you are on other medications. Don't use a nasal spray if you have a cardiovascular condition, diabetes, issues with your thyroid or an enlarged prostate.

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Things You'll Need

  • Facial tissue
  • Decongestant nasal spray


About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.

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