To relieve painful inner ear pressure, chew gum, suck on hard candy or yawn, according to MedlinePlus. Doctors also suggest inhaling, plugging the nose and closing the mouth, and then gently exhaling. If these self-care measures do not work, an individual may have to see a doctor.
There are also over-the-counter medications to help with inner ear pressure, explains MedlinePlus. These medications help relieve congestion in the nasal cavity and allow the eustachian tube of the ear to open. Some of these medications include decongestants, nose sprays, antihistamines and steroids. In addition, if the ear has an infection, antibiotics may help relieve the pressure. In some cases, surgery is necessary, which means the doctor goes into the ear canal and makes a small cut in the eardrum to relieve the pressure.
Inner ear pressure is usually not serious and often goes away on its own with time, claims MedlinePlus. There are possible complications, however, which include hearing loss, acute ear infection, a ruptured eardrum or vertigo. If the pain and pressure do not go away after several hours, or if the ear is bleeding, it is necessary to contact a doctor. To prevent this pressure in the future, individuals must take decongestants before flying and avoid high-pressure surroundings when ill.