Q:

How do you clear a blocked ear?

A:

Quick Answer

Blocked ears can be cleared by yawning, swallowing, or chewing gum or taffy to open up the ears, according to the Mayo Clinic. You can also try breathing in deeply with your mouth closed, then blowing air from your nose gently while pinching your nostrils.

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Full Answer

Ears become blocked because the tube between your middle ear and nose becomes clogged with fluid, explains the Mayo Clinic. As a result, you feel pressure in your ears and sinuses. Pain may also develop, along with hearing difficulty and dizziness.

Decongestants and topical nasal steroids can be very effective for clearing up blocked ears, states WebMD. Decongestants can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription. Using a nasal saline spray may also keep your sinuses moist, which can relieve blockage and ear pain. Pressing a warm and moist washcloth on your face also helps alleviate the pain from blocked ears. Running a humidifier can keep sinuses moist, as does running a hot shower and sitting in the bathroom for about 15 minutes. For extreme cases, your primary care physician may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist, who is likely to insert ventilation tubes to pull the fluid from your ears, which can relieve any pain.

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