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erichw1504's avatar

What is the best way to unplug an ear from a cold?

Asked by erichw1504 (26329 points ) February 14th, 2011

Over the weekend I developed a cold, possibly a mild case of bronchitis. I started to feel better, but then my left ear has since been plugged up. It has not been painful, but I can only hear about 50% in it.

So, what is the best remedy for this? Have you experienced this before? What worked and what didn’t?

And, no, I am not going to close my nose and mouth then blow out to pop it. I heard that can cause damage.

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24 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

Close your mount and nose and then blow out to pop it. Just don’t blow too hard.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Tilt your head to the side and put a couple drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear canal. Hold it there until it stops bubbling. It should help clear up any excess wax build up or puss. Don’t know how well it works, I saw it on Dr Oz the other day.

zenvelo's avatar

Are you taking a decongestant? If not, that may relieve pressure in your sinuses and Eustachian tubes.

Are you feeling ear pain? If so, go to a Doctor to check for ear infection.

erichw1504's avatar

@Rarebear If you read the description, you know I will not do that.

@WestRiverrat It’s not from wax build up as I got it from the cold I had. The blockage is inside the Eustachian tubes, behind the ear drum.

@zenvelo Yes, I’m taking pseudophedrin (60mg). No ear pain (as noted in description). I’ve had an ear infection before and know the difference.

ruth4532's avatar

did you go to the doctor

erichw1504's avatar

@ruth4532 No, I’d rather not for just my ear being a little plugged up. If it doesn’t go away soon or get worse and painful, then I probably will.

Judi's avatar

Using a netti pot through your sinuses might bring some relief if nothing else works.

marinelife's avatar

@erichw1504 Um, Rarebear is a physician.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
partyparty's avatar

I was once told putting a few drops of olive oil in your ear, then plugging it with cotton wool would do the trick.

erichw1504's avatar

@partyparty But, would that clear up the blockage I have in my Eustachian tube?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Holding your nose and mouth and blowing out does not cause any damage whatsoever, unless you blow with entirely too much force. I’ve been doing this for years; it’s the only way to pop my ears if I dive deep underwater or if I’m up in an airplane. I promise there is no threat of damage unless you seriously put enough pressure behind the blow. But that could also result in head asplosion…

erichw1504's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Really? I guess what I’ve heard is wrong then. Maybe I’ll give it a try and let you know.

“head asplosion”, haha.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’ve never had a problem with it, honest. I’ve had to do it a lot to get my ears to pop. You can feel the pressure of it, but then it’s this wonderful feeling of relief.

Please, don’t do it hard enough to make your head asplode. There’s no one here to clean it up…

erichw1504's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I know, I can’t wait until it clears! Well then maybe I’ll have to post a new question:

“What is the best method of cleaning up after your head asplodes?”

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Oh Oh! I know! Just call in the Zombie Cleaning Crew (ZCC)! They’re great for cleaning up braaaaaaaiiiiiiins.

tgkeith's avatar

I’m not sure how to spell it, but NEOSENEFRIN is close. A drop in the nose, and tilt head so it will run to the offending ear.

erichw1504's avatar

Neo-synephrine? Sounds like a good idea. The “holding the nose, closing the mouth, and blowing” doesn’t seem to be working.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’ve had ear infections without ear pain, one of which caused me to lose most of the hearing in my right ear for over a month (due to antibiotics not working). I was told the hearing loss was due to fluid in there. The doc said I could take over-the-counter decongestants, particularly the kind you have to get from behind the counter at the pharmacy, to help with the draining away of said fluid.

It did not work for me, but that’s what the doc said. Other than that, you may just have to wait until the swelling goes down on its own. I never did get that satisfying ‘POP’ that I wanted, after such a long time of being partially deaf. ;)

Rarebear's avatar

@erichw1504 the valsava manouver was worth a try. You may have an ear infection in which case you might need antibiotics. Go see your doctor about it.

erichw1504's avatar

@Rarebear So, you may not experience pain with an ear infection?

Rarebear's avatar

@erichw1504 Generally you do experience pain, but not always.

erichw1504's avatar

@Rarebear OK, maybe I’ll see if I can get an appointment this week. Thanks!

Response moderated (Unhelpful)

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