Tips to Help Relieve Ear Congestion
Jamie @ Boots Hearingcare
Ear congestion is a fairly common problem, but it can sadly be
rather troublesome, even more so if you already suffer from some
form of hearing loss, as it can worsen this issue. It is most often
described as a simple blockage of the ear canal, and it can often be
linked to a bad cold, allergies being set off, or having problems
with the sinuses.
Different people can suffer from congestion of the ears in
different manners, experiencing anything from a repeated popping
sensation in the ear and hearing a wind in a tunnel sort of sound,
to the annoying and uncomfortable feeling of being all blocked up
and a tangible decrease in the ability to hear.
If you happen to be unfortunate enough to suffer from ear
congestion yourself, then you know how run-down it can make you
feel. You will want to be rid of the problem as soon as possible, so
here are a few tips on how to do just that.
Whatís Causing Your Ear Congestion?
If you have been on a plane recently, the congestion in your ear
was likely caused by a difference in air pressure, and should clear
up by itself over time. You just need to wait.
However, if youíve had a cold or your hayfever is bad (etc.),
what youíre suffering from is the ear-based version of
If youíre also struggling to hear more than usual, it may be
caused by an excess of wax. If itís painful and youíre still
suffering after 48 hours, you should go and get checked out by your
Use Gravity to Help
Mostly, any ear congestion will be caused by a build-up of fluids
in everyoneís favourite part of the middle ear, the Eustachian
tubes. Itís likely that this is your problem, so try these solutions
You can lie on your side for up to an hour Ė gravity should cause
the fluids to slowly drain. If you donít have the time for this, you
can always try this slightly silly-looking method: stand on one foot
and tip your head to the blockage side, then start slowly hopping.
Though it sounds mad, it changes your centre of gravity, so it can
dislodge that build-up.
Make a Vacuum
This is the best way to deal with wax: with some practice and
finesse, you should be able to make a vacuum in your ear by gently
putting in your index finger and moving upwards slowly.
If this works (yay!) but youíre still having trouble hearing
(boo!), you should probably see an audiologist.
Book a free hearing test
online at Boots hearingcare
and get your results.
Inner Ear Pressure
If youíre still suffering after coming back down to earth from
your holiday jaunts, the above tips will probably not be of much use
to you whatsoever. What you can do instead is to try and equalise
the pressure difference between your inner and middle ear, either by
repeatedly swallowing hard or yawning.
If youíre having no success, Gizmodo recently published a
handy little guide
to fixing it, even explaining exactly why it happens!