Nasal Irrigation & Ear Pain

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When it comes to your ears, making sure they are clear and debris-free prevents irritation, pain, infection and keeps your hearing level normal. Ear pain can have several causes, including sinusitis and ear infection. Never try to remedy severe ear pain yourself without first consulting with an otolaryngologist or family physician. Your physician may provide nasal irrigation to drain your sinuses and restore sense of smell, taste or hearing.


Your outer ear or auricle is a gathering place for all sound that you hear and comprehend. It also serves as a protector of the inner ear, where all of the inner parts and receptors work intricately to generate sound, balance and regulate pressure. The inner ear is connected to the Eustachian tube. This tube runs between the throat and middle ear. If the area becomes infected or filled with fluid, it can cause pain. Nasal irrigation can be used to clear out the sinuses while shrinking the sinuses membranes, explains the American Academy of Otolaryngology.


Nasal irrigation is the process of using a saline solution to flush the sinuses, notes the American Family Physician. This procedure can be safely done under the direction of a licensed physician. It is designed to help unclog a stuffy nose, blockage and post nasal drip, all which can lead to added pressure in the head and ears contributing to ear pain. If you are familiar with nasal irrigation you can also buy an over-the-counter device such as a neti pot to clear out nasal passages, but they can be harmful if have an underlying infection or severe nasal or ear blockage.


Once your nasal passages are cleared out, you will feel that you are better able to breathe out of your nose. Your cough might be reduced because your nasal drip has subsided. Headache and ear pressure may also be eliminated. If you had ear pain from pressure, you might begin to feel a sense of relief and stuffiness in your ear. In rare cases, draining sinuses can cause fluid to accumulate and sit in the Eustachian tube. This can cause severe pain, inflammation and lead to infection.


Before getting any type of nasal irrigation done, tell your doctor about any previous medical problems. He might ask you about the number of infections of the ear you have had in the past, and whether you have ever had sinusitis or tubes placed in your ears. If so, he might refrain from nasal irrigation and recommend an alternative form of treatment.


You can prevent ear pain from occurring by taking care of your ears and seeking medical care at the first sign of pain or inflammation. Never place any objects into your ear canal, this includes cotton swabs, tissue or pointed objects, recommends Kids Health. Never try to suction fluid or wax out of your ear with an ear candle or suction device. Avoid ear drops and nasal sprays that haven't been prescribed to you.