Monitor the health of your community here

How to Clear the Middle Ear

Being able to hear clearly is often taken for granted. However, if dealing with congestion in the middle ear, sounds may appear muffled and you may experience a disturbing ringing in the ear. Allergies, colds, the flu and sinus infections can trigger excess mucus or fluid in one or both ears. When this occurs, hearing may become increasingly difficult, and the problem doesn't always resolve itself quickly. Fortunately, numerous products and natural methods are useful for clearing the middle ear.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Keep your head titled to one side to remove fluid. Staying in an upright position causes fluid to settle in the ear. Lie on your side to help fluid drain or escape the middle ear. Alternate sides to clear the other ear.

How to Unclog the Inner Ear or Eustachian Tube

Learn More

Clear mucus in the ears 1. Drain mucus from both ears with an over-the-counter decongestant. Take this medication with colds or sinus congestion. Antihistamines help clear middle ear congestion that results from an allergic reaction. Use medications as directed 1.

Expose your ears to heat. Heat from a shower, sauna or wet cloth placed over both ears helps dissolve mucus and drain fluid from the ears.

How to Unplug Your Ears When You're Sick

Learn More

Use ear drops. Pharmacies sell ear treatments to help break up mucus in the ear. Place ear drops in one or both ears as instructed to help clear the middle ear and stop congestion.

Balance the pressure in your ears. Chewing gum and continuous yawning stretches the jaw muscles and lets air into the middle ear. This maneuver alters the air pressure in the ears and helps pop the eustachian tube. Drinking liquids such as water also increases air in the middle ear and clears congestion.