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How to Depressurize Your Ears

Ear pressure occurs when fluid or mucus settles in the ear, or during airplane travel or mountain driving. This condition can develop while you battle colds, sinusitis and allergies, and ear pressure can cause muffled hearing and ringing in your ear. Fortunately, there are quick and simple ways to depressurize your ear and regain hearing. Medications can help solve this common problem, or you can remedy ear pressure with natural methods.

Is This an Emergency?

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

Remedy ear pressure with OTC drugs 1. Decongestants found in cold, allergy and sinus medications can quickly break up mucus in the body and promote drainage to relieve pressure in the ears. Use these medications as instructed 1.

How to Relieve Pressure in the Ears From Sinus Drainage

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Use steam to depressurize your ear. Steam from a hot shower or wet cloth can drain mucus or fluid in your ears. Take a shower, or position a wet, hot cloth over your ears.

Increase drainage with a humidifier. Mucus and fluids cannot drain from the ear if there's dry air in your home. Turn on a humidifier to increase the humidity in your space and depressurize your ear.

How to Unplug Your Ears When You're Sick

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Chew gum. The motion of gum chewing can pop your ears and alleviate pressure.

Inhale, close your mouth and plug your nose, then breathe out or exhale. This trick helps open the Eustachian tube and depressurizes the ears.


Seek medical attention if ear pressure doesn't stop within a few hours, or if you experience severe pain.