home
RSS
September 20th, 2010
11:56 AM ET

How do I drain my ears?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Monday, it's Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician.

Question asked by Becky M. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: After taking antibiotics for a sinus infection or ear infection, what is the best way to help encourage drainage of the middle ear or eustachian tube?

I have seen many remedies online, some of which recommend using a neti pot, but I feared making the situation worse. Is it normal to still feel some congestion in the ear area even after finishing the antibiotics?

Expert answer: Thanks for your question. Sinus infections are very common, affecting more than 30 million adults in the United States each year.

In these infections, the sinuses (such as those found in the forehead, under the eyes and along the sides of the nasal bridge) become inflamed and may feel full or painful.

The eustachian tube is the channel that connects the middle ear with the back of the nose and throat. During colds, allergies, ear infections or sinusitis, the eustachian tube can become blocked by mucus and cause a person's ears to feel clogged, with a temporary loss of hearing. These symptoms may continue for a few weeks after a cold or other upper respiratory problem has resolved.

In many instances, the sinuses and eustachian tubes will clear on their own after a few days. Treating the underlying cause of the problem (sinusitis, allergies, etc.) is the first step. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can help with the discomfort in the meantime. Some people require antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection of the ears or sinuses. In addition, it can be helpful to try other remedies to clear the head of mucus.

I consulted with Dr. Aaron Rogers, an otolaryngologist in Atlanta, Georgia, who shared the following information about some common remedies:

• Nasal washes: Saline rinses, sprays and neti pots don't directly treat the eustachian tube but can be a huge help for sinusitis and runny or stuffy noses. Be sure to clean neti pots with soap and water, and use commercial saline products or make the saline solution yourself with sterile or distilled rather than tap water.

• Nasal steroid sprays: These are available by prescription and can help open up the eustachian tube.

• Physical maneuvers: Chewing gum is a common way to try to keep the eustachian tubes open. You can also pinch your nose and swallow or close your mouth, pinch your nose and blow.

• Nasal decongestant sprays: These medications are available over the counter (such as Afrin) or by prescription and are especially helpful when flying (use 30 minutes before takeoff and landing). They are recommended to be used for no more than about three days at a time, since longer use can cause "rebound" swelling of the nasal passages. Of note, nasal sprays containing zinc should be avoided, as they have been reported to cause the permanent loss of the sense of smell in some cases.

• Oral decongestant medicines: Examples of ingredients include pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine. While the problem of rebound is less common with oral decongestants, some people experience palpitations or a rise in blood pressure.

• Oral steroids and antihistamines are sometimes used, particularly in longer-lasting sinus infections; however, they may have side effects such as drying up the mucous membranes of the nasal tissue and thickening the secretions. These are not routinely recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated sinusitis or ear infections.

Since every person's situation may be a little different, it's always best to talk to your own physician for the most appropriate treatment for your case. Good luck!


soundoff (1,714 Responses)
  1. rv storage orange ca

    http://www.openherd.com/adredirect.aspx?adType=SiteAd&ItemID=9539&ReturnURL=https://ocrv.vip/haul-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. GtnbCrulk

    viagra history https://jokviagra.com/ viagra for men for sale

    May 13, 2021 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 2003 Sprinter Ac Repair

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I stumbled across this during my hunt for something concerning this.

    http://haibao.dlszywz.com/index.php?c=scene&a=link&id=273020&url=https://sprintervanrepairshop.com/box-truck-restoration-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. LebnEncox

    Diovan http://xlnpharmacy.com/ online pharmacy ordering

    May 13, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sprinter Armrest Repair

    https://hr.pecom.ru/bitrix/rk.php?goto=https://fleetrepairshops.com/cargo-van-conversion-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 23:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mercedes Sprinter Refrigerator Repair

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be helpful to read content from other writers and use a little something from other websites.

    http://www.vladinfo.ru/away.php?url=https://sprintervanrepairshop.com/luxury-truck-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. AnooEncox

    viagra 10mg https://llviagra.com/ – prevent headache viagra viagra skin rash

    May 14, 2021 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. FmrfEncox

    buycialis http://cialisee.com/ – cialis nex day delivery uk cialis daily vs 36 hour

    May 14, 2021 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. fabrication shop near me

    https://www.etis.ford.com/externalURL.do?url=https://ocrvcenter.biz/motorhome-installation-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 03:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. ocrv paint and service

    Very good post! We will be linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    http://cies.xrea.jp/jump/?https://youtube.com/watch?v=4eeiwltyckU

    May 14, 2021 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. trailer body repair

    Can I simply say what a relief to uncover someone that really understands what they are discussing on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people have to look at this and understand this side of your story. It's surprising you're not more popular since you certainly have the gift.

    http://mailer.dt.co.kr/bin/checker?mode=5&module=11&mailidx=4275&dmidx=0&emidx=0&service=0&etime=20080227100001&seqidx=18963&objidx=16&url=https://ocrv.me/motorhome-furniture-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 04:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Fiberglass California

    It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people in this particular subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    http://www.slightham.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-anaheim-4

    May 14, 2021 at 05:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. body work shop near me

    https://www.schornsteinfeger-duesseldorf.de/redirect.php?url=https://ocrvluxurycoaches.com/rv-sound-system-repair-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. motorhome repairs near me

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anybody having the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    http://www.youtube-loop.com/watch?v=-zLxOy3vX_c

    May 14, 2021 at 06:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. rv storage in orange county ca

    Good post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Continue the good work!

    https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/disclaimer.jsp?ciURL=https://ocrv.vip/class-8-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sprinter Resistor Repair

    http://www.foodprotection.org/a/partners/link/?id=79&url=https://fleetvehiclerepairshop.com/pleasure-way-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. trailer repair near me now

    https://assine.hostnet.com.br/cadastro/?rep=17&url=https://ocrvcenter.org/rv-repair-shop-redondo-beach-california

    May 14, 2021 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. realtors sandpoint idaho

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site. I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal blog now 😉

    http://www.partner.pccomponentes.com/servlet/effi.redir?id_compteur=13365084&url=https://meganleary.com

    May 14, 2021 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Maserati Ghibli S Q4 For Sale

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit yet again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

    https://rucsh.org/home/link.php?url=https://club-maserati.com

    May 14, 2021 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. mobile camper repair near me

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you should publish more on this subject matter, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people don't speak about these topics. To the next! Kind regards!!

    http://sweetcotton.com/osanpo/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=1154&url=theocrv.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Glasses Near Me

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I truly believed you would probably have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something that you can fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

    http://old.nepalimmigration.gov.np/site/languages/languageA/3?url=http://arizonasvision.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Eye Doctor Ahwatukee

    https://esdlife.com/goto.asp?url=www.arizonasvision.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. things to do in azusa ca

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this topic here on your internet site.

    http://ladygamer.jp/ws/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=299&url=http://ocrv.pro

    May 14, 2021 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Maserati Near Me

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Cheers!

    https://store.law.com/linkredirector/default.asp?lrcat=BLOGNetwork&lrurl=https://club-maserati.com

    May 14, 2021 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. iWnLqpZQXH

    homework help solutions classification essay on movies science homework help ks3 research paper to buy

    May 14, 2021 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. bucket truck band

    https://www.bcbst.com/providers/mpmsearch/cs.asp?url=https://ocrv.art/

    May 14, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RebfZisse

    cialis 5 mg https://rcialisgl.com/ generic cialis without prescription

    May 14, 2021 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Eye Doctor Ahwatukee

    https://www.feedroll.com/rssviewer/feed2js.php?src=http://arizonasvision.com

    May 15, 2021 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. houses for sale near my area

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be interesting to read content from other authors and use a little something from other sites.

    http://hotstar.ugear.tw/EN/ugC_Redirect.asp?hidTBType=Banner&hidFieldID=BannerID&hidID=17&UrlLocate=http://meganleary.com

    May 15, 2021 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Eye Care Near Me

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m certainly delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

    http://montessorihelper.com/dap/a/?a=211&p=www.arizonasvision.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 03:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. bucket truck services

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who was conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this issue here on your web site.

    http://www.navi-ohaka.com/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=1&url=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. rv remodeling companies

    It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people in this particular topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    http://server.tongbu.com/tbcloud/gmzb/gmzb.aspx?appleid=699470139&from=tui_jump&source=4001&url=http://ocrv.me/

    May 15, 2021 at 06:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. property for sale coeur d alene

    Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to revisit yet again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

    https://www.track.twshop4coupon.com/track/clicks/3171/c627c2b89e0522dbfe9cbd2e8d2b8914736245cb75e9f0ab416db1046005?t=https://www.meganleary.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 06:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Arizona's Vision

    https://coascension.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=arizonasvision.com

    May 15, 2021 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Eye Surgeon Near Me

    https://www.momoantena.com/redirect?url=https://www.arizonasvision.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. F.C.Kerbeck Maserati

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Thank you!

    https://www.dancespirit.com/core/users/silent_login/?next_url=https://club-maserati.com

    May 15, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. avanafil

    buy avanafil online buy avanafil usa

    May 15, 2021 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. cyclomune

    buy cyclosporine cyclosporine ophthalmic

    May 15, 2021 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. BbshMile

    viagra challenge https://loxviagra.com/ when should you take viagra

    May 15, 2021 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. avana

    buy avana avana india

    May 15, 2021 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. homes for sale coeur d alene lake idaho

    This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Many thanks!

    http://www.london.umb.edu/?URL=http://www.meganleary.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. combigan

    combigan side effects generic combigan

    May 15, 2021 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. brimonidine

    brimonidine generic brimonidine use

    May 15, 2021 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. trailer parts orange county

    http://www.fudou-san.com/link/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=2898&url=http://www.customcampervans.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RebfZisse

    cialis online australia http://rcialisgl.com/ cialis prices at walmart

    May 15, 2021 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Used Maserati Ghibli S Q4 Near Me

    I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I've got you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff you post…

    http://web.trailerpark.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=club-maserati.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Maserati Mcclaren Dealer Near Me

    After I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

    https://www.laosubenben.com/home/link.php?url=https://club-maserati.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Optometrist Phoenix

    Howdy, There's no doubt that your website could possibly be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, fantastic blog!

    http://admin.kpsearch.com/active/admin/customer/customer_email1_birthday.asp?item=&chname=gnc&strhomeurl=arizonasvision.com&ch=283085

    May 15, 2021 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. LbsoZisse

    cialis no perscription overnight delivery https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis online delivery overnight

    May 15, 2021 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Content Marketing Boutique

    http://kreepost.com/go/?https://bulknearme.com

    May 15, 2021 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Leave a Reply to trailer body repair


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.