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. cyclomune

    cyclomune eye drops 1% cyclomune 0.1% eye drops

    May 20, 2021 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. rv parts near me now

    Very good article. I am facing a few of these issues as well..

    https://www.bashinform.ru/go/?http://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-flooring-repair-near-me

    May 20, 2021 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. rv dealers in riverside county ca

    http://space.sosot.net/link.php?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-escondido-california/

    May 20, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. rv water leak repair

    Excellent web site you've got here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    http://czech-guide.aspone.cz/language.aspx?culture=cs-CZ&ReturnUrl=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-lake-view-terrace-california/

    May 20, 2021 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Content Marketing Near Me

    This is a topic which is close to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?

    https://www.sprinter-forum.de/clickcounter?url=http://marketingpostfalls.com&kategorie=Werbung&linkbereich=Header

    May 20, 2021 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Generator Riverside

    https://www.stenaline.co.uk/affiliate_redirect.aspx?affiliate=tradedoubler&url=https://ocrvart.com/rv-repair-shop-adelanto-california

    May 20, 2021 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv dealers in riverside county ca

    Having read this I believed it was extremely informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    http://www.vpdacha.ru/_snippet/redirector.php?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-santa-ana-california/

    May 20, 2021 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. toyhauler furniture

    Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to revisit once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

    https://www.adminer.org/redirect/?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-rialto-california/

    May 20, 2021 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. BbshMile

    como funciona el viagra http://loxviagra.com/ 150 mg viagra

    May 20, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. cyclomune

    buy cyclosporine uk cyclosporine pharmacology

    May 20, 2021 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. checkpoint in lake elsinore ca

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a superb article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

    https://tapestry.tapad.com/tapestry/1?ta_partner_id=950&ta_redirect=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-huntington-beach-california

    May 20, 2021 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. HjxmlTkjdB

    dissertation binding service leeds essay help others professional resume writing service mn do my college homework

    May 20, 2021 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. semi truck ac repair near me

    https://login-tk.ewe.de/module.php/core/loginuserpass.php?AuthState=_f129e4d348645839698b4d7d776dd3affbd987fedc:http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-murrieta-california

    May 21, 2021 at 00:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RebfZisse

    cheapest generic cialis australia http://rcialisgl.com/ cialis vs viagra germany

    May 21, 2021 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. combigan

    combigan side effects combigan coupon

    May 21, 2021 at 04:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rv dealers in riverside county ca

    This site certainly has all of the information I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    http://jmp.rgr.jp/jmp/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=265802&url=https://ocrvart.com/rv-lighting-repair-near-me

    May 21, 2021 at 05:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. wrap shop near me

    https://tanken.ne.jp/cate/fhhanpu/rl_out.cgi?id=ox8448&url=https://ocrv.mobi/rv-paint-shop-near-me

    May 21, 2021 at 08:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. GtnbCrulk

    viagra alcohol http://jokviagra.com/ – online pharmacy ezzz viagra viagra for young men

    May 21, 2021 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. EhQWakQCRO

    how to help an autistic child with homework tsi essay help fire service activities ks1 as level chemistry coursework help

    May 21, 2021 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Google Marketing Business

    I was very happy to find this great site. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and i also have you saved to fav to see new information on your website.

    https://digitalstage.jp/go/r/r.cgi?t=https://www.affordableranking.com

    May 21, 2021 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. vinyl wrap rv

    This is a topic which is close to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    http://wwx.tw/debug/frm-s/ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-redondo-beach-california

    May 21, 2021 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RebfZisse

    800 mg cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ 36 hour cialis no prescription

    May 21, 2021 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Restoration Riverside

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

    http://5cfxm.hxrs6.servertrust.com/v/affiliate/setCookie.asp?catId=1180&return=https://ocrvshop.com/rv-repair-shop-whittier-california

    May 21, 2021 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. LbsoZisse

    generic cialis (tadalafil) 20mg 30 https://ucialisdas.com/ buy cialis generic

    May 21, 2021 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. bus body repair

    You have made some really good points there. I checked on the net to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

    http://cc.toast.com/cc?a=godo&m=1&pr=pc&pid=&u=http://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-bathroom-repair-near-me/&ts=1523474038.431

    May 21, 2021 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. brimonidine

    combigan side effects combigan 5 ml

    May 21, 2021 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Alignment Near Me

    http://www.kanazawa-navi.com/navi/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=725&url=http://www.smmmaster.xyz/2021/04/27/article-9/

    May 21, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. camper repair center

    It’s difficult to find experienced people about this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    https://www.marianvarga.sk/scripts/redirect.php?https://ocrvcenter.com/passenger-bus-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 21, 2021 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Interior Remodeling California

    /

    May 21, 2021 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Furniture Riverside

    http://kank.o.oo7.jp/cgi-bin/ys4/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=569&url=http://ocrvcenter.org/rv-repair-shop-big-bear-lake-california

    May 22, 2021 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Digital Marketing Specialists

    Hi there! I simply wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for your great information you have got here on this post. I'll be returning to your blog for more soon.

    https://profitablestrategies.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 22, 2021 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. beeg me

    https://www.pennergame.de/redirect/?site=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-ontario-california/

    May 22, 2021 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. cyclosporine

    cyclosporine 100 mg cyclosporine medication

    May 22, 2021 at 04:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair California

    https://publishing.brookes.ac.uk/?URL=ocrv.xyz/rv-repair-shop-inland-empire-california

    May 22, 2021 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Technician Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    http://d-click.abnt.org.br/u/15007/839/7593/11704_0/4a0ff/?url=http://ocrv.world/rv-repair-shop-maywood-california

    May 22, 2021 at 05:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Maintenance Near Me

    http://tokyo-logistic-koba.ecweb.jp/?wptouch_switch=mobile&redirect=http://t20sports.com/the-us-open-t20-champion-an-interview-with-navin-stewart

    May 22, 2021 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Roof California

    https://intranet.secure.griffith.edu.au/s/redirect?rank=10&collection=on-campus-search&url=http://ocrvcenter.info/rv-repair-shop-kagel-canyon-california

    May 22, 2021 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Leak California

    Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!

    /

    May 22, 2021 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. tow truck repair

    https://www1.arbitersports.com/Content/HideMobileAlerts.aspx?redirectUrl=https://ocrvcenter.com/garbage-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 22, 2021 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. accident repair shop near me

    http://www.astro.wisc.edu/?URL=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-america-rv-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 22, 2021 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. GtnbCrulk

    how long before viagra works http://jokviagra.com/ viagra super force

    May 22, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. horse trailers in california

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't disappoint me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you would probably have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.

    http://flash.wakunavi.net/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=333&url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-montclair-california

    May 22, 2021 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Toilets Riverside

    Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://www.triathlon.org/?URL=ocrv.fun/rv-repair-shop-rancho-santa-margarita-california

    May 22, 2021 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. rv glass repair near me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the website is also really good.

    http://dir.tetsumania.net/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=3267&url=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-perris-california

    May 22, 2021 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. boom truck repair

    This excellent website definitely has all of the information I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    https://www.vans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/LinkShareGateway?siteID=IFCTyuu33gI-HmTv1Co9oM2RT1QCkYxD_Q&source=LSA&storeId=10153&url=http://ocrvcenter.com/manufacturing-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 22, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Shades Los Angeles

    /

    May 23, 2021 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. cyclosporine

    cyclomune 0.1% eye drops cost buy cyclomune usa

    May 23, 2021 at 04:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV TV Orange County

    http://v.wcj.dns4.cn/?c=scene&a=link&id=8833621&url=http://ocrvcenter.info/rv-repair-shop-banning-california

    May 23, 2021 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Digital Marketing Company Near Me

    http://www.chooseainterracial.com/cgi-bin/out.cgi?id=LMPjr007&url=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 23, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Tritreviewifind

    what is tadalafil tadalafil tadalafil online with out prescription tadalafil price walmart https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 11:34 | 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 Nearby RV 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.