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. FnrdEncox

    cheap viagra 50 mg viagra walmart prices viagra trial voucher

    November 28, 2020 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. DvscZisse

    who can help me to write an essay assignment essay shark college essay response

    November 28, 2020 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. FqfEncox

    write essays online homework help website research paper note taking

    November 29, 2020 at 05:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. FnsbEncox

    resources for research papers research paper management term paper

    November 29, 2020 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. KwgdMile

    primary homework help world war 2 homework persuasive essay pay for homework assignment

    November 30, 2020 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. FnsbEncox

    writing a business case study quotations for essay my first day at college research paper 16th edition

    November 30, 2020 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Herman Ryen

    https://DreamProxies.com review – 100 quality and anonymous private proxies, best prices and USA private proxies

    https://dreamproxies.com/tag/multiple-subnets-cheap-private-proxy/

    November 30, 2020 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. FqfEncox

    thesis based essay writing articles for money online the perfect college essay

    December 1, 2020 at 01:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. DvscZisse

    do my maths homework for me dissertation marketing can you help me do my homework

    December 1, 2020 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. FgsZisse

    need someone to do my homework buy an essay on retirement writing a research

    December 1, 2020 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. FsfEncox

    essaysnark writing a research paper powerpoint research paper on social media

    December 1, 2020 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. hicbdbye cbd for dogs

    I am really impressed along with your writing talents as well as with the format to your blog. Is this a paid subject or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice high quality writing, it's rare to peer a nice blog like this one today. cbd for cats cbd oil buy online

    https://www.hicbdbye.com/

    December 1, 2020 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. JgscCrulk

    college essay workshop college essay quiz presentation slides

    December 1, 2020 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. hicbdbye cbd online

    I don't even understand how I stopped up here, however I thought this submit was good. I don't understand who you're but definitely you're going to a well-known blogger if you happen to aren't already 😉 Cheers! cbd oil buy cbd oil

    https://www.hicbdbye.com/

    December 1, 2020 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. FtghEncox

    essay paper writers homework help tvo research paper thesis statement

    December 2, 2020 at 07:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. my response electrician free estimate

    I beloved up to you will obtain performed proper here. The caricature is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nevertheless, you command get got an impatience over that you want be turning in the following. unwell unquestionably come further in the past once more since precisely the similar nearly a lot continuously inside case you protect this hike.

    https://BobJohnsonblog398.com/

    December 2, 2020 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Damon Groebner

    5 Hacks To Guarantee You Never Have To Worry About Bad Breath https://bit.ly/36rfzdB

    https://bit.ly/36rfzdB

    December 2, 2020 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. KwgdMile

    college essay mistakes analysis dissertation essays online on the nepal earthquake 2015

    December 2, 2020 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. JgscCrulk

    do my physics homework buy research paper with references write an expository essay

    December 2, 2020 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. FgsZisse

    writing a essay online buy essay on organ donation essays questions

    December 2, 2020 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Chrissy Zavitz

    5 Lies About Bleeding Gums Health https://bit.ly/36rfzdB

    https://bit.ly/36rfzdB

    December 4, 2020 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. look at this website electrical contractors san diego

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website so i came to “return the favor”.I'm trying to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

    https://BobJohnsonblog398.com/

    December 4, 2020 at 05:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Read Full Article electrical repair

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

    https://BobJohnsonblog398.com/

    December 4, 2020 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. FnrhEncox

    but viagra with no prescription melbourne buy viagra pfizer viagra

    December 4, 2020 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. DvncZisse

    cialis online with no prescription cialis cheap buy cialis in cro

    December 8, 2020 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. FqbfEncox

    windsor, ontario, canada pharmacy cialis generic cialis in usa cialis paypal payment canada

    December 9, 2020 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. FgrsEncox

    indian version for viagra viagra 50 mg 50 mg viagra for $1995

    December 9, 2020 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. FsfgEncox

    viagra gold 800mg uk viagra on lines where can i purchase viagra online

    December 9, 2020 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. FbsbEncox

    cialis onlilne cialis dosage for women cialis online mastercard

    December 9, 2020 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. FbsbEncox

    generic cialis professional buying cialis with dapoxetine generic cialis prices

    December 10, 2020 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. detectives privados formentera

    detectives privados en chiclana de la frontera

    https://www.argadetectives.com/detectives-velez-malaga.html

    December 10, 2020 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. detectives privados extremadura

    detectives privados las rozas

    https://www.argadetectives.com/alcala-de-henares.html

    December 10, 2020 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. FgnsZisse

    cialis 40mg how to buy cialis us cialis over the counter in spain

    December 11, 2020 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. DvncZisse

    cialis payment with paypal sfter market cialis buy cialis information

    December 11, 2020 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. KhedMile

    viagra delivery to canada viagra for boys viagra online order

    December 11, 2020 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. FqbfEncox

    cialis usa cialis super active 20mg cialis black without prescription

    December 11, 2020 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. detectives privados arganda del rey

    detectives privados extremadura

    https://www.argadetectives.com/investigaciones-las-rozas-majadahonda.html

    December 11, 2020 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. detectives privados conil de la frontera

    detectives privados coin

    https://www.argadetectives.com/detectives-casteldefels-barcelona.html

    December 11, 2020 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. FsfgEncox

    viagra 4 pack viagra store in uae viagra loest prise

    December 12, 2020 at 06:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. FgnsZisse

    canadian cialis cialis super active experiences cialis black

    December 12, 2020 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. DvnjZisse

    female pink viagra online viagra in tokyo viagra cheap fast delivery

    December 13, 2020 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. FgrsEncox

    when does the patent on viagra end? wallmart price viagra pills like viagra

    December 13, 2020 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. JgsvCrulk

    viagra cost per pill viagra gel australia viagra gold 800mg uk

    December 13, 2020 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. KhedMile

    free sample of viagra buy viagra without prescription overnight shipping viagra in montreal

    December 14, 2020 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. JgsvCrulk

    viagra prescriptions generic viagra without perscription viagra for men

    December 14, 2020 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. zortilo nrel

    I cherished as much as you will receive performed proper here. The comic strip is tasteful, your authored material stylish. however, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be handing over the following. ill definitely come more beforehand again since precisely the similar nearly very incessantly within case you defend this increase.

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    December 15, 2020 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. bitcoin to paypal

    Transfer from bitcoin to paypal very fast and low cost.

    https://exchanger24.org/xchange_btc_to_ppusd/

    December 15, 2020 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. FhsnZisse

    viagra online sell buy viagra on line pay pal buy viagra gold

    December 15, 2020 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. DvnjZisse

    viagra quebec yelp. buy viagra online what does a prescription for viagra cost

    December 15, 2020 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. FhsnZisse

    generic viagra buy viagra generic wholesale buy viagra, pay mastercard

    December 17, 2020 at 12:19 | 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 Luxury Sprinter Van Shop Near Me


 

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.