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 Upholstery Shop

    http://mambasana.ru/redir/?sprintervanrepairshop.com/mercedes-cargo-van-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 29, 2021 at 06:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Box Truck Frame Repair

    http://www.furrondy.net/Redirect.aspx?destination=http://fleetservicerepairshop.com/box-truck-alignment-shop-near-me/

    May 29, 2021 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Cable Truck Repair

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    http://x.webdo.cc/global_outurl.php?now_url=https://commercialrepairshop.com/tow-truck-repair-shop-near-me

    May 29, 2021 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Semi Truck Restoration

    https://www.kultur-bad-vilbel.de/goto/?u=https://fleetservicesocrv.com/box-truck-wrap-shop-near-me

    May 29, 2021 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 서울 7호선 연장

    Great delivery. Solid arguments. Keep up the great spirit.

    May 29, 2021 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Windshield Replacement Shop Near Me

    https://bibliopam.ec-lyon.fr/fork?https://ocrvfleetservices.com/cargo-van-conversion-shop-near-me

    May 29, 2021 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. twitter

    Good post. I am going through a few of these issues as well..

    May 29, 2021 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. MileSwa

    best online to buy cialis https://ckacialis.com/ – buy cialis in cro to buy cialis generic

    May 29, 2021 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. DUI Criminal Defense Lawyers Ogden UT

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your
    content seem to be running off the screen in Ie. I'm not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but
    I thought I'd post to let you know. The layout look
    great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Kudos

    May 29, 2021 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Truck Mechanic Shop Near Me

    https://blogranking.fc2.com/out.php?id=1032500&url=https://boxtruckrepairshop.com/box-truck-repair-shop-near-me-2

    May 29, 2021 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Semi Truck Collision Repair Shop

    https://bibliopam.ec-lyon.fr/fork?http://fleetservicerepairshop.com/cable-truck-repair-shop-near-me

    May 30, 2021 at 01:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. EncoxAni

    pharmacy tech programs online https://pharmacyken.com/ – canadian pharmacy drugs online men's health

    May 30, 2021 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. drag queen

    I delight in, result in I discovered just what I was taking a look for.
    You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.

    Bye

    May 30, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. ZisseVed

    cialis without prescribtion https://krocialis.com/ – generic cialis 2017 usa cialis superactive

    May 30, 2021 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Van Repair Shop

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after looking at some of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

    https://www.are.na/go?redirect-to=https://fleettruckrepairshop.com/high-top-van-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 30, 2021 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. view source

    Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is just great and i can assume you're an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

    https://telegra.ph/Suggestions-To-Picking-Out-A-Motorcycle-Helmet-05-29

    May 30, 2021 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Zisseloh

    what is generic cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ – levitra vs cialis review generic cialis professional

    May 30, 2021 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Rv Technician Shop

    http://yellowpages.staradvertiser.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.commercialvanrepairshop.com/sprinter-van-windshield-replacement-shop-near-me/

    May 30, 2021 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Nissan Luxury Van Repair Shop Near Me

    https://www.slack-redir.net/link?url=https://fleettruckrepairshop.com/van-restoration-shop-near-me/

    May 30, 2021 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Digital Marketing Service

    Wonderful post! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.

    http://www.digitalkamera.de/rdr?rdr=http://webdesignpostfalls.com

    May 30, 2021 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Camper RV Repair Near Me

    http://sns.lilyenglish.com/link.php?url=http://ocrv.store

    May 30, 2021 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Rv Body

    I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new things you post…

    https://office.builderall.com/us/franchise/share/1504715/?p1=rd&p2=http://sprintervanrepairshop.com/van-upholstery-shop-near-me/

    May 31, 2021 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Near Here

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you should publish more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but usually people don't talk about such topics. To the next! Many thanks!!

    http://www.odmp.org/link?url=https://ocrvcenter.biz/

    May 31, 2021 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    http://10lowkey.us/UCH/link.php?url=https://sprinterrepairnearme.com/

    May 31, 2021 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Repair Shop Near Me

    There's certainly a lot to learn about this subject. I like all of the points you made.

    http://www.ci.pittsburg.ca.us/redirect.aspx?url=https://fleetvehiclerepairshop.com/sprinter-van-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 31, 2021 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    http://www.odmp.org/link?url=https://sprintervanrepair.com/

    May 31, 2021 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. EncoxGtv

    canadian pharmacy spam canadian pharmacy androgel pump online pharmacy without prescription

    May 31, 2021 at 02:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. EncoxGtv

    canadian pharmacy calls Aciphex pharmacy store hours

    May 31, 2021 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Van Upgrades Shop

    http://splash.hume.vic.gov.au/analytics/outbound?url=http://commercialrepairshop.com/sprinter-van-windshield-replacement-shop-near-me/

    May 31, 2021 at 05:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Digital Marketing Experts

    Good site you have here.. Itís hard to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    https://www.streetmap.co.uk/redirect.srf?id=toshibam&d=http://postfallslocal.com/

    May 31, 2021 at 06:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV And Camper Repair Near Me

    http://imaginingourselves.globalfundforwomen.org/pb/External.aspx?url=https://ocrvexperts.com/

    May 31, 2021 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Suspension Repair Near Me

    http://www.aurora.network/redirect?url=https://ocrvcenter.co/

    May 31, 2021 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. ai performance

    Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

    May 31, 2021 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Digital Marketing Experts

    https://www.10lowkey.us/UCH/link.php?url=https://www.meticulousjess.com/

    May 31, 2021 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Service Repair Near Me

    Everything is very open with a really clear clarification of the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is useful. Thanks for sharing!

    http://ewebcounter.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvmotorsports.org/

    May 31, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. ankara escort bayan

    Fastidious answers in return of this issue with real arguments and telling the whole thing
    regarding that.

    May 31, 2021 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Local Marketing Experts

    I quite like reading a post that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

    https://leads.su/?source=webinar.new_cabinet3&ref_id=13057&go=https://wholesalenearme.com/

    May 31, 2021 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Van Body

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I found this in my search for something regarding this.

    http://xiuang.tw/debug/frm-s/fleetautorepairshop.com/sprinter-van-paint-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Gmc Cargo Van Repair Shop Near Me

    http://widget.vogel.de/redirect/redirect.cfm?pk=46&target=http://fleetrepairshops.com/winnebago-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. мы с женой смотрели тут

    Где сегодня можно посмотреть порно бесплатно?
    Многие задаются данным вопросом, не проверив данный сайт:
    мы с женой смотрели тут
    Ведь только здесь предоставляют к просмотру лучшее
    порно Рунета, совершенно без оплат и
    подписок. Присоединяйся и смотри топ порно
    бесплатно уже сегодня!

    May 31, 2021 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Cargo Van Repair Shop

    I used to be able to find good advice from your blog articles.

    http://www.my-retail-store.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetservicesorangecounty.com/promaster-van-conversion-shop-near-me

    May 31, 2021 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. https://seedandspark.com/user/indatphuongnam

    It's actually a cool and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    May 31, 2021 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Pleasure Way Van Repair Shop Near Me

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

    http://drugoffice.gov.hk/gb/unigb/commercialrepairshop.com/transport-van-repair-shop-near-me

    June 1, 2021 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 32955 Sprinter Repair

    http://khazin.ru/redirect?url=http://sprintervanrepair.com

    June 1, 2021 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. ZisseVed

    cialis store in korea when will generic cialis be available in us lilly cialis 20mg

    June 1, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Sprinter Van Rooftop A/C Leak Repair

    After looking at a handful of the articles on your web page, I truly appreciate your technique of blogging. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my web site as well and tell me how you feel.

    https://www.indice.com/redir.asp?pagina=https://sprintervanrepairnearme.com

    June 1, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. yudu

    After looking into a number of the blog articles on your website, I seriously appreciate your way of writing
    a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark webpage list and will be
    checking back soon. Please check out my website as well and let me know what you
    think.

    June 1, 2021 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Van Mechanic Shop

    http://www.deri-ou.com/url.php?url=https://www.sprintervanrepairshop.com/sprinter-van-technician-shop-near-me

    June 1, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Van Frame Repair

    http://emails.erieinsurance.com/ern40/c2.php?ERIN/37662445/139490/H/N/V/https://sprintervanrepairshop.com/cargo-van-conversion-shop-near-me/

    June 1, 2021 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Van Upgrades Shop

    Everyone loves it when people get together and share opinions. Great website, stick with it!

    http://www.funny-games.ws/bookmark.php?url=https://www.fleetvehiclerepairshop.com/cargo-van-conversion-shop-near-me

    June 1, 2021 at 09:41 | 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.