The Eustachian tubes connect your middle ear to the back of your throat. These tubes open when you swallow, yawn or chew gum to equalize pressure in both ears and drain excess fluid away.
Blocked eustachian tubes can occur due to colds or allergies in children and adults alike, or with rapid changes in air pressure such as while flying an airplane or trekking up and down a mountain.
Table of Contents
1. Warm Compress
The Eustachian Tubes (the small tubes connecting middle ears to throat) are designed to drain fluid out of ears, regulate air pressure between nose and ears and keep germs at bay. When swallowing or yawing they open to equalize internal and external air pressure – a process called equalizing. But sometimes these tubes get blocked with fluid or by swelling tissue which leads to equalizing being temporarily impaired.
Barotrauma, caused by rapid changes in air pressure, is most often experienced during airplane travel or climbing or descending altitude quickly, where air pressure fluctuates quickly. This condition may make your ears feel full or ringing with discomfort and even cause hearing loss.
Warm compresses on the ears or throat can help loosen earwax and open your eustachian tube, as well as soothe any symptoms of tinnitus – which refers to any ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears when hearing is impaired – or ease symptoms related to it.
If your earache is due to colds, sinus infections or allergies, over-the-counter medication such as antihistamines or decongestant nasal spray may help relieve congestion and associated earaches.
Children who experience frequent ear infections may need small tubes inserted into their eardrums by a doctor to allow any build-up of fluid to drain out more quickly and drain naturally over time. These tubes will usually remain for 18 months before eventually falling out naturally.
Practice certain exercises to open your eustachian tubes can help relieve a feeling of fullness, such as swallowing, chewing gum and the Valsalva maneuver – this involves plugging your nose, puffing out your cheeks and blowing gently – much like popping your ears. Chewing gum, yawning and placing your finger in your nose are also effective in opening up the eustachian tubes and relieving that “full ear” feeling that many experience during plane flights, scuba diving or driving through mountains. Chewing gum or placing one’s finger inside one’s nostril may help open eustachian tubes further. If these remedies do not help, your doctor may suggest surgery to unclog and reduce swelling, called myringotomy. This procedure has a higher likelihood of success than less invasive approaches such as placing pressure equalization tubes in your eardrums.
The Eustachian tube connects your ears, nose and throat and serves to equalize air pressure in your middle ear. However, its functionality may become impaired due to an infection such as colds, allergies or sinus issues; when mucus builds up without being cleared away quickly it can result in feeling of congestion as well as possible hearing loss.
Ear plugs can help alleviate a blocked Eustachian tube by keeping water and wax from entering your ear, thus making the feeling of congestion in the ear lessen. Just make sure your earplugs don’t fit too small or rigid as this may push wax further into your ear canal; ideal ones should be soft materials which provide maximum comfort, with some models even being specially tailored to fit into the canal better than traditional rubber versions – these molded ones may even prove more effective and comfortable!
Eustachian tube dysfunction affects many, particularly during flying or rapid changes in air pressure. This occurs when your eardrum fails to open enough and equalize the air pressure in your middle ear with that outside environment – this can result in pain, an uncomfortable plugged-up feeling or even hearing loss. Home remedies such as chewing gum, swallowing or yawning may help equalize pressure in the middle ear and help equalize it more quickly.
Use nasal decongestants to relieve your congestion. When applying nasal spray, ensure it lands at the back of your throat rather than towards your nose.
If your ears seem constantly blocked up, it may be beneficial to visit your GP to assess if referring you to an ENT specialist for further tests is necessary. An ENT consultant can conduct tests such as Tympanometry which measures your sensitivity to air pressure in your ear drum, and may suggest surgery such as pressure equalization tubes to stop this becoming an ongoing issue.
3. Chewing Gum
The Eustachian Tubes are small passageways found inside your ear that connect the middle ear with your throat, helping drain excess fluid out and equalize air pressure. As soon as you yawn, swallow, or chew food, they open to match air pressure between inside your ears and outside air pressure – but sometimes these tubes become blocked, leading to full or plugged up feelings in your ears – this condition is called Eustachian Tube Dysfunction; this could happen from climbing to high altitudes such as when flying or hiking through mountains or diving underwater or from experiencing sinus infections or allergies as well.
Your eustachian tubes can often unclog on their own. Often caused by changes in air pressure causing an increase in fluid or negative pressure inside your ears, these instances usually go away once activity that caused them to occur ceases; for instance, when flying or driving to higher altitudes can often result in popping ears as their ears adjust to new pressure conditions – this happens because your eustachian tubes were designed to open when ascending or descending just like blood vessels adjust when travelling to adapt with atmospheric changes as your blood vessels adjust with altering atmospheric changes that occurs while traveling – just like this occurs when flying/driving between two spots!
Clogged ears may result from diving underwater or having sinus infections, leading to mucus build-up or tissue swelling within your eustachian tubes and ear canal that narrows their opening or blocks passageway. When this happens, some home remedies might help, including swallowing/yawning/chewing gum to open them back up again and swallowing tablets to release pressure in them.
Try using a nasal spray that contains decongestants to relieve sinus congestion and inflammation that could be contributing to your clogged ears. This approach could also prove effective if you’re experiencing sinusitis or are living with allergies like hay fever that have contributed to them becoming blocked up.
Ultimately, if none of these treatments work, it’s advisable to see your doctor. Some individuals, particularly children, may require surgery for persistently clogged ears; even with minimal risk posed by such procedures a simple surgical procedure can help the ears drain fluid and relieve pressure and pain. Your doctor may install thin ventilation tubes known as tympanostomy tubes or pressure equalizing tubes into one or both ears in order to drain fluid and equalize pressure before eventually falling out naturally after some months.
The Eustachian tubes (pronounced: you-stay-shee-un) connect each middle ear with the back of the nose and throat, acting as pressure equalizers and drains of middle ear fluid, as well as helping transform sound waves. They typically remain closed, yet open upon swallowing or yawning to equalize pressure equalization and drain excess middle ear fluid away. When affected by allergies, colds, or other causes they can swell causing pain, fullness, muffled hearing – symptoms known as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction or ETD.
ETD is most often caused by inflammation of the lining of the ear canal and Eustachian tube, leading to swelling and blockage that prevents these tiny passageways from opening properly. Other potential triggers for ETD may include infections of either type (ear canal or sinus infection), travel with frequent changes in altitude or using airplanes, frequent altitude changes during travel, frequent changes of altitude changes when flying and smoking – this latter factor damages cilia that line middle ears to sweep mucus out towards throat.
Home remedies can help alleviate clogged ears naturally. Begin by blowing gently several times through your nose. Next, tilt your head downward and press hard on each bone behind each ear lobe with firm pressure – repeat this exercise several times each day until your clogged ear drains naturally.
Another option is to boil a glass of water with some tea tree oil added and tilt and lower your head over it to allow steam from this solution to break up any mucus in your ear, providing instantaneous relief from clogs. This should bring instant relief!
If your clogged ear persists, see a doctor for treatment. A physician can suggest medications and antibiotics, in addition to referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist if they suspect structural issues with your ears or an underlying health issue as potential contributors.