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Tips on getting stuffed ears to drain?

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gwendolyn

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My ears have been stuffed up, feeling like they are filled with cotton, and it''s driving me CRAZY. I hate it. As a musician, I''m always really freaked out (probably a bit more than most people) when anything goes wonky with my hearing, and it''s driving me bonkers trying to get rid of it. My doctor checked them yesterday to make sure there wasn''t anything wrong and there wasn''t (nothing in there, no ear infection or anything)--they just need to drain the fluid that''s in there. (As an fyi, I have had an upper respiratory infection for almost 6 weeks and the ear problems have come and gone during that time but are supposed to just be another complication of the respiratory infection. The current ear situation has been present for a few days.)

Does anyone know any tips on how to get them to drain faster? Chewing gum seems to help sometimes. Anyone know any other tricks I could try? They''ve been like this for a few days and my birthday is on Thursday and I''d really like to get them better by then if I can.

Thanks!
 

PaulaW

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Feb 26, 2003
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632
Clogged ears are the worst! Have you tried taking any decongestants or some other over the counter medication to dry you out? Whenever I fly, I usually need to clear my ears and I do so using a scuba diving method which is to pinch my nose and try to exhale (very, very gently) through my nose until I feel relief. I usually need to swallow too. Be very careful if you try this and if your ears hurt, stop immediately!
Feel better!
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 3/10/2009 10:05:10 AM
Author: PaulaW
Clogged ears are the worst! Have you tried taking any decongestants or some other over the counter medication to dry you out? Whenever I fly, I usually need to clear my ears and I do so using a scuba diving method which is to pinch my nose and try to exhale (very, very gently) through my nose until I feel relief. I usually need to swallow too. Be very careful if you try this and if your ears hurt, stop immediately!

Feel better!
Ditto. Try taking Sudafed or Claritin D with pseudoephedrine. The real PE is key for me. The new version doesn''t work (for me anyway).
 

elrohwen

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The doctor hasn't prescribed anything? I assume you're on antibiotics ... maybe it's time for steroids? I don't know if those are typically prescribed for ear issues, but they are for sinuses and they dramatically lessen inflamation so that things can drain. But maybe if there's no infection, but would be overkill. What about other anti-inflamatories, like asprin? I have no idea if it would work, but it would be worth a try.

ETA: I second decongestants with pseudoephedrine. Nothing else seems to work quite as well.
 

LostSapphire

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Nov 4, 2007
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Hey Gwennie...

I wouldn''t have considered myself an expert on this until this week, when sweet DH had a nasty clog up. It was ear wax though, not fluid. (ick)

HOWEVER I learned a lot of things from my doctor:

1. for any kind of clog you can first try a very old home remedy: hydrogen peroxide.
- have the patient lay down with old towels around neck/head to protect any clothing from getting bleached out.
- take a small capful of peroxide and pour it into the ear. it will fizz and bubble, loosen anything up in there
- patient stays laying down for 15-20 minute
- this doesn''t sting or burn. Thought I''d note that because I kind of thought it would for some reason. Totally healthy and harmless.

2. then to DRY out an ear canal:
- use rubbing alcohol in a similar manner as above, except don''t leave it in there. Just swish in and swish out. Get one of those ear syringes at the drug store (cheap, $3 US$ so like, a EURO maybe).

He''s now a happy boy. Unclogged, clean and dry!

I never thought I would know so much about this kind of thing. Who''da thunk!

LS
 

LostSapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
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3,336
Date: 3/10/2009 2:17:59 PM
Author: LostSapphire
Hey Gwennie...

I wouldn''t have considered myself an expert on this until this week, when sweet DH had a nasty clog up. It was ear wax though, not fluid. (ick)

HOWEVER I learned a lot of things from my doctor:

1. for any kind of clog you can first try a very old home remedy: hydrogen peroxide.
- have the patient lay down with old towels around neck/head to protect any clothing from getting bleached out.
- take a small capful of peroxide and pour it into the ear. it will fizz and bubble, loosen anything up in there
- patient stays laying down for 15-20 minute, then drain out the ear and pat dry.
- this doesn''t sting or burn. Thought I''d note that because I kind of thought it would for some reason. Totally healthy and harmless.

2. then to DRY out an ear canal:
- use rubbing alcohol in a similar manner as above, except don''t leave it in there. Just swish in and swish out. Get one of those ear syringes at the drug store (cheap, $3 US$ so like, a EURO maybe).

He''s now a happy boy. Unclogged, clean and dry!

I never thought I would know so much about this kind of thing. Who''da thunk!

LS
GWEN: I missed one little instruction on the peroxide section. See highlighted section above...wouldn''t want you to think the peroxide stayed in there!
LS
LS
 

Bia

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Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
6,181
You''re sure there is no wax build up that this doc might not be able to see? My FI had the same problem because his ears produce a lot of wax. Now he has them flushed every 6-9 months. If you are susceptible to ear infections or clogs, go to an ear, throat, and nose doc and have them checked out--he or she will flush them and you''ll feel a thousand times better.

This cold of yours was a doozy huh Gwennie...Feel better
 

strmrdr

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23,295
put sweet oil in ear, seal with cotton.
Then sit over steaming water and breath the steam thru your nose.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 3/10/2009 9:47:44 PM
Author: strmrdr
put sweet oil in ear, seal with cotton.

Then sit over steaming water and breath the steam thru your nose.
What is sweet oil?
 

justjulia

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Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
2,308
It sounds like fluid build up behind your eardrum in your middle ear. This is caused by the eustachian tubes not opening when you swallow, enough to equalize pressure and drain. Then the fluid gets sludgey and you feel all plugged up. Get your dr to prescribe an antihistamine.
 

basil

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Joined
Jun 27, 2006
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1,526
I don''t have a really good solution, but I''m going through the same exact thing right now, so I empathize!

I doubt that the methods of putting anything in your ear are going to work if this is related to your URI, since the fluid is behind the ear drum and can''t be accessed by anything that enters into the external ear. Since your doctor just looked in your ears, it''s doubtful that this is related to wax buildup or anything.

I took some Sudafed (the real pseudoephedrine that you have to buy behind the pharmacy counter because idiots were using it to make meth) and it seems to have helped a little bit. The fake Sudafed (phenylephrine) didn''t do anything for me.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
11,129
Mix equal part alcohol and vinegar. The alcohol drains the fluid and the vinegar maintains the Ph balance. My swimmers did that to stop swimmers ear.
 

SarahLovesJS

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Joined
Feb 2, 2008
Messages
5,206
I''ve been to the doctor about this more than once..and usually they don''t have a lot of options. I take Mucinex twice a day (it''s essential). Also, I find that allergy meds help. I also have Meclizine for when the ears lead to Vertigo.
 

gwendolyn

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
6,770
Hey all, thanks for your suggestions! It''s been interesting trying to track down the closest Brit equivalent of US drugs...I''ve had limited success finding them, but nothing seems to be working permanently. They''ll clear up (with a nice big cracking sound) and stay open for a little while, and then clog up again. My doctor basically shrugged his shoulders and said that I had to wait it out.

Oh, and I''ve been using ear drops to clear out any possible wax build up just in case it was that--did that for a solid week like it said on the box but that didn''t help at all, so I''m pretty sure it''s just fluid.

So annoying! I feel half deaf now!

I''ve found that chewing gum helps a bit--anyone else ever try this? May have just been a coincidence but chewing stuff does seem to help drain them at least a bit.
 

bebe

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
2,845
Gwen, I suffer from this all the time. It''s either swollen sinus or ear issues for me. One will back up into the other, depending on medication.

Heat helps me. I will do almost anything to get heat to my inner ears. Try putting a Q-tip under really hot water and put that in your ear. I know
sounds really stupid, but the point is getting heat into the ear. I do that multiple times. Then I put a wet (not dripping) washcloth in the microwave,
heat it and hold it against my ears. I learned this trick from a flight attendant. Breathing steam too helps.

Antihistamine''s seem to push any fluids into my ears, so I avoid those.
I hope you get this resolved soon. I know you are waiting on the big day,
 
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