Your ears, nose, and throat are all tightly connected, and if something is affecting any particular part of that region, everything suffers. Experiencing a painful episode of sinus congestion is no fun for anyone, and when sinus pressure causes pain, your ears can also be affected, causing dizziness and a sensation that makes your ears feel muffled or clogged.
Fortunately, our McAllen ENT, Dr. Frank R. Glatz, and his team of sinus relief specialists at the Glatz Group know of several tips that you can do at home for relief. Should your ear congestion progress into pain or come with a fever, however, it is best to come and see us for treatment.
How Ear Pressure Occurs
When your Eustachian tube is blocked or stops functioning properly, it can trap fluids within the middle ear. When the Eustachian tube gets clogged, you may feel pressure in your ear, muffling your hearing and causing ear pain. Eventually, this could turn into a painful ear infection.
Any condition that affects your sinuses can cause ear congestion, including:
- Common colds
- Sinus infections.
- Air travel
- Changes in Altitude (Can cause Eustachian tube dysfunction, which can generate symptoms of ear congestion)
- Wax or Fluid Buildup
Ear congestion symptoms can also be caused by other issues in your middle ear or the ear canal that affects the eardrum–also referred to as the tympanic membrane. If you have experienced symptoms and need relief, visit our office today.
How Can I Relieve My Symptoms?
There are different appropriate remedies depending on what the cause is. When it has to do with sinus-related problems like the common cold, flu, allergies, sinusitis, or irritants (e.g. tobacco smoke), here are a few things you can do to treat it:
- Take a nasal decongestant
- Gently blow your nose
- Utilize a nasal rinse or nasal irrigation system
- Use a humidifier, as dry air may irritate your nasal passageways
- Avoid tobacco smoke along with other irritants
- Drink plenty of water, especially in the evening, to thin your nasal mucus
With regards to fluid buildup, an afternoon of fun and sun at the pool or a quick shower can get water inside your ear, causing your ear to be congested. Try these methods to release the water from your ear:
- Jiggle or tug on your ear lobe with your ear tilted toward your shoulder.
- Lay down on your side with the clogged ear facing downward.
- Apply hydrogen peroxide ear drops and proceed to lie with your ear facing down for a couple of minutes.
- Lie on your side and apply a hot compress for 30 seconds, remove for a minute, then repeat four or five times.
- Use over-the-counter ear drops that have alcohol to dry out the ear canal.
From an overall perspective, the ear is quite a fascinating part of our body. Glands within the ear canal produce earwax, called cerumen, that ultimately protects, lubricates, and self-cleans the area. Normally, chewing and other typical jaw motions shift the earwax out of the ear, where it dries and flakes off, but sometimes, when we try to clean out the earwax by sticking a q tip in our ear, it can create a blockage, causing symptoms of ear congestion. Some simple solutions to get rid of wax buildup from your ears would include:
- Using over-the-counter ear drops or an earwax removal kit.
- Using an ear syringe with lukewarm water or a saline solution.
As for when you are traveling, you can avoid or alleviate airplane ear congestion (caused by air pressure) by chewing gum or hard candy, swallowing, or yawning during takeoff and landing.
If you think there may be a foreign object stuck in your ear canal, however, don’t try to take it out by yourself. Either see your ENT doctor in McAllen immediately or go to urgent care somewhere nearby.
An ENT You’ll be ‘Glatz’ to See
Ear congestion is not uncommon and can often be efficiently resolved at home with the help of home remedies or over-the-counter treatments.
Should your ear congestion last more than two weeks or be followed by a fever, fluid drainage, loss of hearing, balance issues, or severe ear pain, come pay a visit to your local McAllen ENT that we can guarantee you’ll be ‘Glatz’ to see–and hear once your problem is resolved.
For more helpful tips like these or to treat you or your loved one’s ear congestion in our office, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Frank R. Glatz today by contacting us at (956) 631-2957. You’ll be Glatz you did!