The opening that originates from the back of nose and the throat and all the way to the middle ear is known as the Eustachian tube. It has the primary role of ventilating the middle ear, thus equalizing the middle air pressure with the environmental air pressure. The tube closes and opens when we chew, swallow or yawn. There are certain condition that may cause a change in the normal ear pressure so that the pressure inside and outside the ear is not balanced. This results in painful sensation and uncomfortable feeling in the ear. This article will discuss various ways on how to relieve ear pressure.
How to Relieve Ear Pressure
After being in a flight for a long time, it is normal to feel a blockage and pressure in the ear. That feeling will go away on its own after a while. Sometimes, someone who is suffering from a cold or allergy will feel the same effect. Excessive wax build-up may also cause ear pressure. However, if the symptoms persist for more than 48 hours or more and are accompanied by severe pain, it is time to see the doctor. So, prior to seeing the doctor and at the very beginning of finding this problem, try any of the under listed techniques first.
1. Yawn or Gulp Water
Yawning and Gulping water aid by opening the Eustachian tubes. Once the tubes are opened, it equalizes pressure between the middle ear and the external environment. Another benefit of drinking water is that it helps in thinning of the mucus in the nasal passage. Relieving a nose that is stuffy is also an effective technique.
2. Eat Candy or Gum
Another delicious way on how to release ear pressure effectively is by chewing candy or sucking candy. The movement that occurs during chewing and sucking open the Eustachian tube. As a result, pressure is released in the ear.
3. Perform a Valsalva Maneuver
This is a technique on how to relieve ear pressure. It can easily relieve stuffiness and pain in the ear. Here is how to conduct the Valsalva maneuver:
- Take a deep breath and then close your mouth and pinch your nostrils with your fingertips.
- Exhale through your nose which equalizes pressure in the middle ear.
- A popping sounding will be an indication that the Eustachian tubes have opened.
Warning: Blowing the nose too hard may cause damage to the eardrum.
4. Try Warm Compress
Applying a warm compress to ear helps relieves ear pressure too. You can simply use a soaked warm cloth to cover your ears. Or fold two or three paper towels together and wet them with warm water. While in a lying position, place the paper towels on the ear that is not affected. Then place a cup on top of the paper towel.
5. Gargle with Hot Salt Water
Gargling hot salt water is a common home remedy for relieving ear pressure and nasal congestion. Add a teaspoon of salt in hot water and gargle for 10- 20 seconds. Spit it out and repeat as often as needed.
6. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
How to relieve ear pressure? If you have been exposed to extreme temperature, just get rid of it. Exposure to extreme temperatures may cause pressure to the ear. Activities such as jogging on a hot day or staying too long in the cold tend to cause imbalance to the ear. Temperatures that are extreme may also causes sinuses to be worse.
7. Keep Your Head Elevated
Keeping your head is another technique that relieves ear pressure as bending the head can increase ear pressure. It is recommended that one should sleep with a couple of pillows so that the head remains in an elevated position.
8. Change Sleeping Position
An ideal sleeping position that helps relieve ear pressure is using the left or right lateral recumbent position. Basically, this is lying down in a position which the affected ear will face upwards. Aside from that, sleeping in a position that suspends your head and shoulder over the bed stand would help too.
9. Take a Hot Shower/Steam
Another way on how to relieve ear pressure is to stand in steam for like 15 minutes or take a hot shower. It is an effective way of reducing that uncomfortable feeling caused by imbalance in the ear.
10. Garlic and Olive Oil
A mixture of garlic and oil can be rubbed on the area around the affected ear. It soothes the ache by relieving the pressure and promoting drainage.
Who knew onions can also be used to relieve ear pressure? Use a heated onion (aboutbody temperature), wrap it in a cloth and rub it across the affected area. It acts as a heat compressor. However, a new onion should be used each time.
In some instances, the doctor may prescribe some medications. This is most used to treat ear imbalance caused by sinus infection or nasal congestion. Some of the medications that may be prescribed include antihistamines, steroids and decongestants. Those with ear infections or are keen on preventing an occurrence may be given an antibiotic. Saline nasal sprays help in relieving sinuses pressure and getting rid of allergens.