Blocked Eustachian Tube


Feeling defenseless against your clogged ear?   

Assuredly, you have experienced some sort of “filled ear” on and off in your lifetime; and maybe it troubles you at frequent intervals. Therefore, naturally, you are seeking a swift handy remedy to get rid of it. The clogged ear (blocked Eustachian tube) is the blockade of a fine canal that extends from the middle part of your ear to your throat, named “Eustachian tube”. This tiny short tube balances the air pressure on either side of the eardrum, and could be blocked by infection, swelling, allergies, and a few other factors.


Causes of blocked Eustachian tube

The likely causes of your blocked Eustachian tube could be one of the following factors:

•   Colds, infectious sinuses, and the flu can cause mucus and swelling. In these conditions, immediate medical treatment can prevent clogged Eustachian tube.

•   Glue Ear

•   Allergies         

•   Blockages

•   Excessive wax in the ear


Symptoms of blocked Eustachian tube

Due to the before-mentioned causes, the Eustachian tube becomes somehow blocked. Therefore, air flow through the tube is hindered, which results in an imbalance in air pressure within your ear. Moreover, body liquids could be piled up in your ear that can lead to an infection. You may also have a sense of “fullness” in your ear and hear some internal unusual sounds like “bangs” and “bells”. You will also have pain, vertigo, and hearing and balance problems. Altitude changes could intensify your problem, e.g. in a flight.   


When to see a doctor

It is crucial to treat your clogged ear. If your problem is being resolved by home remedies and simple methods, then there is no need to see a doctor. But if the condition remains or deteriorates, then it’s time to visit your doctor. You should always seek medical advice for systemic problems like the flu, allergies, sinusitis, and etc. Don’t use medications without consulting medical professionals. Always consult a doctor before you put anything into your ears. Finally, S\he may recommend surgical treatment to restore airflow to your middle ear.


Home remedies for blocked Eustachian tube (Ear clearing techniques)

If your problem with your Eustachian tube is not so serious, then there are handy remedies available at your home :( In more severe cases, you are required to visit an ENT specialist.)

•   The Valsalva maneuver: In this technique, after a deep breath, you should try to blow “gently” the air in your lungs into your closed nostrils while you mouth is shut. After hearing a bang, your problem will go!

•   The Toynbee maneuver: Take a little water into your mouth, and then swallow it while pinching your nose shut. Do that until you hear the pop sound.

•   Jaw wriggle: Move your opened mouth from side to side swiftly and regularly until you feel relieved.

•   Olive Oil: If the cause of your clogged ear is an accumulation of wax, then olive oil is the solution. It makes the wax soft enough to be easily removed. Put a few drops of lukewarm olive oil in your ear and wait for 10 minutes. Keep your head sidelong, and gently take the oil and wax out of your ear, using an ear bud. Mineral oil, baby oil, and glycerin could be indicated instead.

•   Alcohol and apple cider vinegar: Put a few drops of a mixture of alcohol and apple cider vinegar in your ear while your head is sidelong. Wait about 10 minutes. Take them out with an ear bud.    

•   Warm Compress: In colds and sinus congestion, heat has the capability of relieving your pain and curing the tube stoppage. Just put a small warm towel on the affected ear for 10 minutes. The warmth will end the congestion that results in an unblocked tube.

•   Steam: In colds, by taking the steam in, you can loosen the earwax and mucus that results in the relief of your pain. Just pour a few drops of lavender essential or eucalyptus in a large bowl containing steaming water. Take in the steam gently while you have a towel wrapped around your head. Continue until you feel relieved.

•   Hydrogen Peroxide: Put “just” 2 drops of 3% of hydrogen peroxide in your ear. After 10 minutes, keep your head sidelong to permit the wax and the solution to come out.       

•   Other Remedies: "yawning", "gargling", and "chewing gum" may help relieve your ear problem.


Some tips:

Using wax removal agents is unnecessary in ears filled with fluid; otherwise, there is a chance of infection.
Never use sharp articles.
Clean your ears on a regular basis.
Rest in a semi-upward position while having an earache.
Use warm drinks instead of cold ones.
Papaya and fenugreek may be useful.
Keep your ears and head warm by using a hat.
No scuba dive
Warm showers showed to have benefits in clogged ear.
Garlic, onion, and pepper proved to be decongestants.
Warm drinks help relieve the ear stuffiness.
Chew gum while flying.


Treatments for blocked Eustachian tube

•    Use decongestant sprays or drops: Ear drops have no effect in this case, due to the obstruction of the ear. Using nasal sprays or drops could be efficient. Spray the decongestant through your nose to the throat and try to take it in by taking deep sniffs. Be careful not to swallow the drug. In this stage, it is recommended to perform Valsalva maneuver. 

•    Take antihistamine tablets or nasal sprays: If the cause of the blocked Eustachian tube is an allergy, you may use antihistamines to sooth the allergic congestion. However, keep in mind that these drugs are not the first choice for treating the problem. Therefore, seek medical advice before using any steroid or antihistamine containing sprays. If you have an infected ear, then using antihistamines is contraindicated.

•   Try steroid nasal spray: Other than ordinary nasal sprays that should not be used more than a few days, steroid or antihistamine containing sprays could treat the congestion of the tubes.

•   Take antibiotics: Your Eustachian tube blockage may lead to earaches due to infection. In that case, you should ask your doctor for antibiotics. You have to take the medications according to your doctor's instruction and never leave your medication cycle incomplete.

•   Take analgesics: Prescribed painkillers

•   Surgery: In chronic cases, operational procedures are indicated. In myringotomy, an incision is made in the tympanic membrane (The eardrum) and the liquid contents of the middle ear are evacuated. Therefore, the pressure on both sides of the eardrum will be balanced.


No more bangs and bells in your ear!

By employing the above-mentioned recommendations, you will be able to cope with any form of clogged ear. So, follow them and enjoy your pain-free sweet life!

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