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How to Clear Eustachian Tubes: Tips and Tricks

If you're feeling pressure or discomfort in your ears, it could be a sign that your Eustachian tubes are blocked. These tubes are responsible for equalizing pressure in your ears and draining fluid, and blockages can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, popping sounds, and even hearing loss. Fortunately, there are several methods you can try at home to clear your Eustachian tubes and relieve your symptoms.

1. Chew Gum or Yawn

One of the easiest ways to clear your Eustachian tubes is to chew gum or yawn. Both of these actions cause the muscles in your ears to contract, which can help to open up your tubes and relieve pressure. So, if you're feeling blocked up, try chewing on a piece of gum or yawning a few times to see if it helps.

2. Use a Nasal Decongestant

If chewing gum or yawning doesn't do the trick, you can try using a nasal decongestant. These sprays and drops work by constricting the blood vessels in your nasal passages, which can help to reduce swelling and open up your Eustachian tubes. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully, as overuse can lead to rebound congestion.

3. Perform the Valsalva Maneuver

The Valsalva maneuver is a technique that involves closing your mouth, pinching your nose shut, and then blowing out gently. This can help to equalize the pressure in your ears and open up your Eustachian tubes. However, it's important to be gentle and not blow too hard, as this can cause damage to your eardrums.

4. Try the Toynbee Maneuver

The Toynbee maneuver is another technique that can help to open up your Eustachian tubes. It involves swallowing while holding your nose shut, which can create a vacuum effect and pull fluid out of your ears. This maneuver is especially effective if you have fluid buildup in your ears.

5. Use a Warm Compress

If your Eustachian tubes are blocked due to congestion or inflammation, a warm compress can help to reduce swelling and improve drainage. Simply soak a washcloth in warm water, wring it out, and hold it against your ear for 5-10 minutes. Repeat as needed throughout the day.

6. Try an Ear Candle

Ear candles are a holistic treatment that some people swear by for clearing Eustachian tubes. They work by creating a vacuum in the ear canal, which can help to draw out impurities and promote drainage. However, it's important to note that there is little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of ear candles, and they can be dangerous if not used properly.

7. Use a Neti Pot

If your Eustachian tubes are blocked due to nasal congestion, a Neti pot can help to flush out mucus and improve drainage. This device looks like a small teapot and is used to irrigate your nasal passages with a saline solution. Just be sure to use distilled or sterilized water to avoid the risk of infection.

8. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important for maintaining healthy Eustachian tubes. When you're dehydrated, your mucus can become thicker and stickier, which can make it more difficult to clear your tubes. So, be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you.

9. Try Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation can help to open up your Eustachian tubes and improve drainage. Simply fill a bowl with hot water, drape a towel over your head, and inhale the steam for 5-10 minutes. You can also add a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint for added relief.

10. Consider Acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on your body to promote healing and relieve symptoms. There are several acupressure points that can help to clear your Eustachian tubes, including the point just behind your earlobe and the point on your thumb pad just below the base of your nail.

11. Use Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

If you're experiencing pain or discomfort in your ears, over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to relieve your symptoms. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully and don't exceed the recommended dosage.

12. Consider Allergy Treatment

If your Eustachian tubes are frequently blocked due to allergies, allergy treatment may be necessary to relieve your symptoms. This can include over-the-counter antihistamines, prescription nasal sprays, or immunotherapy (allergy shots).

13. See a Doctor

If your Eustachian tube blockage persists or is accompanied by severe symptoms like hearing loss or dizziness, it's important to see a doctor. Your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend further testing to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.


What causes Eustachian tube blockage?

Eustachian tube blockages can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, sinus infections, colds, flu, smoking, and air travel.

Is it safe to use an ear candle?

Ear candles can be dangerous if not used properly. They can cause burns, earwax blockage, and even puncture your eardrum. It's best to avoid ear candles and try other methods for clearing your Eustachian tubes.

How long does it take to clear a blocked Eustachian tube?

The length of time it takes to clear a blocked Eustachian tube can vary depending on the underlying cause of the blockage. In some cases, it may clear up on its own within a few days. In other cases, it may require medical intervention.

Can Eustachian tube blockage lead to permanent hearing loss?

In rare cases, severe or prolonged Eustachian tube blockage can lead to permanent hearing loss. However, this is usually only the case if the blockage is left untreated for an extended period of time.

Closing Thoughts

Clearing your Eustachian tubes can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience, but with the tips and tricks above, you should be able to find relief. If your symptoms persist or are accompanied by more serious symptoms like hearing loss, be sure to seek medical attention. With proper treatment, you can get back to feeling like yourself again.