Ow ow ow

Lingering head cold + airplane ride with long descent = clogged, super-painful right ear.

I've blown, yawned, swallowed, chewed gum, held my nose and blown. What's next, other than ear candling, or the move from the guy in the movie Pi? (If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't look it up.)

38 thoughts on “Ow ow ow”

  1. Hairdryer on low blown towards your ear while massaging around it and trying to get the congestion to break up? A hot compress? You might want to take another decongestant while you’re at it. I hate when this happens. Unfortunately sometimes it just takes awhile for it to go away. 🙁

  2. put boiling water in a mug. Hold your ear over the mug (i.e. steam your ear) for 2 minutes or so. Then plug your nose and blow. Works miracles.

  3. Same equation here and it was an ear infection…in both ears as it turns out (boo!) 🙁 I ended up at the Dr. after a few days back with no improvement and got some antibiotics.Hope you feel better soon!

  4. Neti Pot, I travel a ton for work and I can be prone to sinus infections. Since using my neti on a regular basis I haven’t had one. Tips:Use the salt solution, or it will burn, make sure the water is the right temp to. It feels so good when that ear finally opens up!

  5. yowch to the Pi reference.spray decongestant spray in the nostril on that side then lay down on that side so the spray gets into the eustachian tube.
    a holistic doc recommended heating coarse sea or kosher salt in a skillet, then putting it into a cotton sock, tie the sock & then apply to ear. I would lean on it in bed, very soothing.
    hot wet towels pressed over ears on descent were helpful. I’m also looking into these for next time I fly:
    it also may be worth getting looked at. hope you are better soon!

  6. Sudafed is the only thing that works once I get to that point. All the other things mentioned work to help me prevent getting to that point, especially before I fly, but yeah. I’ve cried on landing from similar situations.

  7. I’m so sorry about your ear! My aunt experienced terrible pain & pressure on a flight once, and the attendants put hot, damp towels inside paper cups, which my aunt held over her ears. Same general theory as the steaming mug post above. It helped my aunt-worth a try?

  8. Garlic oil in your ear. Make sure you warm it up first. You can make it or get it at a health food store. Google it and you will see that it really works wonders with an infection and takes away the pain. I have always had a lot of trouble with my ears and many painful flights. I hope it clears up soon.

  9. No suggestions, but that scene from Pi is burned into my brain, and I truly consider it with each of my chronic migraines.

  10. i’m nursing a sinus infection now and the netipot, with added drops of essential oil mix of all sorts of stuff including xylotol and grapefruit seed extract, is my saviour. not more than 2x per day.Slice an onion in half, heat it, microwave works fine, then hold it outside of your ear. be careful not to touch it to your ear, it will burn. similar to the steam, but true homeopathic properties in the onion vapors.
    garlic for sure – don’t need oil, can just put a slice of clove in there, the heat of your body will dissolve it (i know this all sounds crazy, until you do it and it WORKS!).

  11. Sliced onion heated in microwave–second vote for that one.Irrigate your sinuses regularly with saline solution–keep stuff moving out of there.
    Good luck–it sucks.

  12. I would be hesitant to put anything in your ear in case there is a small rupture. Get to a MD if you can. I just finished 3 weeks of ear pain hell with an infection that ended up spreading to my outer ear- prolonged because I didn’t get my butt in when I should have.And yeah, now I understand why kids with ear infections are so cranky. I had the same response when I fell and skinned the heck out of my knee recently. It effing hurt!
    Also, if you are prone to clenching your jaw at night, get one of those cheap mouth guards they sell for athletes. It can be a bad loop — ear pain causes you to clench your jaw in your sleep which can cause referral pain back up to your ear.

  13. I would say to try Flonase (if you have it already)or Afrin. I just discovered Flonase when I had a lingering sinus/ear infection last spring, and it’s a wonder drug. Truly.

  14. I used to in the airline industry and I’d recommend seeing the doctor. Better safe than sorry… flying with a cold/sinus problem in very rare cases can lead to a perforated eardrum.

  15. Ditto on going to the dr – I ruptured my eardrum after flying with an ear infection…no fun! Tylenol works wonders for me for the pain though…

  16. Worth trying all the natural cures suggested, but I would combine them with a good dose of Sudafed–the real stuff, pseudoephedrine, which you have to show your ID to get at the pharmacy counter. (That phenylephrine stuff is worthless.) The problem with neti pot is if you are already clogged, the liquid can get trapped and make an infection worse.

  17. I’m with the folks recommending drugs. That is the only thing that works when I get in that state- pseudoephedrine is faster than Mucinex but makes me groggy.

  18. In a similar situation, my doc recommended this Murine ear wax stuffhttp://www.murine.com/wax-system.htm
    I think my ears are pretty clean, but having a cold or physical stressors like flying can make them clog. Maybe it makes your inner ear more “productive” (yum!) or goopy. Anyway, you lie down and put this stuff in your ear and wait a little while. Fifteen minutes or something. Then–sweet relief.

  19. When I was a kid it was always a hot water bottle or heating pad. It takes longer now that I’m an adult, but it does help break up the congestion. Frankly, I think it melts it away.

  20. Neti pot! I’m prone to congested ears leading to sinus infections, etc. Ever since I started using the neti pot at the first indication of congestion, I haven’t been sick. Use the salt solution and warm water at least once a day. It works miracles.

  21. My ENT suggests a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in my ear. It softens any crude that is in there and gets it to move. Feels strange but it works wonders.

  22. I had this happen to me back in May and it wasAWFUL. Took 3 days to pop (I felt like I was in a cave) and it only popped after taking sudafed. Still had an achy ear for weeks! Hope you feel better soon!

  23. That’s the worst! That used to happen to me every time I flew. It’s finally gotten better (although I’m still careful to equalize the pressure in my ears during descent). And actually, the problem started after I began ear candling. Don’t know if there was a connection, but I finally decided your ears are supposed to have all that wax in them, and eventually after I stopped doing it the problem stopped. May or may not be a connection, but I mention it for what it’s worth.

  24. sorry, moxie. that is the worst. i think someone already posted something about a mug with a steamed towel in it…but if it happens again on the plane you can ask a flight attendant for a “hot cup.” it’s essentially the same thing and they all know how to do it. also good for tiny ones.

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