With plugged ears, your eustachian tubes — which run between your middle ear and the back of your nose — become obstructed. You may also have ear pain. You can try to forcibly open your eustachian tubes by taking a deep breath and trying to blow out while pinching your nostrils closed and closing your mouth. If you feel a popping noise, you know you have succeeded.
When treatment is needed, doctors focus on getting air to flow into the eustachian tubes. Options for clearing plugged ears include:
- Oral decongestants
- Nasal spray antihistamines
- Topical nasal steroids
- Ventilation tubes, in severe cases, to drain fluid and relieve pressure
If your symptoms are severe and last longer than a few weeks, consider seeking care from an ear, nose and throat specialist.