How to Unclog Ears After a Flight

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Flying on an airplane is the quickest way to get you from point A to point B. You can make it from New Jersey to Florida in two hours on a plane, whereas it would take you at least 17 hours to drive. The only downside to flying is the pressure that clogs your ears. If you don't do anything about the clogged ears, it can take twice as long to get them back to normal.

Things You'll Need

  • Gum
  • Glass of water
  • Cold medicine with decongestant
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Nasal spray with decongestant
  • Yawn. This is one of the most common ways to reopen your ears and relieve the pressure. When you yawn, you let air in your middle ear, which equalizes the pressure to that of the outside air. It also helps to pull your earlobe down as you yawn.

  • Chew gum. Chewing gum can also be done during the flight to prevent the ears from clogging up or worse. Continue chewing after the flight to get your ears back to normal.

  • Pinch your nose and gently blow. This will force the air through your tube and into the middle ear. This will unclog the ear so that you can hear normally again.

  • Drink a glass of water if you are only suffering a minor clog. This is usually enough to open your ears right back up.

  • Drink a swig of Tabasco sauce. This will open up your nasal passages as well as unclog your ear canal.

  • Take some cold medicine with a decongestant in it. Do this even if you don't have a cold. The pseudoephedrine in the medicine will clear things up.

  • Use a nasal spray with a decongestant in it. This will work the same way the cold medicine does.

Tips & Warnings

  • Buy an over-the-counter ear cleaner. This will help restore your hearing back to normal and get rid of any leftover pressure.
  • Wait it out. It can take more than an hour after a flight for your ears to adjust to the pressure changes.
  • When you pinch your nose and blow, make sure you don't do it too hard or you could damage your eardrum.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

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