Q. How to unclog my ears after a flight?

Answered by
Dr. Basuki Nath Bhagat
and medically reviewed by Dr. Preetha J
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 01, 2021

Hi doctor,

My left ear got blocked during a flight today. It has been about 2 hours, and it is still blocked. I do not have any pain. What should I do now?



Welcome to

I read your query. Sorry for the discomfort you are having.

This kind of ear clogging happens due to a change in the air pressure inside the plane due to a change in the altitude of the flight.

Although it will go away on its own, you can try the following:

• Pinch your nose closed with your fingers and blow through your nose softly until you feel your ears 'pop'. This will push air through a eustachian tube in the middle ear and push the eardrum.

• Keep doing mouth opening and closing as we do in yawning.

• If there is a slight pain, you can take tablet Paracetamol 500 mg once a day, and it will resolve.

I hope this helps you and resolves your problem.


Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

I think some liquid is inside because when I bend forward, my ear is clearing, and it is again blocked when I stand upright. Since morning, I also have had a cough with mucus, so is it possible that mucus is clogged?



Welcome back to

  • Do you have any sore throat?
  • Do you have any nasal discharge?
    • Try the above measures if it relieves you.
    • Do warm water gargle 2-3 times a day.
    • Take anti-allergic medicine one tablet before bedtime for three days.
    • You can take cough syrup also for cough.
    • Avoid cold food or water from the fridge or air conditioner.
    • If cough or pharyngitis does not resolve, consider taking antibiotics after consulting a doctor.

If you have a cough with mucus or pharyngitis, you may feel your ear is blocked due to eustachian tube clogging in such a condition. Taking treatment for cough with mucus would help you resolve this problem.

The eustachian tube connects the middle ear, which opens in the back portion of the pharynx.

I would suggest the following:

I hope you find this helpful.


Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

If the eustachian tube is clogged, how will the mucus from there get removed once my throat is better?



Welcome back to

The eustachian tube is a continuous structure from the pharynx. The cause of clogging of the tube is due to pharyngitis. When we have pharyngitis, we feel irritation in the ear due to mild clogging in the tube. So, if you treat throat infection or inflammation, your left ear problem is blocked and will get relieved. Take the antiallergic medicine, cough syrup, antibiotics if needed, lukewarm water gargle, and do the above measures written in the first chat. I hope I can help and make you understand. Thanks.

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