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How do I Promote Ear Drainage?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Ear drainage or discharge is a natural phenomenon that involves the draining of some sort of fluid from the ear. Often, the fluid is excess wax that the body is expelling from the ear canal. However, various types or otitis or ear infection can also lead to the desire to promote ear drainage as a means of expediting the healing process. Here are some ideas on how to encourage drainage and help ease the pain of an earache or infection.

Many forms of ear infection leave the individual feeling as if his or her head is stuffed full of some foreign substance. Along with the sense of fullness, pain is also often experienced. When an infection has set in, it is a good idea to see a doctor and obtain antibiotics or other medication that will cause the inflammation to fade and any fluids trapped in the ear canal to drain. In many instances, the ears will begin to drain within twenty-four hours of beginning the medication, easing both the pain and the stuffiness as the fluids drain out of the ear.

People who experience swimmer’s ear often attempt to promote ear drainage in order to release water trapped in the middle ear or even behind the eardrum. Draining the ears is very important, as the trapped fluid can create the ideal environment for the development of bacteria. At times, use of a decongestant will help to ease the pain and also trigger the draining action. At other times, the use of over the counter products for swimmer’s ear is a good option. Many of these products come with a bubble syringe that can aid in removing the trapped fluid.

When ear wax hardens and begins to place pressure on the eardrum, the use of home remedies to loosen the wax are often helpful. Many people use some sort of oil to loosen the wax and allow it to drain from the ear. Other home remedies to promote ear drainage include the use of white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or a combination of the two. However, care must be given when introducing one of these home remedies into the ear canal. Should any of the liquid collect behind the eardrum, an infection can set up and cause far more pain than the hardened wax.

When it is impossible to manage ear drainage at home using over the counter or home remedies, the services of a qualified physician should be sought immediately. There is a good chance the reason for the blockage is more severe than previously suspected, and will require shots of antibiotics or other procedures in order to allow the ear to drain properly once again.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including The Health Board, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By lightning88 — On Sep 25, 2010

What is a really good, safe way for toddler ear drainage? My toddler is so prone to ear infection, and I need a quick, but safe, way to drain his blocked ears. Can anybody help me out?

By googlefanz — On Sep 25, 2010

What are the best tips for draining your ear tubes? I feel like my ear tubes are just stuffed full and I can't stand it -- how can I get good, quick ear tube drainage relief? Any and all input is more than appreciated!

By rallenwriter — On Sep 25, 2010

Sometimes too much drainage can be a bad thing. For instance, some people have chronic ear infection drainage that can cause them to have throat pain. I know that some ear drainage remedies are not even focused on ear fluid drainage, but rather on drying up the fluid in the ear. That way you don't have ear pain and throat pain.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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