From snotty noses to flared-up sinuses and nasty chest infections, there are so many side effects that follow.

This can mean you spend days in bed with little energy surrounded by piles of tissues and even have to cancel plans with family and friends.

But one symptom of a cold includes a blocked ear, causing muffled or dull hearing, which many people have described as “being underwater or ears with cotton wool,” reports the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust website.

What to do if your ears are blocked from a cold

The experts have given the following advice on what you should do if you’re desperate to hear clearly again when you have a common cold or an allergy flare-up:

  • Yawn or open your mouth widely as if you were yawning. Eating and drinking may also mobilise the Eustachian tube to allow some air travel through the tube.
  • Valsalva and Toynbee manoeuvres can be done to push some air into middle ear, take a deep breath, pinch your nose and close your mouth, and gently pop your ears. Do not be very forceful. Some balloons and auto-inflation devices are designed to direct air to the middle ear and promote emptying of middle ear fluid and are available over the counter or online. 

Isle of Wight County Press: What do you think the worst symptom of a cold is?What do you think the worst symptom of a cold is? (Image: Getty)

  • Nasal decongestants may be used if there is some blockage. This is available over the counter. A GP may prescribe steroid nasal sprays for persistent inflammation.
  • Steam inhalations with menthol, eucalyptus, or other oils in boiling water in the sink with a towel over the head or any other kind of inhalation device.
  • Sucking a boiled sweet such as menthol or eucalyptus to unblock the nose.
  • Taking antihistamines if the swelling is caused by allergies.

If you have symptoms such as a pressure-like feeling, tinnitus, dizziness, popping or clicking noises that persist for more than three weeks, it’s advised you should see a GP.

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