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A member asked:

Should i be worried about ear infection? i already went to the doctor and got the medication to take care of my ear infection. but i have a bad cold as well and sinus congestion. i had to blow my nose and felt as though something was coming out of my ear

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Hello. : Hello. If you have a middle ear infection and you heard a popping noise and have fluid or blood coming from your ear - that could be a ruptured tympanic membrane (broken ear drum) and your doctor would likely want to ensure that it heals. However, you can get a popping in your ear if you have been congested enough to clamp down on the eustachian tube. It is the tube that drains fluids and air from the inside of the ear into the throat. It could have opened from the pressure of blowing the nose and caused a popping noise and sensation. If you aren't already taking an oral decongestant that may help. A nasal spray like afrin, may also help to shrink congestion and open up the eustacian tubes. However afrin should only be used for a maximum of twice a day for 3 to 5 days. Since you are already under a doctor's care, always recommend that you discuss these options with the doctor first.
Dr. Michael Wolfe
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 23 years experience
Your : Your symptoms are very common for an upper respiratory tract infection--usually viral and will go away after 10-14 days. An ear infection can also be viral or bacterial. If it is bacterial, an antibiotic should help it heal faster. Nasal congestion can lead to ear problems due to swelling of the eustachian tube that normally equalizes pressure in the middle ear. Even after the cold has resolved, the ear symptoms can last for weeks. Afrin can help, but only take it as directed for 3 days. Then stop it no matter how your nose feels--it can quickly become habit forming as your nose learns to rely on it rather than its own mechanisms to decongest. Sudafed or other decongestants can help, but have the same potential for addiction (less likely than afrin) for those who stay on it for too long.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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