- More Chewing and Swallowing: Swallow water or other fluid while the nose is pinched closed. (Reason: creates a vacuum in the nose that helps the Eustachian tube to open up.) After age 6, can also use chewing gum.
- Decongestant Nasal Spray (Age 12 years or older):
- If chewing doesn't help after 1 or 2 hours, use a long-acting decongestant nasal spray. You can ask your pharmacist to recommend a brand.
- Dosage: 1 spay per side, 2 times per day as needed.
- Don't use more than 5 days. (Reason: rebound swelling)
- An oral decongestant (e.g., pseudoephedrine) may help if the nasal spray is not available (See Dosage table).
Expected Course: The symptoms usually clear within 2 days (48 hours) with treatment. It's safe for your child to swim.
Prevention for Airplane/Mountain Travel:
- Nasal allergies can cause ear congestion.
- If your child has hay fever or other allergies, give an oral antihistamine such as Benadryl (See Dosage table).
- See Hay Fever topic for details.
Call Your Doctor If:
- Swallow during descent using a pacifier or fluids
- Children over age 6 can chew on gum during descent
- Yawning also can open the middle ear
- Ear pain occurs
- Ear congestion lasts over 48 hours
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
To find a pediatrician, click here.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. Clinical content review provided by Senior Reviewer and Healthpoint Medical Network.
Last Review Date: 6/1/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011 2:57:50 PM
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Version Year: 2012
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.