Having congested ears is a surprisingly unpleasant experience and one that can make you feel somewhat 'detached' from the world around you as you struggle to hear what is going on and as it sounds like you're floating around underwater.
There are many causes of congested ears from trapped water, to ear infections, but regardless of the problem there are some methods you can use to help you speed up recovery. Here we will look at what some of those are.
Holding a warm compress against your ears can help you to combat any potential pain associated with your congested ears, and at the same time this can also help you to break up any mucus or other blockages with the heat. For this you can use a hot water bottle, or alternatively you can make a 'rice sock'. This is simply a sock that is filled with rice and which you have heated up in the microwave. Hold it against your ear and lower jaw while watching TV or resting.
Using a little oil (such as vegetable oil) mixed with a little warm water if you wish can be a good way to help break up and lubricate the congestion. Use just a couple of tea spoons and drip them carefully into the ears. If you do this for a couple of days you should start to feel it dislodging.
Using a hair dryer is something you need to be careful with but it can be useful. Put it on the lowest setting and hold it a good distance away from your ear before turning it on and gently let it blow into your ear.
You can buy over-the-counter medications that are designed specifically for treating congested ears and these include solutions specifically designed to break up and remove the congestion that can block your ears. Most over-the-counter ear drops will serve this role perfectly well.
Note: You may have come across the concept of 'Hopi candles' in your quest to treat your congested ears and in reading about it you might have found that it sounds generally logical and helpful. However, while the science may sound accurate, there is actually no evidence for Hopi candling being at all effective – and in fact it has been shown in many instances to actually make the problem worse as how wax can end up dripping into the ear despite the precautions put in place. Categorize this one under 'health scam' and don't go near it.
In a great number of cases congested ears will clear all by themselves. If they persist however you may wish to see a doctor who will be able to treat any underlying causes such as infection with antibiotics for instance.