Neti Pot and Ears

I love my neti pot. It makes my nose happy. It makes my throat and tummy happy.

My ears, not so much. I seem to frequently end up with water slowly seeping into my ears from my sinuses. This drives me absolutely nuts.

I’ve talked to a physician, who said that a little salt water in there shouldn’t cause any serious problems. I’ll ask my doc about this next time I see him.

In the meantime - anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with it?

I’ve not encountered it personally, but one patient of mine did report some crackling in his ears after. This resolved with regular use, by last report.

A survey of the literature didn’t turn up much info on the topic, other than that it indeed occurs with some people, but more folks report their eustachian tube problems resolve rather than worsen.

One person avoided the crackling by not blowing his nose for a few minutes after using the neti pot. I’m not sure I could refrain from blowing my nose.

Googling “neti pot” and “eustachian” will return a lot of discussion, even if not all of it is real high quality.

I get this problem too. A lot of pressure develops in my ears (or I guess my eustachian tubes), and it feels like taking off or landing in an airplane.

I’ve noticed that it only seems to happen when I’m extra stuffy and haven’t used the neti pot in a while. It seems to go away once I up the frequency to 2 - 3 times per day during a cold or sinus infection, or once a day any other time. Blowing my nose before using the neti pot also seems to help. Another suggestion, if this seems to be occurring after the rinse and not during, is to make sure to do some slow forward bends/toe touches. That should help everything drip out of your sinus faster.

Hmmm. Mine seemed to get worse when I neti daily, but maybe I just didn’t give it long enough. I do usually run water through to my mouth as well as just through the nostrils, otherwise I can do a full pot each way and still not be able to breathe.

I’ve never had ear infections, but I often do have trouble with my ears feeling like they need to pop and I’m very sensitive to pressure changes. (The airplane earplugs are a life-saver.) I’ve always tended towards wax in the ears, but never had them block up or need attention.

I try to be very careful and not blow water into my eustachian tubes; I can usually tell when I’ve done that - that’s when I get the crackling sound and/or pressure in my ears. This is more a tickling in my ears, or them just feeling damp inside over the day or so following neti pot usage.

And then I Qtip them too much and they get irritated. (I know, shouldn’t be doing that, but I can’t help it.)