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.)