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    My ears are so stuffed, I can barely hear. What can I do so I can hear again?

    General Medicine, WebMD Medical Expert

    So sorry to hear you're going through this! Congestion in the ears is not only annoying, it can become painful if it doesn't clear up quickly.

    One thing you can try is an over-the-counter decongestant medication. Decongestants basically work by drying up excess fluid, whether the fluid is located in the ears, nose, or wherever. Note that a decongestant is not the same as an allergy pill. Be sure to read the label carefully for dosing instructions. A pharmacist can help you choose a product and explain how to take it.

    If you develop a fever, congestion (fluid build up) in your chest, or a "productive" cough (meaning, you're coughing up mucus), you'd do well to see your health care provider. These can be symptoms of something other than a common cold. Also, the symptoms of a common cold should clear up within a week or so.

    Don't forget to drink plenty of fluids, especially plain water. Water can help keep those secretions (body fluids) thin, which makes them easier to eliminate by sneezing or coughing.

    Best wishes to you!

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