What can be done about having fluid inside the ear?

Steam Treatment

A home steam treatment—employing a warm towel and a warm bowl of water near your affected ear—will help open the Eustachian tube (the tube that attaches to the middle ear is where fluid typically builds-up) so the fluid can escape. To prepare, fill a large bowl with boiling water, cover your head with the towel, and hold your ear over the steam bath. You can even add anti-inflammatory herbs like chamomile or tea tree. Just make sure you don’t stay under the towel for too long – 10 or 15 minutes at a time is safest, and if you get lightheaded, stay sitting down until it passes.

Sometimes the steam from a shower is good enough to loosen the fluid more and get it out of your ear. Allow steam to build up in the shower, and then take your time going through your body cleaning routine. A long shower may do the trick to get the fluid out. If not, try using the previously mentioned steam bowl.


Using an over-the-counter decongestant or medication can also unblock your ear passage and let fluid flow free to relieve ear pain, prior to your doctor’s visit. In some situations, it may also help to lie down on your side (the side that has the fluid or pus), to let it actually come out of your ear after you’ve taken the decongestant. For medications to soothe ear infections, always use a sterilized eye dropper to place a few drops of the medication into the ear canal. Be sure to follow the packaging directions for safe treatment.

Never use a Q-Tip to dig deep in your ear or any other instrument, especially something sharp, to try to get the fluid out or loosen and break up the build-up. You can seriously damage your ear and potentially damage your hearing, so stick to other safe remedies like decongestants to do the trick.