How to Massage Fluid Out of the Ear? (2 Best Methods)

Fluid in the ear is usually caused by the dysfunction of the Eustachian tube in the middle ear. The build-up occurs in the Eustachian tube and it can be pretty painful too.

Sometimes an infection can also cause inflammation of the tube and lead to fluid build-up. Although the infection goes away on its own, the pain from the fluid pressure can be unbearable, especially for children. 

To relieve the ear pain and gradually remove the fluid from the ear, you can perform a simple massage on the back of the ear.

This will ease the pain and help in the release of fluid from the ear. The massage is pretty straightforward and nothing complex. You can do it yourself and for children, an adult may assist them. 

Let us get into the massage procedure and understand how to massage the ear to promote fluid release out of the ear.

How to Massage Fluid Out of the Ear

How to Massage Fluid Out of the Ear?

This massage can be done at any time and whenever you feel intense pain in the ear. This will relieve some of the pain and help you to relax. There are two methods. The first one is called the Eustachian Tube Massage (ETM) which can be done by anyone and the other one is known as the Modified Muncie Technique [1] which must be done only by professionals. Let us understand the procedure of both techniques.

Eustachian Tube Massage (ETM)

  • If you are doing the massage on your own, sit in an upright position. 
  • At the back of your ear, you can find a bony bump. From that bump, get down slowly with your thumb and feel till the end of the lower jaw line. 
  • Between the jawline and the bump, there will be a groove and this is where you need to concentrate while massaging. 
  • Now put some olive oil in your thumbs and make sure you only apply it very slightly just to avoid some friction.
  • Using the oily thumb, slide down the bony bump till the end of the jawline while applying slight pressure on the groove.
  • Do it for one or two minutes and feel the pain getting relieved.
  • You can perform this massage several times a day to promote the release of fluid from the ear. 

Although this massage doesn’t remove the fluid instantly, it will aid in its release of it. Therefore, don’t get the wrong idea that this massage will remove the fluid. 

When you perform this massage, the fluid will gradually drain into the throat which is the natural drain area of the Eustachian tube. 

Modified Muncie Technique

This technique must be done only by professionals because the procedure involves reaching the inside of the mouth. But we shall look into the procedure done by the professionals.

  • The physician may ask you to lie down or sit reclined and ask you to lift your head up. 
  • Then with a gloved hand, he will reach your palatine tonsil and move to the left or right according to the side of the ear to be massaged.
  • In this area, the fluid-filled eustachian tube can be felt. Then the physician will use simple circular motions and slide up and down to massage the area. 
  • This will enable the tube to release the fluid into the throat and relieve the pain and pressure. 
  • This can be done on both ears and the procedure doesn’t pain. 
  • In this technique, the finger doesn’t go past the tonsils therefore you will not be subjected to the gag reflex. 
  • The physician may repeat the procedure two or three times.

What Happens if the Fluid Doesn’t Drain out of the Ears?

If the fluid doesn’t drain normally due to the dysfunction of the Eustachian tube, then it may cause bacterial growth and lead to infection. 

This infection is known as Acute Otitis Media. It causes severe pain in the middle ear and may even lead to bulging of the ear drum in severe cases. 

The doctors usually prescribe some antibiotics and say that it will usually go away on its own within one or two months. 

In severe cases, they use the above-mentioned massage techniques to get rid of the pain and promote the drainage of fluid from the tube. 

The tube dysfunction occurs due to common infections like colds, flu, and related allergies. A sinus infection can also sometimes lead to tube blockage. 

So, when the allergy or infection goes away, the tube dysfunction will also naturally cure and drain the fluid. But sometimes, the dysfunction can prolong and cause the fluid to remain inside. 

This retained fluid will eventually become a growth area for bacteria and creates a new infection in the middle ear. 

Therefore, it is important to relieve the fluid from the ear and avoid such infections from affecting the middle ear. 

How Long Does it Take to Drain the Fluid out of the Ear?

Naturally, the fluid will drain within a week or two. When you use the massage techniques recommended, you can find relief sooner. 

Doctors recommend you rest for a week and in this period the fluid will drain into the throat automatically. But if you find the symptoms to persist or worsen, then you need to reach your physician soon. 

You can also try natural remedies and herbal medicines with the advice of your doctor to relieve the symptoms like pain. 

If the problem has occurred due to allergies or infection, then it is important to treat that first and the condition will automatically be cured. 

The dysfunction can last till the infection persists and you cannot get relief. Therefore, according to the cause of fluid build-up, the duration of the cure will vary. 

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The Eustachian dysfunction causes fluid to reside in the ear instead of naturally draining into the throat. This can become a painful condition due to the increase in fluid pressure.

Also, if it becomes infectious it can affect ear drums too and becomes further more painful. Therefore, a massage of the Eustachian tube can help you to relieve the symptoms and aid in the draining of fluid naturally. 


1. Modified Muncie technique: osteopathic manipulation for Eustachian tube dysfunction and illustrative report of case –

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