Hi--I'll be glad to give you some advice. I am a board-certified Internal Medicine doctor with more than 30 years experience.
Ringing in the ears is one of the most vexing problems and the fullness from backed up sinus congestion can be painful. The ringing (tinnitus) should improve greatly when the fluid congestion is relieved.
What decongestant are you taking? Are you taking guaifenesin? It would be very important to take that to thin the mucus and make it drain.
Did you have ringing at all before this?
Gauifenesin is over the counter. Here is sold as Mucinex or Robitussin but there are lots of generic brands. Mucinex non-generic tastes far better than the generics.
I also have my patients wash their noses gently with WARM salt water as many times/day as they can.
However, if the situation is bad enough with discomfort/heaviness/pain/ringing and there is no contraindication (like diabetes), I often prescribe a short course of corticosteroids. They are risky long-term but in short term, not.
Sorry--I misspelled "guaifenesin" above.
To wash the nose I tell them to use a neti pot, which is like a little tea kettle.
The warm water helps loosen the mucus so it drains, also
(Glad you didn't have ringing before--long term tinnitus is almost impossible to treat)
You were typing. Did it not show up?
If you are no better in two weeks, you might talk with your doctor about a burst of corticosteroid to decrease the swelling in your ear canal and sinus.
Don't use an ear popper. It is for wax removal and can cause damage to your eardrum. If you blow your nose, which I don't recommend, keep your mouth open. The inner ear is sensitive to pressure and if there's no place for the pressure to go, again, you can damage your eardrum.
I recommend drawing the mucus into the back of your throat. It sounds awful when you do it so be in private!
Tinnitus comes from damage to the nerve of hearing, usually from loud noises. The reason I asked was that I didn't want to give you false hope if you had long-term.
Short term tinnitus from congestion almost always clears up when the congestion clears up.
Your doctor, knowing you and your history, might prescribe a brief course of steroid
I am waiting for reply if you are typing to me. Also, use a humidifier in your room at night if it is dry
Here's how to try drawing the mucus to the back of your throat (the "old man" maneuver!) Close your mouth and then, against the closed mouth, draw in a breath through the mouth as if it were open. It will make a rough sound but will draw the mucus down, decreasing the pressure in the sinuses and ears rather than increasing.
Cotton wool in the ears will not affect the situation--the external ear canal is closed off from the inner ear canal by the ear drum unless the ear drum ruptures, in which case putting anything in would be dangerous.
If your hearing and dullness are improving, you're getting better. When your ear drum is dull, it means that there might be a lot of fluid behind it. Ordinarily it looks like a bright shiny sheet of plastic wrap. When dull, it looks like one that's been used to wrap something oily
So: cotton wool and oil would simply make your cheek and neck and pillowcases oily as the oil drained out from the warmth of your body. it wouldn't reach the place where the fluid is building up.
If you are getting better, you should keep going with decongestant, steroid nose spray if your doctor will prescribe it or if it is over the counter there (other nose sprays can rebound--make you worse), nose washing, guaifenesin
Did you manage the maneuver?
Yes. It's thick and the lining of the area swells and traps the fluid and it takes time for it to drain, the situation improves with the thins outlined above.
Steroids and warmth help the swelling go down and help drainage.
If you spit the mucus out, that's fine, too. The sinuses can produce an incredible amount of mucus. Until the irritation/sinusitis/allergies are relieved, they will keep producing. However, the medications decease the production and help it drain
It will not hurt you to swallow mucus. It's yuckky but won't hurt
It won't cause more build up either. That just happens.
Instead of the neti pot to wash your nose you might try a NeilMed bottle: http://www.neilmed.com/uk/
They will improve. Things like cold and sinus seem to last forever but they rarely do and you're already improving.
If you're satisfied, please rate the chat so it closes and you can always ask more questions or update me later!
Good health quickly!
Did you have more questions? You didn't close this so I wanted to make sure.