Thanks for your query.
Fluid coming out of ears with crackling sounds after a bad attack cold is definitely due to upper respiratory infection going through the Eustachian tunes to the middle ears and the mastoid air cells , thereby taking time to have resolution.
Steroids alone will never help.
You need to take additional treatment:
Nasal decongestants drops.
Antibiotics if there is evidence of infection by color, smell and culture report.
All these factors will help to get a relief.
Consult an ENT for better examination, understanding as to what is going on and proper treatment.
I hope this helps you to get well soon.
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