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How to Pop Your Ears

What is popping of ears?

Popping of ears occur when the Eustachian tube opens to equalize the air pressure on both ears. Eustachian tube is connected to the middle ear where the pressure is contained. This popping also occurs every time we swallow due to a small air bubble that has entered the middle ear from the back of the nose. Ear popping happens when there is a pressure change in the middle ear. Change in altitude such as plane ride, mountain climbing or even deep sea diving will make ears to pop. Air pressure inside the ear has to whenever there is a change in the air pressure outside.

Air pressure equilibrium is important in the middle ear. This will enable proper function of the middle ear where sound processing happens. When there is too much air pressure in the middle ear, the eardrum could burst or when there is too little pressure, the eardrum could collapse or will not vibrate. Unequal air pressure will hinder proper functions of the ears.

How to Pop Your Ears after a Flight

Balancing air pressure on the ground is gradual and very small for the Eustachian tube to equalize air pressure in the ears. Air pressure change is tasking for the ears especially when on descending motion such as that of a plane descending its flight.

Ear blockage is most common on airplane ride. This is mainly due to change in air pressure where high altitude is the culprit. Ascending motion of plane is easier for the ears to adjust as the pressure outside is dropping. However, when the plane is descending, the ears will have a hard time to adjust as the air pressure is rising. Balancing air pressure is usually hard for the ears.

After the flight, an uncomfortable sensation may be felt and this is due to clogged ears brought by sudden change in air pressure during plane descent. There are however, maneuvers that air travelers can do to help the Eustachian tube open subsequently equalizing the air pressure within the ears.

Ways to Pop Ears:

Swallowing and Chewing

Our ears pop every time we swallow because of the small air bubble that has gone inside the middle ear. Chewing gum will help the Eustachian tube to open and will allow passage of small air bubble causing ear to pop. This is also the same with swallowing motion.


Yawning will help the Eustachian tube to open and close allowing the air to come in and come out of the ears and this will give a popping ear.

Pinching the Nostrils

This is done to push the air back into the middle ears. This maneuver is done by pinching the nostrils close taking a deep breath through the mouth while holding it close the push the air up into the back of the nose or middle ear, but not too forceful, until the ear pops.

How to Pop Ears when Sick

Ears pop when the air is passing through the Eustachian tube. Pain in the ear, popping or both can occur when the Eustachian tube is congested often when an individual gets sick. It is hard for the air to come in and come out of the ears when the Eustachian tube is blocked. When the ear is plugged, hearing ability gets impaired and this may be uncomfortable often hinders daily activities. Congestion on the other hand is not permanent and drains on its own. It can drain faster if aided with treatment.

Ways to Pop Ears when Sick:

  • Take over the counter medicine to help unclog ears. Such medicines include decongestant which aid faster in mucus drainage.
  • Steam can help loosen mucus clogging ears.
  • Hot shower or steam bath promotes mucus drainage.
  • Humidifier will help nose and ear congestion.
  • Drinking with the use of a straw will aid decongesting blocked nose and ears.
  • Chewing and swallowing will allow the Eustachian tube to open and will pop ears.
  • Blowing of nose will quickly pop the ears as blowing will break and loose trapped mucus in the nose.
  • Increase fluid intake to thin mucus build up thereby clearing air passage to and from the middle ear.
  • Nasal spray and decongestant will prevent congestion by preventing inflammation of air passage through the Eustachian tube.

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