What causes ear popping and how to pop your ears

pop your ears

Ear popping occurs when there is an imbalance of pressure in the ears. It should be balanced to prevent the eardrum’s abnormal expansion and contraction. The “popping” sound is the result of this process, which can occur quickly in specific situations. 

Generally speaking, atmospheric pressure remains constant. However, it can change suddenly under certain conditions (such as during air travel). Some people find the popping of their ears caused by changes in altitude very unpleasant. 

Ear popping without any changes in altitude is called Eustachian tube malfunction. It requires a medical examination to figure out more serious causes (often common colds and infections). Let’s discuss in detail that what causes ear popping and how to pop your ears.

What happens when the ears pop?

The Eustachian tube is a little tube located in the back of the throat that leads to the middle ear. The Eustachian tube functions to regulate air pressure in the nasal cavity and the ear canal. When you swallow, the tube is opened, and a tiny bubble of air can travel through the nasal passage and into your ear. 

When most people swallow, they hear a small click or popping sounds in their ears due to air moving into the ear canal. Ear lining constantly absorbs air. This procedure aids in maintaining constant pressure on either end of the eardrum. 

A number of factors can cause the unpleasant feeling of fullness in the ears. It includes a blockage in the Eustachian tube or an imbalance between the pressures inside and outside the ear.  

Common causes of ear popping

There are several causes of unpleasant plugged ears, including: 

Changes in atmospheric pressure: 

 Instant pressure changes such as mountain driving and underwater diving can cause this sensation. As the pressure around you varies, the air pressure within your inner ears tries to adjust accordingly. 

Ear infection: 

Infected fluid behind the eardrum can bulge and spread, causing ear infections and pain. 

Swimmer’s ear: 

Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the ear canal lining that can also lead to hearing loss. It’s an outer-ear infection, not a middle-ear infection. 

Specifically, sinusitis: 

The pressure behind the eardrum can fluctuate due to a sinus infection.


Stuffed ears might occur due to allergies as one of several unpleasant side effects. 

Issues with the Eustachian tube: 

When there’s an imbalance between the air pressure in the Inner ear and outside the ear, we may feel plugged up. Sometimes you can have a problem with your Eustachian tubes directly. Rarely growths can disrupt the Eustachian tubes, and being born with irregularly shaped tubes can also cause problems. 

How to pop your ears.

The Eustachian tube is responsible for the popping sound in the ear. With this tube, you can keep your middle ear safe and well-ventilated. The Eustachian tube equalizes eardrum air pressure. 

The Eustachian tubes will widen as pressure increases in your middle ear. When the tubes in your ears open, the pressure in the ears will stabilize. This is the cause of the popping sound your ears make as they release pressure. Let’s learn how to pop your ears through different ways.

Hold your nose to pop your ears 

Do you want to know how to pop your ears by holding your nose? So, just hold your nose and exhale forcefully. To begin, pause and relax. Next, pinch your nose and mouth shut. Relax by gently blowing air out. When you blow against pressure, your Eustachian tubes expand slightly, allowing any trapped fluid or pressure in your ear to escape. 

It’s a prevalent myth that this approach is extremely risky. There is no danger of your eardrum being ruptured unless you apply excessive pressure or sneeze in this manner. 

How to pop your ears by using balloon

How to pop your ears by blowing a Balloon? By applying pressure to the balloon, you can force air up your Eustachian tube, relieving pressure there. If you ever get pain or tightness in your ear, this technique can relieve it. 

Ear balloons can be purchased for this very purpose. You should try these out if this is a frequent issue for you. For these balloons to be effective, you must blow into one nostril before sealing up the other. It is recommended that these balloons be used only by youngsters who have frequent ear accumulation. 

Those who are sick with a fever, cough, or runny nose should avoid this procedure. A middle ear infection could result from infectious mucus entering the ear in this way. 

Pop Your Ears by Flexing Your Jaw

Some people can pop their ears by flexing their jaw muscles. The Eustachian tube can be opened by flexing in this way, relieving the pressure. 

In comparison to popping your ears with your nose, this procedure might be easier for your ears. If you detect a change in pressure while flying or in an elevator, you can prevent pressure imbalance by exercising your jaw. 

Pop Your Ears by Yawning

How to pop your ears by yawning is interesting. You take a large gulp of air while yawning. You can “pop” your ears by swallowing and moving your mouth, which will help to bring the pressure in your ears back to normal. 

Pop Your Ears by Swallowing Often

You can relieve the pressure in your ears and hear normally by drinking something. Pinch your nose to pop your ears while swallowing. Creating a negative pressure inside the nasal cavity can facilitate the opening of the Eustachian tubes.

Chewing gum

In order to improve swallowing, chewing gum can be helpful because it encourages the production of saliva. Similarly, the action of chewing can also aid in opening the eustachian tubes. 

How to pop your ears using special instruments 

Ear-cleaning tools are now widely available. Particularly, these are helpful for those who lack the physical abilities required to apply or perform the abovementioned techniques correctly or securely. The three categories of technology are: 

Ear plugs:

 are designed to control the amount of outside air that enters the ear canal. No doubt ear-plugs are less expensive and risk-free people are not sure about its efficacy.  So, how to pop your ears using ear plugs is questionable due to its efficiency.  

The Otovent: 

and similar devices are intended to be used in the same way as the Valsalva technique. The nozzle is meant to be placed into a single nose for use. A deflated balloon can be found at the opposite end. At the same time, the other nostril is pinched tightly. You can inflate the balloon through the nozzle in your first nose. Those who struggle to perform the Valsalva correctly, such as children, may benefit greatly from the use of this device. 

The Ear Popper:

 is a medically-recommended tool for clearing out your aural passages. It’s as easy as placing the device in one nostril, closing the other, and pressing a button. The machine blows air into the nose and Eustachian tubes. 

In order to securely pop your ears, you can purchase a variety of apparatuses on the internet. 

Use of medicine

The use of an antibiotic is common among seasoned travelers. According to an older study, oral medicine is more effective than nostril sprays. If you take the medication 30 min before landing-it can reduce the size of the nasal and Eustachian tubes. It will be helpful in preventing pressure imbalance. 

Keep your eyes open during the flight, especially on the way down and landing. At this stage, ear congestion is more common. Even frequent swallowing while sleeping may not be sufficient to prevent blockage. 

Babies have trouble clearing their ears since they cannot pop or swallow them on purpose. The babies can clear their ears by sucking and swallowing. It can be aided by breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or by the use of a pacifier. The infant may need to be awakened during the flight down to prevent any discomfort once they get to their destination. 


While searching how to pop your ears, you should keep in mind that the human ear is one of the most delicate organs in the body. ENT doctors usually recommend that their patients clean their ears on a regular basis. Using a cotton swab to treat or avoid earwax every night might cause damage to the ear. 

While cleaning your ear, be careful not to insert your finger and to use a gentle touch. To clean the outer ear, simply use a warm, damp cloth. 

When see a doctor regarding ear popping

“All of these methods are safe and effective. “But depending on the root cause, they could cause serious harm.” You shouldn’t worry about your stuffy ears unless you’re experiencing severe weather changes or an allergic reaction. But chronic blocked ears, especially if accompanied by other symptoms, maybe a sign of something more serious. Focus on things like:

  • Pain
  • Discharge. 
  • Dizziness. 
  • Damage to the ears’ auditory system 
  • Ringing. 

If this is the case, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor so they can diagnose the problem and prescribe a medicine. It is essential to treat the underlying medical issue that is causing your blocked ears, such as a swimmer’s ear or allergies. 

So, in conclusion 

How to pop your ears might be annoying, but it’s typically not too difficult to fix on your own. Some situations may require some form of medical attention. It’s natural to want your stuffy ear to clear up immediately. The condition can be irritating and unpleasant. To what extent it takes time to heal, depends on the underlying cause and how fast you choose a treatment. 

If your ears are blocked due to water or air pressure, you may find relief rapidly. It may take a week or longer for an ear infection or impacted wax to discharge out of your ear completely. Especially if you have a persistent sinus infection, this can take more than a week. Receiving appropriate care can speed up your healing process.

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