How to Pop Your Ears – 7 Tips to Do it Safely

If you have troubles with your ears on a plane or your ears suddenly feel blocked? it may be due to hiking a mountain, riding, flying or in an elevator. Because air pressure increases around you as you go lower or decreases as you go higher. So, here are 7 effectives ways to pop your ears safely.

Your body naturally maintains a normal air pressure on both sides of your ears or eardrum. When pressure changes the outside of the ears, you may feel your ears are blocked or plugged. It may depend on the amount of pressure changes and you may feel the pain accordingly.

Most of the people had the painful sensation of their ears and feeling full, blocked, clogged or even plugged and needing to pop, for this term medical called as ear barotrauma. It happens when the person is sick or changing altitude.

So, if you’re wondering what this sensation is and how to pop your ears safely? Then read this article till the end for more information about this common experience.

Is it Safe to Pop Your Ears?

When your ears are blocked or plugged, you can be uncomfortable and may stop hearing. When this happens with you then popping your ears can help you.

Generally, popping your ears is safe, you can just move your mouth muscles. But you need to do it with good technique and correctly. If you’re feeling worse symptoms then you need to consult a doctor instead of popping your ears.

So, it’s very important to talk to a doctor, they may give you good suggestions and help you in this situation.  

7 Effective Ways to Pop Your Ears

Popping your ears can help to regulate the pressure in the middle ear and open the eustachian tubes.

There are a number of techniques you can try to help pop your ears safely and effectively. 

01. Yawning

Yawning is the best technique to open the eustachian tube. If you can’t yawn naturally then try a fake yawn. Try to open your mouth as wide as you can and try to breathe in and out. Try forcing a yawn every few minutes until the ears pop open.

02. Swallowing

When you swallow, it will help to activate the muscles and automatically work to open the Eustachian tube. 

Sipping water, chewing gum and sucking on hard candy can help you activate swallow.

03. Apply Warm Washcloth

Applying a warm washcloth or holding warm washcloth against the ear can help to open the eustachian tube. This method is one of the most effective if your ears are blocked due to cold or allergies.

04. Valsalva Maneuver

If the above method does not work, then try to do the Valsalva maneuver. Take a deep breath and pinch your nose closed with your fingers, keeping your mouth closed. Then, try to blow air gently through the nose.

This process generates the pressure in the back of the nose that will help to open the eustachian tube.

05. Toynbee Maneuver

Toynbee maneuver technique is also effective and to do this technique, pinch your nose close with your fingers and close the mouth also. Then try swallowing. If it’s had water in your mouth that makes it easier.

This technique gives results that differ from person to person, you need to find out which method works best for you.

06. Frenzel Maneuver

This technique is also effective and to do this, pinch the nose closed with your fingers and mouth closed, use your tongue to make a clicking sound.

07. Nasal Decongestants

This method can help you open your clogged ears but you need to follow the direction carefully and you can try Toynbee maneuver and Valsalva maneuver after using a Nasal decongestant.

You Can Try Special Devices and Medications

There are many devices available in the market that help people to pop their ears safely. These devices are useful for those who are not able to perform or use above methods safely or effectively.

Here are three types of devices:

  • Otovent
  • Special earplugs
  • Ear Popper

Most of the travellers often take medication when they fly. The intranasal sprays and pills both can work great and can be more effective.

Taking medications 30 minutes before landing or take-off can help to clear the ears. It’s important to avoid sleeping during landing or take-off, while flying.  Because your ears can become clogged while flying. So, sometimes you may find it difficult to clear your ears.

How Does Ear Popping Work?

Inside your ears there is a small tube called an eustachian tube that supplies air to the middle ear. This will help to maintain equal amounts of pressure on the both sides of the ears.

If you find any difference in pressure, your ears may bulge outward or inward in response. This will cause fullness or blockage in the ear. So, popping your ears can help move the eardrum back into place and open the Eustachian tube.

When you do these above popping methods like swallow, yawn, or maneuver, you will hear popping or clicking sounds. Remember that this sound is caused by air entering the middle of your ear through your eustachian tube.

What to Do When Your Ears Won’t Pop

It usually takes a few tries to equalize pressure to your ears, if you can’t relieve the pressure after two weeks or longer, still experiencing the pain in the pain, consult your doctor.

There may be underlying conditions that may cause the blocked or clogged feeling in your ears. These may include:

  • Allergies
  • Ear infection or sinus
  • Common cold
  • Earwax buildup
  • Adenoids

It’s important to talk to a doctor if your ears do not pop using these strategies or your discomfort in your ear. In this situation they may suggest medications or they help to clear the ear, or antibiotics if the person has an ear infection.

Why Your Ears Won’t Pop

If you feel pressure, sensation or the pain in your ears and they won’t pop, then you may have an underlying ear disorder that is affecting the function of your eustachian tube. So, here are some of the problems we have listed that can affect the ability of your ears to pop.

Excessive ear wax: too much cerumen (ear wax) can also impair the function of your eustachian tube.

Congestion: too much mucus can fill your eustachian tube and makes it difficult to maintain the pressure in the middle ear space. So, congestion is like an allergy in that you can take decongestant medications before flying.     

Fluid in the ear: the fluid blocks or clogged the eustachian tube and sometimes it may be caused by infection.

Sometimes your ears will block and unblock themselves naturally, this may usually happen due to changes in the air pressure.

QNA on Popping Your Ears

Will Clogged Ear Go Away by Itself?

Generally, clogged ears are temporary and most of the people successfully treat themselves with popping techniques and home remedies or even OTC medications. If you’re experiencing ear pain and hearing loss after a long time, then you need to talk to a doctor.

How Long Does a Blocked Ear Last?

It depends on what it takes to block, meaning if your ears are blocked from air pressure or water can be resolved quickly and easily, but if your ears are blocked from infections and earwax can take up to2 to 3 weeks to clear up. So, in this situation you can talk to a doctor.  

Can Steam Help a Blocked Ear?

Taking steam can help unclog or unblock your ears when the cause in an allergy or any infection in the ears. Because  the sinuses connect directly back to the ears.

The Bottom Line

The above 7 techniques work well and popping your ears is usually effective and safe, as long as you’re gentle. The above ear popping technique works great within a few tries.

But if your ears do not pop or you are experiencing significant ear pain, then you should consult a doctor. They may help you in this case and clear your ears.

Hopefully, you like this article, if you have any questions and suggestions kindly put them in the comment box below.

Note: this information is only for your knowledge and is your feeling ears blocked immediately talk to doctor. 

You’ll also like:

Leave a Comment