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I’ve Tried Everything and My Ear Won’t POP

Ear trauma is usually caused by illness or when someone changes altitude. For example, when someone is flying, driving up a mountain or diving at the start of a scuba diver.

How can someone make their ears pop? Continue reading to learn more about this common sensation.

I’ve Tried Everything and My Ear Won’t POP

The best way to open the eustachian tube and regulate pressure in the middle ear is to poke your ears.

There are many ways to pop your ears safely and effectively.

Yawn

Yawning can open the eustachian tube. You can force your ears to open by forcing a yawn multiple times.

Swallow

Swallowing activates the muscles that open and close the eustachian tubes. Drinking water and sucking hard candy can increase your need to swallow.

Valsalva maneuver

If swallowing and yawning fail, you can take a deep inhale and pinch your nose to close the gap. Keep your mouth shut and try to blow gently through the nose.

This maneuver can cause a slight eardrum rupture so be careful.

Toynbee maneuver

To perform the Toynbee maneuver close your nose and then close your mouth. Next, try swallowing. It may be easier if you have a glass of water in your mouth.

Frenzel maneuver

This maneuver is performed by pinching your nose and using the tongue to make a clicking sound or “K” sound.

Chewing gum

Chewing gum can increase swallowing, as it stimulates saliva production. The chewing motion can open the eustachian tube by opening them.

Try special devices

Clearing the ears is possible with certain devices. These devices are particularly useful for those who cannot perform the above maneuvers safely and effectively.

There are three types:

  • Special Earplugs These earplugs help regulate airflow from the environment to the ear. Although it isn’t clear if they are effective, they are affordable and non-threatening.
  • Otovent : Similar devices and Otovents mimic the Valsalva maneuver. You can use it by inserting the nozzle into your nostril. The other end of the nozzle is a balloon that has been deflated. The nozzle can blow up the balloon at the first nostril. This is especially useful for children and other people who cannot use the Valsalva properly.
  • EarPopper – The EarPopper can open your eustachian tube. Just insert the device in one nostril and close the other. Then push the button. The device emits small amounts of air through the nose into the eustachian tube.

To help people pop their ears, many devices can be purchased online.

Medication

When travelling with seasoned travellers, they often use a decongestant. While both intranasal and pills can be effective, an older study showed that oral medication was more effective.

The medicine can be taken 30 minutes before takeoff or landing to reduce the size of the mucous membranes and eustachian tube, which makes it easier to clear the ears.

It is important not to sleep during a flight, especially when landing and descending. This is more commonplace for the ears to get clogged. Infrequently swallowing during sleep may not suffice to clear them.

Sometimes infants have difficulty clearing their ears because they can’t swallow or pop their ears.

Baby can be helped to suck or swallow by being fed at the breast, with a bottle or with a pacifier. To avoid discomfort later, you might need to wake the baby while descending.

What happens when your ears pop?

The eustachian tube, which connects with the throat, is located inside the ears. The eustachian tubes drain fluid from the ears and regulate the air pressure between the nose & ears.

Swallowing allows the tube to open and the small air bubble to escape from the nose and enter the ear.

People often notice a clicking or popping sound in their ears when they swallow. This is due to the air moving into their ears.

Air is constantly absorbed into the linings of the ears. This helps maintain the same air pressure on each side of the eardrum.

It can lead to a feeling in the ears that your ears are full if the eustachian tubes become blocked or the outside pressure is too high.

Blocked eustachian tubes

A blocked Eustachian tube is most commonly caused by a stuffy nose. This could be due to a sinus infection or a head cold.

The eustachian tubes can become blocked or clogged if the nose becomes stuffed.

Common causes of a blocked or obstructed Eustachian tube are also the buildup of earwax.

The eustachian tubes can become blocked and prevent air bubbles from entering the middle ear. This creates a vacuum that pulls on the eardrum.

This can be very uncomfortable and can lead to other problems in your ear, such as hearing loss or dizziness.

Air pressure can be changed.

The pressure inside the ear is almost always the same as outside. The air pressure can change at higher altitudes (e.g., deep-sea diving or flying in an airplane).

In order to maintain the air pressure, the eustachian tubes must be opened wider and more often.

People often notice that their ears hurt more during takeoff or landing, especially if the plane is speeding up or slowing down.

It can also occur when there are sudden pressure or altitude changes.

When should you see the doctor?

If the ears don’t pop, a person with clogged ears should visit their doctor. If you are experiencing persistent pain in your ear, contact your doctor immediately.

If an ear infection is present, the doctor might recommend medication such as steroids or decongestants to clear it.

Rarely surgery may be necessary to open the eardrum and drain the fluid.

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