Have you ever feel problems with your ears while traveling on a plane, where you feel your ears are clogged? Or when water gets stuck in your ears, then you need to pop your ears.
When you have clogged ears, maybe at that time, someone suggests you chewing gum. And most often, you don’t even realize that sometimes it works.
What is Clogged Ear?
Ear barotraumas occur when a person is not well or traveling in an airplane, or changing altitude. But in some cases, ear clogged or blocked can be painful. Now, the question arises, how to get your ears to pop? The answer is by following the below tips you can get rid of a clogged ear.
A Few Tips to Pop Your Ear
The following points are the answer to your question of ‘how to pop your ears’:
Swallow can help the muscles to open the Eustachian tube. This tube joins the middle ear to the back of your nose. Swallowing water or sucking on hard candies will help activate this response.
With the help of yawning, the Eustachian tube can be opened. Try a fake yawn, if you can’t do it on a cue. Open your mouth wider as much as you can and try it until your ears pop.
You need to pinch your nose shut with your fingers while swallowing. Some studies show that the Toynbee maneuver is effective similar to the Valsalva maneuver, but the result may vary from person to person. You can try both methods to check out which method is best for you.
If yawning and swallowing don’t work, then try this technique. You need to hold your nose, close your mouth and make sure to pull in your cheeks. After this, blow air via your nose by keeping your mouth closed. Be cautious while doing this maneuver because of the risk of breakage of the eardrum.
With the help of chewing gum, swallowing may increase because it stimulates the production of saliva. Additionally, it helps to open the Eustachian tubes as well.
Using a Warm Washcloth
Place a heating pad or warm washcloth against your affected ear because it can help to remove congestion. It will also help to open the Eustachian tube. This is the best method to get your ears to pop if they are clogged because of cold, allergies, or flu.
Unblocking your nasal passageway will help to make your ears pop. If you want to use an OTC nasal decongestant, then ensure to follow the instructions carefully. You may want to try Toynbee or Valsalva maneuver after using a decongestant.
In severe cases, doctors may suggest you this surgical technique to reduce pain and pressure. In this procedure, the doctor will manage local anesthesia. After this, they will place thin ventilation tubes called pressure-equalizing (PE) tubes. The tubes will help to drain out the excess fluid.
The whole process will take around 10 minutes, and it is performed in a doctor’s clinic or hospital.
How Does Ear Popping Work?
The supply of the air to the middle ear is through the Eustachian tube. It helps to maintain the pressure on both sides of the eardrum equally. If there is unequal pressure, then your eardrum may swell inward or outward. You may feel heavy or swelling in your ear. When you pop your ear, which means you are moving the eardrum to its place. It helps in reducing the unequal pressure and removing the discomfort.
When you swallow, yawn or blow your nose, it automatically opens the Eustachian tube. While doing these motions, you may feel clicking or popping sound. The sound that you hear is caused when air enters the middle ear via the Eustachian tube. If you find difficulty and are unable to pop your ear, then maybe it is blocked. It can be due to mucus, fluid, or earwax.
When Do You Need to Seek Medical Help?
If your ear is blocked and it is still in the same condition for more than two weeks and you feel pain, then you need to seek medical help. You can seek help from a doctor if you are experiencing the following conditions:
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TJD)
- Earwax buildup
A blocked eardrum can lead to swelling, and even it can be the bursting point that can cause perforated eardrum. The reason can be due to the pressure changes. You need to have medical help if you have a perforated eardrum.
This condition may get resolved within two weeks, but severe cases may require an eardrum surgery or patch.
Pop Your Clogged Ears Before They Get Worse
Before you get into a worse condition, make sure to pop your ears to get relief from blocked ears. Popping ear is safe and effective if you are doing it gently. Ensure to seek help from a doctor if your ears start paining. In some cases, surgery may be required if ear blocking is getting worse.