Your ears may pop from flying, scuba diving or hiking up mountains, or simply riding in an elevator. The pressure in your ears changes as the air pressure around you decreases or increases as you travel higher. This can cause pressure on one side of your eardrum and can cause it to be painful. However, the pain can be temporarily managed.

You may feel pressure and want to relieve it by popping your ears. There are many ways to do this.

How to pop your ears

Your Eustachian tube is the part of your ear that pops. This tube protects your middle ear and helps to ventilate it. The Eustachian tube maintains equal air pressure on both ends of your eardrum.

Your Eustachian tubes can open if there is pressure buildup in your middle ear. When the tubes are opened, the pressure in your ears equalizes. This is how your ears pop to alleviate pressure and potential pain.

You can pop your ears by holding your nose.

The best way to pop your ears is to hold your nose and blow it out. Take a deep breath. Next, close your mouth with your fingers. Then, gently blow against the pressure. This should cause your ears to pop.

Your Eustachian tubes will open slightly when you blow against the pressure. This allows fluid and pressure to drain from your ears. This method can be dangerous, but it is a common misconception. You won’t risk bursting your eardrum if you don’t apply too much pressure or sneeze like this.

You can pop your ears by blowing up a balloon.

You can pop your ears by blowing up balloons. To expand the balloon, you pressurize it to push air up into your Eustachian tube. This method can be used whenever you feel pressure buildup in your ears.

You can purchase balloons specifically for popping your ears. These balloons can be used to treat common problems such as ear infections. You can blow up the balloon with your nose and then block one nostril at a time. These balloons are intended for children with a history of ear infections.

This method should not be used if your nose is runny or you have a cold. This could lead to infected mucus and an ear infection.

Flex your jaw to pop your ears

Sometimes, people can pop their ears by flexing their jaw muscles. Flexing your jaw can help open the Eustachian tube and release the pressure.

This method is a bit gentler than popping your ears with your nose. You can adjust your jaw to prevent pressure buildup when you are flying or in an elevator.

By yawning, you can pop your ears.

You’re actually swallowing air by opening your mouth and yawning. Your ears can be popped by your mouth moving and swallowing. This equalizes the pressure inside and out.

Swallow frequently to pop your ears

Your ears will pop if you swallow water or other drinks. To pop your ears, you can pinch your nose shut. This creates a vacuum inside your nose which helps your Eustachian tubes to open.

Chewing gum when you have to deal with pressure changes can also be a good way to pop your ears. Sucking on a mint or chewing gum can make your mouth more salivate and cause frequent swallowing. You can also reduce pressure by moving your jaw to chew.

When should you see a doctor?

Eustachian tube dysfunction is a condition where your ears feel like they are popping. Your tubes don’t have the ability to equalize pressure properly. This can cause your ears to feel full all the time.

Your doctor will recommend the best treatment plan if you are diagnosed with the condition. You may be prescribed a decongestant or antihistamine. You may experience ringing in your ears during allergy season or flying. Your doctor may recommend surgery to correct the problem in severe cases.

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