Airplane ear, ear barotrauma, barotitis media or aerotitis media are all names for a familiar and irritating situation--when your ear has popped and you can't get it to pop back. In this article we will discuss some ear popping cures to get your hearing back to normal.
What Causes It?
Most ear popping occurs because of some kind of pressure change. This could be from an aeroplane ride, scuba diving or from having some kind of respiratory congestion like a cold. Regardless of how the pressure inside your ear becomes unbalanced with the pressure outside of your ear, it is extremely annoying but generally easily resolved
Traditional Ear Popping Cures
In order to get your ears to pop, you need to create a temporary high pressure situation inside so that your ears adjust to the outside pressure. You can do this by yawning, chewing gum or swallowing really hard (either big gulps of air or some kind of a beverage). What you are trying to do, according to the National Institutes of Health, is to open the Eustachian tube. This tube connects the middle ear and the back of the nose and throat. By opening it, you allow air to flow into or out of the middle ear, keeping the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum equal.
It Didn't Work--Now What?
If you have tried the traditional methods and they have failed, then it's time to bring out the big guns--medication, heating pads and more aggressive techniques.
Medication can include antihistamines or decongestants--which are extremely effective if your ears popped because of an illness. You can also try lying on your side with your ear directly on top of a heating pad to see if this can relax the pressure. If these don't work, then a more aggressive technique, like inhaling, pinching your nostrils shut and closing your mouth while exhaling, might force the air pressure change and pop your ears.
If none of these techniques work, then please consult a doctor about what to do next. Unpopped ears aren't just severely uncomfortable, but they can also make you dizzy and disoriented.