The desire to unpop your ears occurs when the Eustachian tube closes. The Eustachian tube runs upward from the back of the nose to the middle ear and enables fluid to drain. The tube usually opens quickly to keep the pressure equal inside and outside the ears. When this tube stays closed, it affects hearing, and the pressure can become uncomfortable. Reasons that the Eustachian tube may close include quickly changing altitude in an aeroplane, an elevator or skiing downhill. A blocked Eustachian tube usually clears by itself , but some remedies can help the process.
Yawn largely. This is the easiest and quickest way to unpop your ears. Sometimes the ears open immediately because the yawn equalises pressure in the Eustachian tube.
Chew gum when you take off and land in an aeroplane. Start chewing gum before the plane takes off and before the plane begins the descent to land. If you fly with an infant, let the child suck on a bottle during take-offs and landings to ease her ear pressure.
Hold your nose, close your mouth and act like you are blowing your nose. This sometimes opens the Eustachian tube to ease pressure. Do this gently, and don't use too much force because that could damage your eardrums.
Drink fluids with a large, exaggerated gulping action. The normal act of swallowing is what the Eustachian tube normally uses to keep pressure equal.
Place a heating pad set on low heat or a warm washcloth on the affected ear, or ears, and side of the neck. This can help to alleviate discomfort.
Call your doctor if the condition continues or is painful. Blocked ears can be a symptom of an ear infection.
Tips and warnings
- Call your doctor if the condition continues or is painful. Blocked ears can be a symptom of an ear infection.