How to get rid of ear popping

Updated February 21, 2017

Ear popping is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as impaired hearing, ear pain and the feeling that your ears are "plugged." Some patients also experience balance problems. If you experience persistent ear popping, see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. It's possible that you have an ear infection, in which case the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Or you may have a condition called Eustachian tube dysfunction. The Eustachian tubes are conduits that allow air flow to the middle ears. They can become blocked, causing ear popping. This may be caused by a cold, alleriges or a sinus infection.

Open your Eustachian tubes if you have been diagnosed with Eustachian tube dysfunction. Swallow or chew gum. If this does not work, pinch your nose shut and try to expel air with your mouth closed. This can pop the Eustachian tubes back open.

Take an over-the-counter decongestant. This may be an oral pill or you may try nasal drops. Directions for use will vary depending on the product you select; follow all instructions on the label.

Ask your doctor about taking an antihistamine or a steroidal nasal spray such as corticosteroids if your condition is related to allergies. He may prescribe one of these drugs or he may recommend an over-the-counter medication.

Clean your nose out with a saltwater or saline solution. The Mayo Clinic recommends using a saltwater rinse to relieve swelling of the Eustachian tubes. Spray the saltwater up your nose at least twice daily to clean out possible irritants that cause swelling.

See an ears, nose and throat (ENT) specialist if your symptoms do not improve. According to the McKinley Health Center, surgery is not often necessary for this condition, however severe cases may require it to resolve the dysfunction.


Avoid swimming, diving, mountain-climbing or flying while you have ear problems. Your ears may not be able to adjust to changes in atmospheric pressure.

Things You'll Need

  • Decongestant
  • Antihistamine
  • Nasal spray
  • Saltwater/saline solution
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About the Author

Catherine Chase is a professional writer specializing in history and health topics. Chase also covers finance, home improvement and gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American studies from Skidmore College.