How to Pop Your Ears – The Ultimate Guide

A Comprehensive Guide to Popping Your Ears

Hello Challenger, welcome to our ultimate guide on how to pop your ears. If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to relieve the pressure in your ears after a flight, a cold or a swim, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from this uncomfortable sensation of blocked ears, but luckily, there are several ways to relieve it.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the science behind why ears get blocked and provide you with simple, effective methods for popping your ears.


What Causes Blocked Ears?

Before we dive into how to pop your ears, let’s first understand why this happens. The most common cause of blocked ears is a difference in air pressure between the inside and outside of the ear. This can occur when travelling in an airplane, driving through mountains or simply from a change in altitude.

Another cause of blocked ears is excess earwax which can build up and block the ear canal. This is particularly common in people who use earplugs or headphones frequently or those who have naturally extensive earwax production.

In some cases, a blocked ear could indicate an underlying medical condition, such as an ear infection, a perforated eardrum, or allergies, preventing the Eustachian tube from opening and closing properly. If you’re experiencing pain or sudden hearing loss, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately.

What are the Symptoms of Blocked Ears?

There are several symptoms of blocked ears to look out for, including:

Symptom Description
Ear pain A dull ache or sharp pain in the ear
Difficulty hearing Muffled or reduced hearing in one or both ears
Fullness sensation Feeling like your ears are clogged or stuffed with something
Ringing in the ears Hearing a buzzing, ringing, or humming noise in the ears

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to address the issue promptly to avoid any potential long-term damage to your hearing.

When to Seek Professional Help?

If you suffer from extreme or prolonged ear pressure or pain, we advise that you seek medical attention to ensure any underlying issues are appropriately diagnosed and treated. In these rare cases, medical professionals may recommend medication or even surgery to alleviate severe ear pressure.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move on to our guide on how to pop your ears.

How to Pop Your Ears – The Actionable Guide (7 Methods)

Method 1: Swallowing

One simple method to pop your ears is to swallow. This movement helps to open the Eustachian tube, which equalizes the pressure in the ear.

To perform this method:

  1. Take a deep breath through your nose, and hold it.
  2. Swallow repeatedly or yawn until you feel your ears pop.
  3. Release the breath through your nose.

This technique works well on airplanes, during elevation changes, or when you feel pressure building up in your ears.

Method 2: Valsalva Maneuver

The Valsalva maneuver is another simple method to pop your ears by applying pressure inside the ear canal. It involves closing the mouth and throat, then gently blowing out through the nose while keeping it plugged.

To perform this method:

  1. Breathe in deeply.
  2. Pinch your nostrils shut with your fingers.
  3. Gently blow out of your nostrils, as if you were trying to blow your nose.
  4. You should feel a gentle ‘pop’ in your ears.

Be careful not to blow too hard, as this can cause damage to the eardrum or other ear structures.

Method 3: Toynbee Maneuver

The Toynbee Maneuver is similar to the Valsalva maneuver, but it involves swallowing while performing the technique. It’s also more gentle than the Valsalva maneuver, making it a better option for people with sensitive ears or a history of ear infections.

To perform this method:

  1. Pinch your nose shut with your fingers.
  2. Take a sip of water and hold it in your mouth.
  3. Swallow the water while keeping your nose plugged.

Method 4: Yawning

Yawning is another natural way to pop your ears. As you yawn, your jaw muscles open your Eustachian tubes, releasing any pressure that has built up inside the ear canal.

If you’re having trouble yawning, try looking at a photo of somebody else yawning or stretching your jaws slowly.

Method 5: Chewing Gum

Chewing gum can be a fun and simple way to unblock your ears. The chewing motion and swallowing increase the production of saliva, which can help open the Eustachian tube and equalize the pressure in your ears.

Just make sure to pack some gum or sugar-free candy with you on your next flight or adventure to get instant relief for your ears.

Method 6: Nasal Irrigation

Nasal irrigation is a useful technique that can help people with stubborn ear blockages. It involves flushing your nasal passages with a saline solution, which helps to clear mucus and reduce inflammation.

To perform nasal irrigation:

  1. Fill a neti pot or irrigation bottle with a saline solution.
  2. Stand over a sink or basin and tilt your head to one side.
  3. Gently pour the saline solution into one nostril.
  4. The solution should flow through your nasal passages and out the opposite nostril, clearing the mucus and mucus that has blocked your ears.

Method 7: Over-The-Counter Medication

Over-the-counter medication like decongestants or antihistamines can help relieve congestion and treat air pressure inside your ear. Decongestants work by reducing swelling in the nasal passages and throat, while antihistamines can decrease pressure by blocking swelling near the Eustachian tube.

Before taking any medication, however, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure there are no potential side-effects or drug interactions if you are on other medication.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is it Safe to Pop Your Ears?

Yes, it is safe to pop your ears as long as you don’t use excessive force or apply too much pressure to your eardrums. If you notice any sudden pain or muffled sounds, stop immediately and consult with a doctor.

2. How Often Can You Pop Your Ears?

You can pop your ears as often as you need to relieve pressure or blockages inside your ear canal. However, it’s important to do so with care and not to overdo it or pop your ears too forcefully.

3. Can You Pop Your Ears Too Hard?

Yes, you can pop your ears too hard, which can damage your eardrum or other ear structures. Always use gentle pressure and avoid using foreign objects inside your ears.

4. Can Earwax Buildup Cause Blocked Ears?

Yes, excessive earwax buildup can block the ear canal and cause blocked ears. To prevent this, it is essential to clean your ears regularly and avoid using cotton swabs or other foreign objects inside your ears.

5. How Can You Prevent Blocked Ears?

Some simple ways to prevent blocked ears include:

  1. Chewing gum
  2. Swallowing frequently and yawning
  3. Avoiding flying while you have a cold or allergies
  4. Using earplugs or headphones with noise-cancelling technology
  5. Cleaning your ears regularly

6. Can Blocked Ears Cause Vertigo?

Yes, blocked ears can cause vertigo or dizziness, which can make you feel unbalanced or dizzy. This happens because the vestibular system, which controls balance and spatial awareness, is located inside the ear.

7. How Long Does It Take for Blocked Ears to Clear?

The time it takes for blocked ears to clear depends on the individual’s case. If it is caused by infection or inflammation, it may take longer to clear than if it’s caused by a change in altitude or air pressure. If you’re experiencing pain, hearing loss, or severe pressure, it’s best to consult with your doctor to find the underlying cause and proper treatment.


Blocked ears can be a frustrating and painful experience, but thankfully, there are several simple and effective ways to pop your ears and relieve the pressure. Whether it’s by swallowing, yawning, or using nasal irrigation, these methods can help alleviate the discomfort and restore your hearing.

If you’re experiencing any severe symptoms or prolonged discomfort, it’s essential to seek medical attention to ensure there are no underlying issues.

So, don’t suffer in silence. Try these simple and effective methods for popping your ears and enjoy the world around you with ease!

Closing Statement with Disclaimer

We hope that our ultimate guide on how to pop your ears has been helpful and informative. It’s important to note that the information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your doctor or audiologist if you are experiencing severe or prolonged symptoms.

Also, we remind our readers that each individual’s case is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, always use these methods with care and be mindful of your body’s response.

Finally, please note that this article is intended for information and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care or diagnosis. We are not liable or responsible for any damages or injuries that may arise from the use of the content in this article. Use this information at your own risk.