Why does it happens?
The popping of the ears is a slight click or popping sound that is caused when you swallow anything. It happens when a small bubble of air enters the Eustachian tube, which is a thin membrane-lined tube that connects the nose with the middle ear. The air bubble is absorbed by the tube & so maintaining the pressure in the outer and inner side of the ears. But, when the air pressure is not equal, the pressure on the Eustachian tube increases, which fails to maintain the pressure, which results to the blocking of ears.
Some common causes
-Infections such as common cold, sinus infection and middle ear infections.
-Inflammation in the ears or allergies which makes you vulnerable to blocked ears.
-Excessive accumulation of wax in the ear if not cleaned regularly.
-The accidental entry of water in the ear which is common when swimming or taking a bath.
-Changes in altitude which increases the pressure in the ears.
How to pop up the blocked ears?
Swallowing helps to activate the muscles that open the eustachian tube. Sipping water or sucking on hard candy can help to increase the need to swallow.
Yawning helps to open the eustachian tubes. Try forcing a yawn several times until the ears pop open.
If yawning and swallowing do not work, take a deep breath and pinch the nose shut. Keeping the mouth closed, try to blow air through the nose gently.
It is best to be cautious when performing this maneuver because there is a small risk of rupturing the eardrum.
To do the Toynbee maneuver, pinch the nose closed and close the mouth, then try swallowing. Having a mouthful of water may make it a little easier.
Chewing gum helps increase swallowing because it stimulates saliva production. Also, the chewing motion can also help to open the eustachian tubes.
To perform this maneuver, pinch the nose closed and use the tongue to make a clicking or “K” sound.
Try some special devices
There are devices available that can help to clear the ears. These are especially useful for people who are not able to use or perform the above maneuvers safely or effectively.
There are three types of devices:
- Special earplugs: These special earplugs claim to help to regulate the flow of air from the environment into the ear. It is not clear whether they are truly effective, but they are inexpensive and risk-free.
- Otovent: The Otovent and similar devices mimic the motions used in the Valsalva maneuver. To use it, insert the nozzle into one nostril. At the other end is a deflated balloon. Pinch the open nostril closed and blow up the balloon using the nozzle in the first nostril. This device can be especially helpful in children or other people who are not able to use the Valsalva correctly.
- EarPopper: The EarPopper is a prescription device that can help to open the eustachian tubes. Simply insert the device into one nostril, close the other, and push a button. The device releases small puffs of air through the nose and into the eustachian tubes.