Person demonstrating popping your ears

Have you ever felt pressure in your ears that you wanted to relieve? Have you ever popped your ears to do so? Have you then wondered, “Is what I just did safe?”

What does “popping your ears” mean?

Popping your ears is when you open the Eustachian tube to equalize pressure between your inner and middle ear. And don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe. In fact, popping your ears can help relieve any pain associated with clogged ears and unequal ear pressure. This may also happen naturally, such as when you’re flying or climbing at a high altitude.

What are good ways to pop my ears?

There are a number of easy, safe ways to pop your ears. First, try swallowing, chewing gum, or sucking on hard candy. Swallowing activates the muscles that open the Eustachian tube. If you are with a baby who needs to equalize their ear pressure, a bottle or pacifier can help. Yawning, even a fake yawn, can help, too.

Another thing you can try is to pinch your nostrils closed and gently try to expel air through your nose. This creates pressure in the back of your nose that may open the Eustachian tube. Pinching your nostrils and swallowing can also be effective.

Heat is also a good way to open your Eustachian tubes. Applying a warm washcloth or using a heating pad can help pop your ears. On top of that, the heat may help sooth any pain you may feel.

What are some medical ways to relieve ear pressure?

If you need a little extra help unclogging your ears, over-the-counter nasal decongestants and steroids may help. Just remember to follow the instructions before use. Also, visit a doctor if they don’t help.

If all else fails, ear tubes could be the solution you need to equalize your ear pressure. Ear tubes are an extremely common procedure, especially among babies and small children. It only takes a surgeon about ten minutes to insert ear tubes, and they eventually fall out on their own.

Ear care at CEENTA

Popping your ears is a safe, effective way to equalize your ear pressure, but if your at-home attempts don’t work, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a CEENTA doctor. They will help make sure your ears are healthy and don’t have any pressure-related problems.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our physicians in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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