How to Unpop Your Ears Easily and Naturally

When you fly in an airplane you often feel that you need to unpop your ears. In fact, any sudden change in pressure around the eardrum like when scuba diving, driving up and down mountains, or going through a tunnel in a train can make you need to pop your ears. Sometimes having a cold or blocked up sinuses can make you feel an urge to constantly pop your ears. To get rid of the uncomfortable feeling in your ears, many people have found that yawning, chewing gum, sucking on a candy, or even blowing your nose are all excellent ways to unpop your ears.



People need to pop their ears to relieve pressure that has built up in their eardrum. For some people, the pressure that builds up can cause discomfort and be quite painful. However, the feeling of having to pop your ears is usually temporary and there are many natural ways to relieve the painful feeling of popped ears.

Why Your Ears Pop

Inside your ear there is a small tube called the Eustachian tube which connects your middle ear with the back of your nose. Usually, if the pressure is not equal on both sides of the eardrum, you will hear a small popping sound in your ear when you swallow. This happens because an air bubble has traveled through the Eustachian tube from the back of your nose to your middle ear.

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, if the air pressure is not equal on both sides of the eardrum, the ear can feel blocked. This creates a vacuum in the ear which causes sounds to be muffled or blocked. The uneven pressure in the ear can cause pain because the vacuum stretches the eardrum, leaving you with a feeling that you need to pop your ears.

The condition is sometimes called airplane ear because it most frequently occurs when flying. The fast changes in altitude when taking off and landing causes the air pressure changes in the Eustachian tube.

The Best Natural Ways to Unpop Your Ears

There are many natural methods that you can use to unpop your ears and relieve the pain that is often associated with it. Here are some of the best ways.

The Valsalva Maneuver

The Mayo Clinic says that an effective way to pop your ears naturally is to use the Valsalva maneuver to balance the pressure in your ears. To unpop your ears you should pinch your nostrils and gently blow as if blowing your nose, while at the same time keeping your mouth closed. You should repeat this action several times to relieve pressure and pop your ears.

Open Your Mouth and Yawn

During takeoff and landing try opening your mouth wide and yawn to help pop your ears. The British Tinnitus Association says that this action helps to open your Eustachian tubes and helps to balance the pressure in your ears.3 To make yourself yawn and relieve pressure in your ears, this is what you should do:
  1. Open your mouth enough to say “ahhh.”
  2. Keep your mouth open and slowly form an “O” shape. This should cause you to yawn and the yawning action will balance the pressure in both ears.
  3. Keep doing this until you feel your ears unpop. When this happens, you should hear the pop and be able to hear much clearer.
Try Chewing a Piece of Gum / Sucking on Candy

You can avoid the unpleasant experience of a build-up of pressure in your ear if you chew on a piece of gum or suck on some candy before takeoff. The American Academy of Otolaryngology says that the chewing or sucking action helps to open the Eustachian tube and prevents pressure in the ear.1 So, you may find that by doing that you don’t have to pop your ears at all!

Gently Blow Your Nose

Another way to pop your ears when flying or if you have a cold is to gently blow your nose to relieve the pressure in your Eustachian tubes. Actually, blowing your nose works exactly the same way as the Valsalva maneuver which helps to completely unpop your ears.

If your ears feel blocked because of having a cold or the flu, blowing your nose will help to both pop your ears and relieve a stuffed up nose.

Gulp a Large Glass of Water

Gulping down water helps to relieve pressure in your ears and make them pop. To do this, get a large glass of water and tilt your head back to get your Eustachian tubes in the right position. Take large gulps from the glass of water to unpop your ears and relieve the pain.

Use a Finger to Unpop Your Ears

If your ears remain popped after scuba diving or landing and takeoff, you can very easily pop your ears back to normal with your finger. This method can also be effective if you have water in your ears. You should bend over so that your ears are parallel to the ground. Then, using the pad of your finger across (not in) the opening of your ear, use a plunging action to change the pressure in your ears. This should help to relieve any discomfort and pain in your ears as well as unpop them.

Remember, that you shouldn't put your fingers deep into the ear canal to try and unpop your ears as this can result in damage and make the condition worse.

Ear Plugs

Ear plugs are an effective way to make sure that you don’t have to suffer the pain and discomfort from an imbalance of pressure in your ears. Airplane earplugs are designed especially for flying to restrict the flow of air in the ear. This means that you don’t get a vacuum forming in the ear which can make you feel the need to pop your ear.

Most airlines advise putting in the earplugs before taking off and keeping them in until cruising altitude. You should then put the ear plugs back in on your descent to avoid suffering from painful ears. Of course, if you are sitting near noisy people or near the engines and want to get some rest, you can keep your earplugs in for the duration of the flight!

How to Prevent Airplane Ear

The best way to avoid having to unpop your ears is to prevent any buildup of pressure in your ears in the first place. Therefore, if you are on an airplane you should start preparing to pop your ears before takeoff and when the “fasten seat-belts” signs come on.

You can use any of the above methods to pop your ears also as preventative measures. For example, when the seat-belt sign come on before landing, you can start chewing some gum or sucking on some candy to balance the pressure in your ears when you start your descent.

The Mayo Clinic also advises that you don’t sleep when the aircraft is taking off or landing. This is because it gives you a chance to use preventative measures to avoid getting painful ears when the aircraft is rapidly changing altitude.

You can also prevent airplane ear in babies or toddlers when flying. Give them a beverage to drink during landing and takeoff because this encourages frequent swallowing which will help balance the pressure in both ears. Alternatively, you can give your baby a pacifier to encourage the swallowing action.

You can help children older than 4 years old prevent airplane ear by giving them a chewing gum or drink through a straw during landing or takeoff. You could also give them some hard candy to suck on so that the pressure in both ears stays the same and they don’t get popped ears.

If you find that you can’t unpop your ears at all, you should talk to your doctor. He may recommend that you try using an ear popper (like this one) which will balance the pressure in both ears causing your ears to pop.






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Source: Healthy and Natural World

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