Experiencing ear discomfort due to a blocked or “popped” feeling can be bothersome and affect your hearing. The sensation often occurs when there is an imbalance of pressure between the middle ear and the environment. Luckily, there are several safe and effective techniques to help alleviate this discomfort and restore normal ear function. Let’s explore some methods to pop your ear and find relief.
- Yawning and Swallowing. Yawning and swallowing can help regulate the pressure in your ears. Engage in activities that induce a natural yawning reflex, such as opening your mouth wide, stretching, or even watching videos or images of yawning. Swallowing can be done by taking small sips of water, chewing gum, or sucking on candies. These actions help activate the muscles in the throat and eustachian tubes, promoting pressure equalization and relieving ear discomfort.
- Valsalva Maneuver. The Valsalva maneuver is a simple technique to equalize pressure in the ears. Pinch your nostrils shut with your fingers, close your mouth, and gently exhale while applying gentle pressure through your nose. This maneuver helps to open the eustachian tubes, allowing air to flow and equalize the pressure. Be cautious not to blow too forcefully, as it can cause harm to your eardrums.
- Toynbee Maneuver. The Toynbee maneuver involves swallowing while pinching your nostrils shut. Take a small sip of water and swallow while maintaining pressure on your nostrils. This technique helps stimulate the muscles in the throat and eustachian tubes, facilitating pressure equalization and providing relief.
- Warm Compress and Steam. Applying a warm compress or taking a steamy shower can help loosen mucus and promote drainage, reducing pressure in the ears. Place a warm compress or towel soaked in warm water over your affected ear for a few minutes. Alternatively, inhale steam from a bowl of hot water or take a warm shower to create a moist environment that can alleviate discomfort.
Ear popping or discomfort can be eased by employing simple techniques such as yawning, swallowing, the Valsalva maneuver, the Toynbee maneuver, and utilizing warm compresses or steam. If the discomfort persists or is accompanied by severe pain or hearing loss, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.