Anonymous

What Does It Mean When Your Ears Keep Popping?

14 Answers

Jackie Russell Profile
Jackie Russell answered
If your ears keep popping it probably means that you have a problem with your Eustachian tube. Partial or complete blockage of the Eustachian tube can cause sensations of popping, clicking and ear fullness, and occasionally moderate to severe ear pain.

The Eustachian tube is a tube that originates in the back of the nose, runs a slightly uphill course, and ends in the middle ear space. The middle ear space is the hollowed out portion of the skull bone that contains the hearing apparatus and is covered on one side by the eardrum.

The primary function of the Eustachian tube is to ventilate the middle ear space, ensuring that its pressure remains at near normal ambient air pressure. The secondary function of the Eustachian tube is to drain any accumulated secretions, infection, or debris from the middle ear space. Several small muscles, located in the back of the throat and palate, control the opening and closing of the tube. Swallowing and yawning cause contractions of these muscles and help to regulate Eustachian tube function. If it were not for the Eustachian tube, the middle ear cavity would be an isolated air pocket inside the head that would be vulnerable to every change in air pressure and lead to an unhealthy ear.

Other causes of ear popping include tinnitus, common colds, nasal allergies such as hay fever, middle ear infections, Meniere's disease or fluid in the ear from swimming or showering or sinus infections.
Possible ways to stop this feeling include yawning or swallowing, pinching your nostrils shut and then trying to blow out through your nose, or it is possible to take decongestant tablets and sprays, which can be purchased without a prescription. This will shrink the membranes and help the ears pop more easily. However, they should be avoided by people with heart disease, high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, thyroid disease, or excessive nervousness.
Gil Davis Profile
Gil Davis answered
Changes in atmospheric pressure caused
either by weather or altitude change will cause a difference in pressure
between your middle ear and the outside world.  In the back of your
nose near your throat, you have small tubes that are normally closed
called Eustachian Tubes (named after the person that discovered them).  

The popping is being caused when the tubes, which are normally closed,
will open when you swallow or yawn; and it causes sudden pressure
equalization.  Some people have control over these
muscles, as well, and can open them at will...sort of like wiggling your
ears (I can personally do both).   If the pressure difference is great
enough, it will become uncomfortable for you and you will probably
swallow unconsciously making it seem like a random event.  In the event
of an upper respiratory infection, it's not unusual for one or both of
these tubes to be blocked by inflammation and have pressure build up in
your ears to cause temporary (generally) hearing difficulties because of
pressure against the eardrum.  This can lead to a feeling of pressure against your eardrum or pain.

There are a few ways you can treat this at home, and no, cotton balls probably won't work.  An allergy medication can reduce the swelling...tablet forms are best but take the longest to work (about 3 hours until they're at their peak), and nasal mists (addictive) but take only about an hour.  If neither of these work, it's best to go see a doctor.  They will usually prescribe a steroid nasal mist and give it a couple of weeks to see if that has an effect.  There are several other minor surgical procedures that can be performed if all of these fail.

Hope that helps.
Mary Ann Cassidy Profile
You may have a deviated septum, now called a deflected septum.  Symptoms of this may be mouth breathing and popping in the ears.  If this is the case, you can have surgery to correct it. Following the surgery, it can take up to a year for the popping to stop.  You have to check with an ENT. Doctor to tell you exactly what your problem is.
Gil Davis Profile
Gil Davis answered
It's generally not that random.  Changes in atmospheric pressure caused either by weather or altitude change will cause a difference in pressure between your middle ear and the outside world.  In the back of your nose near your throat, you have small tubes that are normally closed called Eustachian Tubes (named after the person that discovered them).  

The popping is being caused when the tubes, normally closed and open only when you swallow or yawn.  Some people have control over these muscles, as well, and can open them at will...sort of like wiggling your ears (I can personally do both).   If the pressure difference is great enough, it will become uncomfortable for you and you will probably swallow unconsciously making it seem like a random event.  In the event of an upper respiratory infection, it's not unusual for one or both of these tubes to be blocked by inflammation and have pressure build up in your ears to cause temporary (generally) hearing difficulties because of pressure against the eardrum.

Hope that helps.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Probably a small clog, irritation or infection in your Eustacian tubes.  These usually regulate the constantly changing astmospheric pressure, but when the pressure builds up or if it can't release the pressure fast enough your ears have a bypass valve in the inner ear that allows the pressure to escape.  Any sinus or allergy aid would help and drink a lot of water to increase the capacity of your membranes to drain wastes.
Sharon Profile
Sharon answered
Don't let this go on any longer.  I have that problem  when I change altitudes in any vehicle, but mine is usually accompanied by nose bleed.  Have you had your blood pressure taken lately. Lots of Pharmacies have free machines. So you don't end up with damaged hearing, please have this checked out. This may be something that swallowing and chewing gum cannot mend.  Now go quickly, check your blood pressure, the pharmacist or his assistants will be happy to assist you if needed.  Best wishes.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

You really might need to see a doctor.

Cindy Thompson Profile
Cindy Thompson answered
Have you been at different elevations on land lately? Or possibly you have allergies that need medication. You probably need to see a doctor. Best wishes.
emma danish Profile
emma danish answered
It wouldn't hurt here to have an all over mot check with your nurse /doctor to rule out any problems .
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Take a cotton ball and soak it in hot water,then stick the cotton ball in your ear that will ease your pain
Lilly Cohen Profile
Lilly Cohen answered
When my ears wouldn't pop I had an ear infection and after the pressure changed I needed meds to get them to pop back
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Well I don't really know but you might want to try yawning or swallowing. Chewing gum or sucking lollipops may help too.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Means the pressure in the air around you is changing like when you go up or down fast in a plane

Answer Question

Anonymous