The Eustachian tube extends from the inner ear to the back of the nose and throat. One of the functions of the tube is draining mucus. The swallowing reflex causes the Eustachian tube to open and close irregularly, which in turn normalizes the pressure on both sides of the eardrum. Sometimes the tube does not open as it should and one feels the imbalance of pressure on the eardrum. The pressure difference causes an uncomfortable and sometimes painful feeling, which may be triggered by changes in altitude and the effects of a cold on the ears, nose and throat. There are many ways of how to unpop your ears to relieve the abnormal pressure and eliminate the painful feeling.
How to Unpop Your Ears
The feeling caused by unbalanced pressure on the eardrum is often unbearable and painful. Here are some useful tips on solving this problem fast.
1. Try Chewing Motion
Chewing and sucking hard candy trigger a swallowing reflex in the throat, which causes the tube to open. This normalizes pressure on the eardrum. If you have a cold, you can combine the exercises with lozenges to relieve soreness in the throat. The chewing motion also stretches the inner ear, nose and the tube that connects the two parts.
2. Apply Heat on Your Ears and Neck
If you place a microwaveable wheat bag on your neck or ear, the cold symptoms reduce and the Eustachian tube opens normally to relieve any pressure. Another tip on how to unpop your ears is submerging both ears in water when taking a hot bath. Combine this tip with other methods such as lozenges or chewing gum for better results.
3. Try to Yawn as You Open Your Mouth Slightly
Open your mouth slowly until you achieve a full yawn. You may need to repeat the process several times. Stop the process when your ears unpop. You will feel the pressure on your eardrums normalizes and hear clearer when your ears unpop. You can put your Eustachian tube in the right position by tilting your head back as if you are looking into the sky and then thrust your jaw forward. You are likely to achieve a full yawn as you thrust your jaw forward.
4. Use Your Finger to Create Pressure and Remove Water from Your Ears
You will feel the discomfort and pain of popped ears when you have water in your ears. To relieve this discomfort, bend over at the waist until the popped ear is parallel to the ground. Use the pad of one of your fingers to make on and off motions as you would use a toilet plunger. These movements change the pressure in your ear and will either unpop your ear or remove the water. Avoid sticking your finger into your ear. This could cause a hearing damage.
5. Try Valsalva Maneuver
This concept involves applying a counter pressure on the tube by exhaling or blowing gently. Exhale gently as you pinch your nose and close mouth. This exercise opens up your Eustachian tubes and normalizes the pressure. You must be very gentle when trying this method. You could irritate and inflame your tubes and block your ear canal if you use too much force in the process or repeat the process frequently. When doing this maneuver, you can try bending as if you are touching your toes or release your nose and suck in large amount of air for better results.
6. Flush Congested Sinuses with Warm Water
Congested sinuses could result from an allergy or cold. Sinuses plug your ears and destabilize the pressure in your ears until they feel like they need to pop. You can relieve the feeling by flushing the sinuses with warm salty water. Flush them gently and regularly. Fill a neti-pot with warm salty water. Tilt your head and pour the salty water through one nostril over a sink. The water will flow through the sinus cavity to the other nostril. Increase the pressure if your sinuses are very congested.
Be proactive and get medication for the sinuses. Do not wait until your sinuses are too clogged or congested. Protect your ears by purchasing an OTC decongestant, such as decongestants or antihistamines. You are likely to feel a lot of pain and pressure as you try to unpop your ears if you have regular sinuses.
7. Use a Doctor’s Prescription
If you try all the concepts outlined above and still don't know how to unpop your ears, seek medical attention from a doctor. Your doctor is likely to prescribe an ear popper. The ear popper helps normalize the pressure and unpop your ears. An ear popper may be expensive but is effective in relieving the discomfort and pain. Ensure that you follow the doctor's instructions on how to use it to avoid further complications.
8. Drink Enough Water
Drinking water exaggerates the swallowing reflex and changes air pressure as the throat fills with water. Both effects help to open the Eustachian tube and normalize the pressure in your ears. It is advisable to take water in large gulps and in different temperatures. Start with cold water then take lukewarm water to increase the chances of opening the tube.