June 22, 2024
Learn natural and easy ways to pop your ear, including exercises, steam therapy, facial massage, and more. Find out when to see a doctor and how to prepare for your appointment. Enjoy better ear health with these simple tips!


Have you ever experienced ear pressure or blockage, making it difficult to hear or even painful? This is a common problem that many people face, and it can be caused by many factors, such as air travel, changes in altitude, or a cold. Fortunately, there are natural and easy ways to relieve ear pressure and pop your ears, which we will explore in this article.

Natural Ways to Pop Your Ear

You may want to try natural methods before turning to medication or medical procedures. The following three methods are safe, affordable, and effective in relieving ear pressure and popping your ears.


One of the simplest and most effective ways to pop your ears is by doing exercises that involve movements that affect your ears. These exercises can help you balance the pressure inside and outside of your ears.

One of the easiest exercises is yawning. Yawning can help open the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the throat. When the tube is open, air can flow in and out of the ear more easily, and your ears will pop naturally. You can also try swallowing, moving your jaw from side to side, or chewing gum to promote the natural popping of your ears.

Steam Therapy

Steam therapy is another natural and easy way to relieve ear pressure and pop your ears. Taking a hot shower, using a humidifier, or applying a warm towel to your ear can help open the Eustachian tube, relax the muscles around your ears, and promote better circulation.

Additionally, you can try natural decongestants like saline nasal sprays or essential oils to reduce the inflammation and mucus build-up in your nose and throat, which can contribute to ear pressure and blockage. However, make sure to follow the instructions or seek medical advice if you have any allergies or respiratory conditions.

Using the Valsalva Maneuver to Pop Your Ear

The Valsalva maneuver is a technique that involves creating pressure in your ears to force your Eustachian tube open. This method is commonly used by divers and airplane travelers to equalize the pressure in their ears.

To perform the Valsalva maneuver:

  1. Pinch your nostrils shut with your fingers.
  2. Close your mouth and gently exhale or blow air through your nose, as if you were trying to clear your nose.
  3. You may hear a popping sound in your ears, indicating that the pressure has been relieved.
  4. Repeat the process as needed, but avoid blowing too hard or forcefully, as it can cause damage to your ear drums.

Note that the Valsalva maneuver should not be performed if you have a cold, sinus infection, or ear infection, as it can worsen the symptoms or complications.

The Toynbee Maneuver

The Toynbee maneuver is another technique that involves swallowing and breathing exercises to equalize the pressure in your ears. This method is less forceful than the Valsalva maneuver and may be more suitable for people with sensitive ears.

To perform the Toynbee maneuver:

  1. Pinch your nostrils shut with your fingers.
  2. Take a sip of water or swallow a mouthful of saliva.
  3. Swallow again, but this time, keep your mouth closed and your nose pinched.
  4. Exhale gently through your nose while keeping your mouth closed.
  5. You may feel a slight sound or pressure in your ears, indicating that the pressure has been relieved.
  6. Repeat the process as needed.

The Toynbee maneuver can also help relieve symptoms of acid reflux and throat irritation, but avoid using it if you have trouble swallowing or have a history of ear or throat surgeries.

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is a simple trick that can help relieve ear pressure and pop your ears. When you chew gum, you create a chewing and swallowing motion that can promote the opening of your Eustachian tube and reduce tension in your jaw muscles.

To use this method effectively, chew sugar-free gum or a minty candy before and during your flight or ascent. However, avoid chewing too hard or for too long, as it can cause fatigue or jaw pain.

Facial Massage

Facial massage is another natural and easy way to relieve ear pressure and pop your ears. By massaging your face and neck muscles, you can stimulate the blood flow, improve the lymphatic drainage, and release tension and stiffness in the muscles around your ears and jaw.

The following is a step-by-step guide on how to perform facial massage:

  1. Apply a small amount of facial oil or moisturizer to your hands.
  2. With your fingertips, gently massage the area around your temples, eyebrows, cheeks, and jaw muscles in a circular or tapping motion.
  3. Move your fingers down your neck and massage the area under your ears, behind your jaws, and down to your collar bones.
  4. Repeat the process for 5-10 minutes, or until you feel more relaxed and less tense.
  5. You can also use a massage tool like a face roller or a gua sha to enhance the effects of facial massage and promote lymphatic drainage and skin health.

Facial massage can also boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve your skin texture and appearance. However, avoid using too much pressure or massaging any injured or inflamed areas.

When to See a Doctor

While most cases of ear pressure and popping can be resolved naturally and easily, there are situations when you should seek medical attention. If you experience any of the following symptoms, consult a doctor:

  • Severe or prolonged ear pain
  • Bleeding or discharge from your ear
  • Fever or headache
  • Loss of balance or hearing
  • Tinnitus or ringing in your ears

Your doctor may perform a physical exam, hearing test, or imaging test to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options, such as medication, ear tubes, or surgery.

Before your appointment, make sure to prepare a list of your symptoms, medical history, and any medications or supplements you are taking. You can also ask a friend or family member to accompany you for support or take notes.


Ear pressure and popping can be an annoying and discomforting problem, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day or travel plans. By trying natural and easy methods like exercises, steam therapy, and chewing gum, you can relieve the symptom and improve your ear health. If the symptoms persist or worsen, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention and get proper diagnosis and treatment.

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