Chronic Ear Popping Explained

June 1, 2016 1:24 am Published by Leave your thoughts

We’ve all had our ears pop before. It usually happens when we change altitudes rapidly, like when we’re on an airplane. That’s normal. It’s just our bodies working to equalize the pressure inside and outside of our ears.

A structure called the Eustachian tube ventilates our ears so the pressure remains equal. You can feel the pop in your ears and throat because the tube runs from your middle ear through the back of your nose and ends in your throat.

What’s not normal is having constant ear popping when you aren’t changing altitudes. Chronic ear popping is not only annoying, it’s a condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are several causes of chronic ear popping, some more serious than others. It can be caused by hereditary defects, simple allergies, an inner ear disorder or a ruptured ear drum.

Hereditary defects

As pressure builds up in your ear, discomfort ensues and can even lead to more serious ear problems. Unfortunately, some of the causes of the pressure build up can be caused by hereditary defects. There really isn’t much you can do if you’ve got some bad genes but chewing gum, yawning, sucking on candy or exhaling while holding your nostrils and keeping your mouth shut can help relieve some of the discomfort.


It’s allergy season for much of America. Constant nasal congestion caused by pollen and other allergens can block the Eustachian tube and lead to chronic ear popping and hearing problems in Salinas.

Allergy medicines such as nasal spray decongestants may be able to help clear up your congestion and get your Eustachian tube back in working order. If that treatment doesn’t work, you may consider contacting your doctor to see about taking steroids that can help decongest your nose.

Ménière’s Disease

Ménière’s disease is caused by an excess of fluid in the inner ear. Why the fluid builds up isn’t very well understood by the medical community, so sadly there’s no treatment yet. Patients with the disease often have trouble balancing and have bouts of vertigo.

Hearing is also affected and one side effect can be chronic ear popping. Though there isn’t a treatment, the ear popping symptom can again be treated by chewing gum, yawning, sucking on candy, or exhaling while holding your nostrils and keeping your mouth shut.

Ruptured eardrum

There are several symptoms of a ruptured eardrum. If you’re having sharp ear pain, or if you’ve suddenly stopped having ear pain, if you’ve got bloody drainage coming from your ear, if you’re experiencing hearing loss, or if you’re having chronic ear popping; you may have ruptured your eardrum.

A ruptured eardrum sounds catastrophic, but it can usually heal on its own, though it may take up to three months. A doctor may recommend taking OTC pain medication like ibuprofen to ease the pain. In some serious cases surgery could be required, but if that’s the case, ear popping is probably your least severe symptom.

If you are experiencing hearing problems in Salinas caused by chronic ear popping, contact us today at 831-240-4162 to find out how our specialists can help.

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