Is My Ear Popping Normal?

January 17, 2020 12:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

At some point in our lives, we’ve all felt that uncomfortable feeling of our ears popping. Sometimes our ears pop on their own but sometimes they feel clogged and we need to try to gently alleviate the pressure. After one or both ears pop, it’s common to have a short-term sensation of different sounding hearing, either muffled or more clear than before. But you should know when there is a serious medical issue at hand.

In some cases, there is an underlying factor that can cause hearing loss or other long-term problems. Valley Hearing Center is here for you in the Salinas, Monterey, Hollister, and King City areas, so schedule an appointment today for a hearing exam if you’re uncertain about your recent ear popping.



Your ears can pop either naturally or by force. Some ways your ears can pop include, but aren’t limited to: yawning, swallowing, hiccuping, having water in the ear canal, ear wax build-up, changes in altitude or air pressure, or if you have TMJ, or jaw misalignment issues. In any of these cases, ear- popping could occur and cause a little to a lot of pain. It’s important to note the times that it does hurt and seek professional attention, and especially if it continues to hurt afterwards. 


Home Remedies

Did you pop your ears and your hearing seems a little off? As long as the popping isn’t very painful, you can try these quick and cheap home remedies first: 

  • Applying a warm washcloth over the ear – this will help loosen up any ear wax that might be causing the popping or change in hearing
  • Try making yourself yawn – look at pictures of people yawning and you’ll be yawning in no time
  • Swallow or chew gum – doing either of these opens up your Eustachian tube which connects to the middle of the ear
  • Pinch your nose closed, pull your cheeks in (not out, which could use too much pressure) and blow out of your nose – if this doesn’t work right away, try not to force it
  • Pinch your nose closed and swallow – this doesn’t work for everyone, but it works more safely than the previous method when successful

But if these methods don’t alleviate the discomfort for you, contact your local audiologist immediately to prevent any permanent damage. 


Related Issues

Sometimes, when our ears pop, it can be a sign that there is an underlying medical issue or it can lead to one. 

If the eardrum comes into harsh contact with an object, even a cotton swab, it can be painful. The first sign that your eardrum has been touched too harshly is an instant, loud pop sensation. Afterwards, your ear may feel clogged and your hearing may sound different. In less severe cases, if the eardrum is punctured, it will heal itself over time. However, it can sometimes lead to hearing loss if the eardrum is punctured beyond self-repair. Be careful when inserting cotton swabs into your ears and only clean the very front of the ear canal.

Ear popping caused by TMJ or jaw problems can sometimes lead to tinnitus, or ringing in the ear. If you notice that your jaw and/or ears pop while chewing or yawning, you might have a misaligned jaw. TMJ is fairly common, but it is annoying and can be painful, so get it checked out to see if your jaw can be realigned. 

In both instances, visiting an audiologist is your best bet for preventing long-term damage to your hearing.


Schedule Regular Hearing Exams

Sometimes people aren’t aware that their hearing has changed. This is why it’s important to schedule regular exams with an audiologist to check on your hearing. As we get older, our hearing can change on its own or it can be brought on by an outside force. Getting your ears checked regularly by a professional is the best way to prevent any long-term hearing damage, or to determine if hearing aids are right for you. 


Schedule a hearing check-up today with Valley Hearing Center if you live in the Monterey Bay area. We have offices in Monterey Salinas, Hollister, and King City. Valley Hearing Center offers hearing services from top-notch audiologists including hearing consultations and on-going care, hearing aid fittings, and hearing aid repair. We also sell auditory products including hearing aids, assistive listening devices custom earplugs and other products for musicians.



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This post was written by Cassidy

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