Hearing only muffled sounds due to clogged ears can be bothersome, whether the issue is due to the common cold, allergies, an airplane ride, or some unknown reason. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make the ears pop without having to see a specialist or spend extra money. In fact, you can usually make your ears pop for free by swallowing hard, yawning, or closing your nostrils and attempting to blow out air through the nose. If these tips do not work, you may need the help of some inexpensive tools, including chewing gum, hard candy, or a nasal decongestant.
Swallowing hard might sound like too simple a way to make the ears pop, but it often works. This is because this motion can stimulate the muscle responsible for making the auditory tubes work, stabilizing pressure. You can take several hard swallows of a drink, or just swallow your saliva if a beverage is not available. Yawning can have the same effect, but you may have to yawn wider than usual a few times to see any results.
The Valsalva maneuver is another way to make the ears pop without using any specific tools. While most people may not have heard of this move, they have likely performed it before, as it involves squeezing the nostrils shut with the thumb and forefinger and then trying to blow air out the nose. If you do not hear a popping noise, repeat the motion a few times, but be careful not to blow the air out too hard since you may damage the auditory tubes or the eardrums. In fact, this exercise is usually considered less safe than yawning or swallowing in order to eliminate ear congestion, so only perform it when necessary.
Some of the most popular ways to relieve ear congestion require a few inexpensive items. For example, you can chew gum before taking an airplane flight, as this can decrease the pressure by opening the auditory tubes, much like the other popular solutions can. You can also use hard candy or mints in place of gum, as the fact that you will probably have to swallow often make it likely that your ears will pop. Finally, you can take a decongestant before your ears are likely to become clogged, such as during the descent of a flight. Though this solution often takes a while to work, it usually does the job of relieving pressure well so that the ears pop.