Why Is My Ear Plugged?

by EarPopper


© Scott Stanley

Plugged ears are annoying.

Actually, before I really understood WHAT plugged ears really were- they kind of freaked me out.

A feeling of panic would creep in as the pressure would increase and then bam… something suctioned closed and my hearing was muffled. I would tip my head to the side, bang my hand against my head, shake my head, anything to get rid of that sucked-in, plugged feeling!

Although I still don’t like the feeling of ear issues, now that I understand plugged ears associated with flying, scuba diving, colds or allergies and have a quick solution to eliminate them, they are not as annoying when they do occur.

One morning on Twitter, I noticed some frustrated tweets about plugged ears, and realized much of the frustration is not understanding the why, the what, or having a solution to fix plugged ears.

ErikaJL9:05am via Tweetie for Mac@KelliMarshall I hate when my ears won’t pop. I feel your pain.
YOURLOVE25Dec 23, 7:16pm via Twitter for AndroidNeed my ears to pop! Does anyone knw a method for it? Besides holdin ur nose or yawnin cuz those didn’t work or gum . . .

natashadodd6:56am via Twitter for BlackBerry®

4 days later and my ears are still plugged from the plane… They could pop any minute now and I really wouldn’t be mad! Just sayin
destinyroseDec 23, 11:43pm via web

my ears have been plugged all day…how do i unplug them!
PinkbuniDec 23, 6:55pm via txt

Hate how my left ears plugged! Can only hear really good with the right one! Hahaha!

This post is dedicated to those who are annoyed and confused by why an ear would feel clogged and what may help to relieve the pressure, hearing loss, and pain.

Water Bottle Unequal Pressure in Flight

I like to compare the plugged ear to a water bottle that is indented (sucked inward) due to unequal pressure. Once the water bottle cap is opened, the pressure is immediately equalized with outside air pressure and the sides pop back out. The water bottle is similar to our middle ear cavity. The Eustachian tube opening (it rests closed) is like opening the water bottle cap. The bottle immediately pops back out as pressure is restored.

It’s essential to understand what the little Eustachian tube does and where it is located. (The plugged ear may mean the Eustachian tube is unable to open due to congestion or rapid air pressure changes)

Eustachian Tube Location/Function: http://earpopper.com/blog/eustachian-tube-dysfunction-part-1-normal-function-of-eustachian-tube

Why would the Eustachian Tube not work correctly?


What helps the Eustachian tube to open?

If the Eustachian tube is having difficulty opening, then yawning or swallowing may help to open the little tube.

If that doesn’t work, a gentle Valsalva Maneuver may help.

If yawning, swallowing, or a gentle Valsalva Maneuver do not work, then the EarPopper may be the solution. For my flights or plugged ears after colds and allergies, I use the EarPopper immediately and skip all those other steps!


EarPopper is a battery-operated device to open Eustachian Tubes and relieve negative pressure in the middle ear associated with flying, scuba diving, colds, and allergies.

The EarPopper opens the Eustachian tube naturally with air to relieve the plugged ear. When used correctly, the device blows a regulated amount of air up the nose which is then diverted into the Eustachian tube when we swallow. The small amount of air is enough to force the Eustachian tube open. For some people, this “quick as a swallow” solution may be all that is needed to provide relief and unplug the ears. (remember the bottle cap?)

Plugged ears affect quality of life. Think about what it feels like when our hearing is muffled. The pressure and fluid in the middle ear may affect hearing by preventing the proper vibration of the eardrum. This disrupts the transmission of sound and our hearing is affected.

Our ears play a big role in our daily life. We don’t really notice them when working correctly, but plugged ears cause many of us to be irritable and miserable as we “wait” for the ears to “pop”.

I hope this post helps to understand plugged ears and possible treatment solutions. The EarPopper has changed the way we fly- my son is often laughing and enjoying the EarPopper instead of crying from ear pain during descent.

No more plugged ears at our destination! Thank you EarPopper!!


EarPopper: Increasing quality of life and travel!

Did you enjoy this post? Subscribe to receive FREE updates!

Previous post:

Next post: