Do you ever feel like your ears are constantly popping or feel pressure build up during a flight or while scuba diving? It can be incredibly uncomfortable and distracting. Fortunately, there are ways to depressurize your ears and alleviate the discomfort. In this article, we will explore various techniques and tips on how to depressurize ears.
Why Do Your Ears Feel Pressure?
Before we dive into how to depressurize ears, it’s important to understand why your ears feel pressure in the first place. The pressure changes that cause discomfort occur when the air pressure in your middle ear is different from the air pressure in the environment around you. This can happen during takeoff and landing on a plane, scuba diving or even driving up a mountain. Your ears are designed to equalize any pressure differences, but sometimes they need a little help to do so.
Techniques to Depressurize Ears
One of the easiest ways to depressurize ears is by swallowing. Swallowing helps to open up the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. This equalizes the pressure and relieves discomfort. You can achieve this by chewing gum, sucking on candy or even swallowing your saliva.
Yawning is another simple yet effective way to equalize pressure in your ears. Yawning opens up your Eustachian tube, allowing air to flow in and out of your middle ear. If you feel pressure building up, try to yawn a few times to relieve the discomfort.
Popping Your Ears
Another way to depressurize ears is by popping them. To do this, pinch your nose shut and gently blow out through your nose. This forces air up into your Eustachian tube, equalizing the pressure in your middle ear. You may hear a popping sound when you do this, which is a sign that your ears have equalized.
Some people find that jaw exercises help to depressurize ears. Open your mouth wide and move your jaw side to side. This can help to stretch the muscles around your ear and open up the Eustachian tube.
The Valsalva Maneuver is a technique that involves closing your mouth and nose and then blowing out gently. This forces air up into your Eustachian tube, equalizing the pressure in your middle ear. Be careful not to blow too hard, as this can cause damage to your ears.
Preventing Ear Pressure
While there are ways to depressurize ears, it’s always better to prevent the discomfort from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips to help prevent ear pressure:
- Chew gum or suck on candy during takeoff and landing on a plane
- Take breaks while driving up a mountain and chew gum or yawn
- Equalize pressure before and during scuba diving by using the techniques mentioned above
Q: Can ear pressure cause permanent damage?
A: It’s unlikely that ear pressure will cause permanent damage, but it’s always best to take precautions to prevent discomfort.
Q: How long does ear pressure last?
A: Ear pressure usually lasts for a few seconds or a few minutes, but it can sometimes last longer. If you experience prolonged discomfort, it’s best to see a doctor.
Q: Can I fly with a cold?
A: It’s not recommended to fly with a cold, as the pressure changes can cause severe discomfort.
Ears feeling pressure during flights or scuba diving can be incredibly uncomfortable. However, by using the techniques mentioned in this article, you can easily depressurize your ears and alleviate the discomfort. Remember to take precautions to prevent ear pressure from happening in the first place, and if you experience prolonged discomfort, it’s best to see a doctor.