Why Do Our Ears Pop?

As many of us are going on vacation this summer, we all seem to experience this common issue that seems to occur when flying, or if you’re going to the beach, under water. When you ascend out of Dallas to your vacation destination, air gets thinner, leading to a cause in pressure change in your ear canal. Similarly, when diving deeper under water, water pressure can cause pain in your ears as well. This is because your ear canal leads to your eardrum, which is a thin lining of skin that stretches across the end of the canal that enables us to hear. Behind the ear drum is the middle ear. This is an air chamber that is directly connected to your throat. When you ascend in a plane or dive deep under water, pressure is put into your ear canal, which then pushes on your eardrum inward. This can cause pain, especially when underwater as pressure builds quickly. In order to mitigate this pain, you have to equalizer the pressure in your middle ear and your ear canal. You are able to do this by holding your nose shut and blowing. This will force are into your middle ear, which will then alleviate the pain as both the middle ear and ear canal are equalized. This technique is especially useful for under water pain. For slow ascents while on a plane, an easy way to equalize pressure is to yawn or chew gum. As the pressure change isn’t to drastic as it is with being under water, the pain is far less noticeable and much easier to equalize.