By Taylor




Have you ever felt like your ears were going explode? Either when you're on an airplane, skiing at the top of a montain or diving at the bottom of the ocean?

This feeling is often called the popping of the ears, but can also be known as, more scientifically, barotrauma.


Why do your ears pop on an Airplane?



When you're on an airplane, the higher you go up, the pressure of air decreases. When you at take off, the air that's inside your eardrum becomes higher than the air pressure that is outside the airplane. So, your ears try and reduce the pressure inside of them. It is the air that is pressing against your ears that makes it feel they are going to burst. To help keep your ears from hurting while flying, you can yawn a lot to help decrease the pressure on your ears, or blowing bubble gum will help. Also you can try holding your nose and blowing, then pop your jaw, and most of the time it helps. Also there are ear plugs made to help wih popping ears. There are things called Ear Plugs which relieve ear discomfort, popping and pain while flying.


Why do ears pop when you are scuba diving?


When air pressure inside your ears is doubled, the volume that was in that ear will be decreased by half. The membranes that envelope the air deforms as the air reduces which causes your ears to hurt with the popping sensation.
With all of the water pressure that is on your ears, divers have to be careful when they dive then rise back up so the wont burst their ear drums.


What is the Eustachian tube?


The Eustachian tube is what allows air to get in and out of the middle ears and helps adjust for pressure changes. It connects the middle ear’s air chamber to the throat. If the Eustachian tube is narrowed or clogged, the middle ears become are turned off and it becomes a closed chamber. The difference between the middle ear and pressure is what causes the popping of your ears.



Which is easier for your ears, taking off on an airplane or landing?


Taking off because the pressure outside is descending, and air will naturally pop out of your ear. It’s a lot like air coming out of a balloon.
When you're landing, the air pressure is not descending, it’s rising. So you then need more air in your ear, and without it your ears will pop.


Some people aren’t even allowed to fly do to the fact that they have otitis media. They have fluid behind the eardrum, and if they were to fly on an airplane, the pressure would be so intense that deafness could possibly happen


What does blowing, then popping your ears actually do?


What happens is, when you blow, you increase the air pressure in your throat and lungs, and then it blows air up into you Eustachian tube, then into the middle ear, which then the pressure is equalized.


Not only will your ears pop when you are flying on an airplane, or diving in the deep end of your pool, or even when you’re skiing with your friends on the top of a mountain, your ears may also pop when you’re sick. For example, when you have an infected throat, like strep throat, the tube opening in your throat may be swollen or possibly even swollen closed, which causes the pressure on you inner ears cannot be set straight without hurting of the eardrum. To help ease the pain, you might have to yawn, or swallow very hard to help the pain go away and to equalize the pressure. BUT, when you are sick with an infected throat and your ears are popping, unlike when you get off an airplane, DO NOT hold you nose then blow. When you are sick and you do that, it is possible that when you blow, the infectious mucus from your throat will go into you inner ear, which would then cause an infection there.


Click below to see a video on Ear Pressure


Related Links


Name of Website
Description of Website
This webpage is a very good source for researching about why ears pop while flying on an airplane.
This website explains how pressure affects humans and wy ears pop at high altitudes
This website had a transcript with an ear specialist, and he explains pressure on human ears
This webstite why certain have worse problems tan other with ear opping and some ways to help ear popping not hurt as much
This website explains about pressure on your ears and where the most common case of ear popping is found
This explains why your ears pop when you dive in the deep end of your pool


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