why do your ears “pop” when you hold your nose and “blow”? What is “popping” and why does it hurt when sick?

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why do your ears “pop” when you hold your nose and “blow”? What is “popping” and why does it hurt when sick?

In: Biology

You are equalizing the pressure on both sides of your ear drums. When the pressure is unequal the ear drum is forced slightly out of shape. There are thin tubes (eustachian tubes) that connect the middle ear to the nose/mouth area in order to keep the pressure equal. They don’t equalize it instantly, though, and they can get swollen when sick making it harder to push air through.

Follow up. Does this action damage the eardrum or any of its associated biostructures?

I would recommend not using the blow method to pop your ears, keep working your jaw really wide like yawning instead. I once was going up a mountain as a kid and tried to blow to pop my ears and I did something to my eardrum, I’m pretty sure I burst it but never went to a dr to confirm. I was unable to hear out of my ear for a couple weeks before it healed up

What you are describing is called the Valsalva Maneuver if you were wondering. There is even something called a Valsalva Device fitted inside space suits that allow astronauts do the maneuver when their suits are being pressurized.