Best way to make my ears pop?
What is the best way to make my ears pop when landing on a plane? The hold-your-nose-and-pitch method is very painful; are there any other methods to pop ears?
I can pop my ear by just flexing some muscles near the back of my throat. I learned this after I got annoyed by the constant popping when I swallowed and I started eliminating which muscles triggered the popping. This also taught me how to pop my ears on command.
While a full yawn is best, simulating the movement your jaw makes in a yawn is enough to pop your ears (and often simulating a yawn makes a real one happen anyway)
If you have a cold, or if you let the pressure build up a lot it can be difficult to get the eustachian tubes to open, so in those instances I hold my nose, close my mouth and gently try and blow.
This is one you want to try gently, as blowing too hard could actually damage your ear drums, so practice doing it with relaxed cheeks (almost as if you were playing a trumpet.) You can also just try one eardrum at a time, which can make this easier and safer.
@MarkMayo - keep one cheek taught while allowing the other to relax and loosen the opening to that eustachian tube only. It gets really easy with practice.
Once you can control the muscle voluntarily (without having to induce yawning), you can even open the eustachian tubes without moving the jaw, though opening the jaw allows for a more powerful contraction.
I caught a cold the day before a flight. I went on it anyway. Accending caused my ears to block and I could not unblock them. On the way down the pain was unbearable... trying as hard as I could to unblock, shut out the pain and hoping my ears would not burst... thankfully they didn't