Medically the review by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI — created by Helen Millar on respectable 12, 2020

From altitude transforms to ear infections, over there are plenty of reasons why push may construct up in the ears. Sometimes, the push is straightforward to relieve, but on occasion, it takes a little longer.

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Pressure in the ears establishes when air and also fluid block among the significant ear tubes, resulting in what is medically known as ear barotrauma.

The most common places for pressure to develop in the ear room the middle ear and also the eustachian tube, which operation from the top of the throat to close to the eardrum.

Children and babies are an ext susceptible come pressure-related blockages in the ears, as they have narrower Eustachian tubes than adults.

In this article, we discuss why world feel push in their ears, means to relax pressure when the ears do not pop, and tips to avoid it in the future.

Why you feel pressure in the ears

Share ~ above PinterestMany human being feel pressure in their ear while on plane or otherwise suffering altitude changes.
The ears rely on push to function. It is because of pressure waves, which increase and decrease slightly, that people are able come hear.

However, the press within the ear must complement the pressure exterior the body. If the pressure either inside or outside the body becomes too high or also low, the ear will shot to adapt to regain the balance.

This creates the emotion of the ear needing to pop.


Many determinants can cause pressure to develop up in the ears. Exterior the body, air pressure may change with altitude changes, while depth changes change hydrostatic press in water.

Activities in i beg your pardon altitude and hydrostatic press can readjust include:

flying on one airplanescuba divingcommercial divinghyperbaric oxygen treatment

Internal causes, such together congestion, can induce a buildup of air or liquid in the eustachian pipe in the ear. This buildup creates a feeling of push in the ears.

The blockage come the eustachian tube might come from:

waterfluid and also mucus from a sinus infection

When push builds increase in the ears, the can reason pain and discomfort, but it can also impact the person’s hearing and also cause dizziness.

How to relax pressure

To relax pressure, world can first try to popular music the ear by opened the eustachian tube. They deserve to do this by:

yawningscreamingswallowingwiggling the jaw

If possible, suck on hard candy, such as a lollipop, deserve to be a nice, gentle means of maintaining the ear tubes open. Because that a baby, sucking ~ above a party or pacifier deserve to have the very same effect.

People can try to prepare prior to an activity that is likely to increase the pressure in the ears. Because that instance, it may aid to begin wiggling the jaw just before a plane takes off so the the ears have longer to readjust to the outside pressure.

Learn more about exactly how to relieve pressure in the ears.


Treatments for push in the ears can be one of two people preventive, such as for a person around to take a flight, or curative, because that those who have actually blocked ears that they can not pop.

A doctor may prescribe precautionary treatments if a person has actually preexisting ear problems.

For human being without major problems, a pharmacy will offer over-the-counter (OTC) nasal sprays and also decongestants that can release press in the ears. One example is oral pseudoephedrine.

OTC options are an ideal for scuba divers come take before a lower or waiting travelers come take before a flight. However, a human being should not use them too generally as their expanded use can an outcome in complications.

For instance, decongestant sleep sprays might stop supplying relief and also instead boost congestion if a person overuses them.

To relieve pressure after it has gathered in the ears, a doctor can dilate the eustachian tube. To execute this, they may use a eustachian pipe balloon dilation or a pressure equalization tube, which releases fluid and pressure native the eardrum to the ear canal.

If these treatments execute not work, a doctor might perform a operation incision in the eardrum to relax fluid and also pressure. Surgical procedure may likewise be important if a human being ruptures your eardrum.

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Scientists are still conducting research, however a machine known together an Ear Popper, i beg your pardon delivers a currently of air with the nasal cavity to clear the area, might soon be available.