Whether you’re flying, driving up a mountain, or climbing a skyscraper, your ears do a fantastic job at regulating air pressure. Thanks to a piece of anatomy called the Eustachian tube, they can adjust and equalize air pressure on both sides of your eardrums.
Occasionally, this can get clogged. But most of the time, a blocked ear will clear up on its own.
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When you swallow or yawn, pressure develops in the back of your nose and forces the ear’s Eustachian tube open. This equalizes the pressure between the outside air and the middle ear, relieving the build-up of earwax.
Pop your ears is a safe and effective way to relieve earwax in adults with healthy ears. However, some medical conditions can make it hard to pop your ears, such as a deviated nasal septum or if you have upper respiratory tract infections.
A swallow study, also called a barium esophagram (BE), is a type of x-ray exam that uses a small amount of barium to see the inside of the pharynx and esophagus. It is performed by a radiologist.
Swallows are a symbol of good fortune in China and are often harbingers of Spring, bringing with them new beginnings. They also represent a gathering of kindred spirits, which can be an indicator of upcoming prosperity.
Chewing gum is an age-old travel tool that can help pop your ears during takeoff and landing on an airplane. It combines the swallowing and yawning actions that engage your Eustachian tube and equalize the pressure in your ears.
Ear popping is typically safe for adults, as long as it’s gentle and doesn’t result in ear pain or a ringing sensation. However, if you have a serious ear infection or allergy, consult your doctor before trying to open your ears.
Whether you’re driving a car up a mountain or climbing a flight of stairs, changes in air pressure can cause your ears to feel clogged and ache. When this happens, your middle ear is usually able to adjust to the difference in pressure and normalize it by popping open the Eustachian tube that connects to your eardrum.
If your ear feels clogged and doesn’t seem to be adjusting, you may need prescription medication to clear the blockage. You can also try yawning, swallowing, or taking decongestants to relieve the pressure.
If you’ve ever been on a plane or scuba diving and your ears seem to be full, clogged, or make unusual noises (crackling or popping), you may be experiencing problems with your ear tubes. This can happen for a number of reasons, including unregulated changes in air pressure, failure of your eustachian tubes, or even congestion.
Normally, your ear does a great job of regulating pressure. It does this by opening and closing one 1.5 inch long passageway called the eustachian tube, which connects the outside world to your middle ear space.
The eardrum then bulges inward when the pressure outside your ear is more than the pressure inside your middle ear space. This occurs when a plane is landing or you dive deep into water.
Your ear equalizes this pressure after you return to ground level. This process takes some time.
Blow Up a Balloon
If you’ve ever tried to blow up a balloon, then you know that it can be tricky. It takes a lot of lung power and it can be very tiring.
The best way to avoid this is to always use a pump or tank to inflate your balloons. These are a lot faster than blowing them up with your mouth and they don’t cost much at all!
You can also try a little experiment that will teach your kids about thermal expansion and contraction. This is a fun science project that will make your kitchen table look like a real science lab!
You can also try a few different ways to blow up your balloons. You can try using a straw or dry ice.
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