#832 Finally having your ears pop back to normal long after a flight or swim

Get ready for a bang

Do you sometimes forget your ears need a good popping?

Maybe after the jet cabin decompresses, concert wraps up, or swimming lessons finish the volume in your ear dials down a notch and your head feels all plugged up. But you just get used to it. You pick up your baggage, clear customs, jump on the subway, towel off, get changed, and life keeps on tr–BAM! THEN SUDDENLY YOUR EAR POPS, EVERYTHING IS REALLY LOUD, AND YOU’RE BACK TO NORMAL AGAIN.


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42 thoughts on “#832 Finally having your ears pop back to normal long after a flight or swim

  1. This is like the bubble wrap one….well if someone has you tied to a chair with a sheet of bubble wrap in front of them, promising to pop one… but never do… mmmmmmmmmmm…. I swear to god big brothers better not be in the top ten

  2. I especially like it when you get water in your ears after swimming then, after much jumping around, it runs out in a little warm trickle.

  3. For normal ear-popping (on flights for example), I can usually self-medicate through plugging my nose, and doing a little breathing thing to unplug them. But getting water in your ears after a swim. I’m with Joel – I’m jumping around for the rest of the day until that remedies itself.

    My buddy once had what felt like a plugged up ear for weeks. Finally he got my wife to work some medical magic (mostly just involving shooting a jet of warm water into his ear), and TONS of wax came out. TONS! They were totally cool with this, but I almost barfed again just typing this. *shudder*

  4. When learning to SCUBA dive you become very comfortable with popping your ears. They teach you several different methods. You have to pop them as you ascend and descend or risk a tear. When you can’t get them to clear you can’t go down any further.

  5. This post is awesome. I once had my ears clogged for about 5 days straight. It was torture. I got a buzzing in my ears, and nothing, not even ear medicine would unclog them. Then I went to an ear doctor, they cleaned it out, and it was AWESOME!!!!

  6. Once I had a wax buildup in one ear and could not hear for about a week! Then I went to the doctor and they used a waterpik thing and cleaned it all out!

    I was really dizzy after though.

  7. Here’s a little trick I learned from the doctor. I used to get ear infections from swimming all the time, so he told me to take a cotton ball and push rubbing alcohol on it. Make it so there is enough to squeeze out a few drops. Tilt you head parallel to the floor, squeeze a bit into your ear. Wait for it to ‘fill’/plug (you’ll hear a difference), then tilt you head the other way and bam. it’ll leak out, taking all the water with it. It works wonders, and saves the possible neck injury during the ‘ear plugged dance’ and, well, looking like a fool. :P

  8. I remember this from when we used to go to Johnstown, PA and had to drive through the mountains (literally). We would always have our ears pop at the exact moment that my biological father would miss the exit and say, “We are in Effing OHIO again????”

    1. I remember you and your bio dad story re: “We’re in f’ing Ohio again!”
      It sounds like a great title for a book, with revised “effing”.
      Love it!

  9. Agreed! I recently had my ears take *seven* days to pop after flying (with a sinus infection – duh) and hadn’t realized how AWESOME it is when they pop back to normal. Sort of like having hot water for a shower – you don’t realize it’s awesome until it doesn’t happen.

  10. haha, i do the unplug dance after swimming too. my current friends would probably laugh and do it with me now, but ive never swum with them lol. Going over hills and flying doesnt bother me when my ears pop, because A) i used to yawn all the time, and so i just imitate the opening-of-mouth for the start of a yawn and it pops, and B) im a singer, and my singing teacher told me that when you sing your soft pallet drops/lifts (cant remember which) and thats what happens when u yawn. i can do that without having to open my mouth like A), but i thout id give yous that tip :)

  11. Ah, that one summer night after an extremely loud melodic death metal concert… I was partially to completely deaf for two days and then… POP! Saints and angels, it’s a miracle.

  12. Oh man. I can completely relate to this post. After flying to cali for the first time with a sinus infection, my ears did not pop for the first three days while I was there. As I was meeting new people I could barely keep up with the conversations because I was pretty much deaf. Then one blissful day as we were driving around san fran, it all hit me at once… loud noisessss!!! I could hear again!! We pulled the car over, jumped out and did a happy dance and gave each other many hugs in celebration. Great blog by the way. I’m just now catching on and I can’t pull myself away from reading them all!

  13. True! One of the most annoying things is that you can’t hear everything like it’s used to be. When I go on holidays and we go by plain, I always have a lot of pain in my ears. It’s stays a couple of days and than FINALLY that redemptive pop when it goes back to normal. It’s one of the best feelings ever! Because it really hurts when you have that pressure on your ears. I also swim a lot and when I need to go to the ground in the deepest part it hurts like hell. All people say you have to swallow but it doesn’t help when I’m doing it. They also say when you do it a couple of times it’s getting better, but when I’m doing that it’s even getting worser. After swimming it takes some houres to go back to normal. So I understand and know how good it feels when finally you have yours ears popping back to normal.

  14. Grade 8 school trip, flew to France and spent the entire time with muffled hearing which didn’t resolve until back in Canada. That ear was never the same. So I say to the youngin’s… follow whatever advice is given here in so you can always hear the wind at your back.

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  16. man i feel sooooooo deaf in my right ear, i woke up with the flu i think and could hardly hear a thing, its clogged and its very uncomfy my head hurts because of it and i tried everything :( cant wait for that special second when it finally pops trust me.

  17. Excellent feeling. Only I can’t really empathise because I’ve always known how to pop my ears myself (without sweets or swallowing etc) by manipulating my throat muscles or something since I was a kid. Useful skill to have on a flight (and yes, it’s horrible when you’re so bunged up that it doesn’t work!)

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