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Avatar universal

Constant Ear Popping

For the past couple of years, I've had a constant popping/crackling in my ears.  I hear it when I swallow, yawn, etc.  I went to the ENT and he did a tympanometry test that came back normal, but said the he could hear the crackling when he listened in my ears.  There may be a problem with my Eustacian tube or, better yet, the muscles behind it.  He said there isn't much to do but maybe try an antihistamine which hasn't worked.  Even though its not life-threatening, its very frustrating to live with this!  Is there anything else, at all, to do to get rid of this noise?
145 Responses
Avatar universal
try sudaphedrine 30 mg every 4-6 hours. it works really good at drying up fluid in the sinuses. Best of luck to you.
Avatar universal
I have exactly the sam problem.  I have lived with it since I was 15.  Now I'm 21.  It drives me crazy.  Constantly blocked and popping ears.  The doctors and specialists have found nothing wrong.  no fluid, no ear wax.   I have tried sudaphedrine and antihistamines, along with a lot of other things.  Can anyone help?
Same here. Every single day. Ear popping and feeling of fluid and being clogged. I need help also
I use nasal spay & then rub the back of my ears.. it clears up the stuffiness and popping temporarily
Avatar universal
I have this constant popping and I have had it for 12 years. I can't think of anything for days but this constant popping. I have gone to many ENT's and they have done nothing fo rme but take out my tonsils and adenoids. I have been suffering for years now and I can't stand it. It is enough to make you go crazy....please help!!!!!
Avatar universal
I have had this problem for 18 years. My doctor prescribed Seldane D after testing for various allergies and that helped a little but now it's off the market. A few years ago I went to a chiropracter on a complimentary pass and she said the tension in my neck could be causing this. I also have high ocular pressure in my eyes and get headaches. I definitely understand how frustrating this is and sometimes try letting steam near my ear or just going for a long walk. I really think I will try going back to that chiropractor and that is what I think others with this problem should try.
Avatar universal
another thing I found is something called an ear popper-$200. may accepted on insurance-see www.ear-popper.com find at target, walgreen, riteaid.
Avatar universal
I have been dealing with the same thing since I was 13 years old.  I don't know if this goes for anyone else, but it all started when I had gotten a severe ear infection that lasted for more than 2 weeks.  I had gotten fluid in my ears.  Maybe it is that fluid has settled behind the eardrum and swishes around whenever we swallow or yawn or even tighten our jaw muscles.  I don't know.  Just a thought.
Avatar universal
I have been dealing with this for 4 years now. I saw an ENT he preformed a in office surgery were he made tiny incisions in my eardrums, if this is ever suggested to you don't do it!  For two weeks everything echoed and sounded hollow.  I ended up having to miss work, pay $400 after insurance, and he never did tell me what was wrong.  I also have problems with my sinuses, a different ENT said I have a severe deviated septum.  He wants me to have surgery to correct this, I am nervous.  I have also recently got braces thinking that it had to do with my jaw, I have had them on for 1 year and 2 months and it has not helped.  I do see a chiropractor for my neck, I have never heard that it could be from the muscles in your neck. I will have to say something to my chiropractor.  I am going crazy and I feel like nobody understands, I feel like people think I am a hyperchondriac.  At this point I wonder if I am.
657020 tn?1238037518
Try local honey for ear popping-
I have had chronic sinusitis for 4 years this month. I have also had awful allergies for 8 years. I never used to have a problem with my ears until I became very sick in Aug of 2008. I have had popping and crackling in both ears, but mostly my right ear since. I hear it every time I swallow and every time I open my mouth. It is, to say the least, very annoying. My dr said I had blood in my right ear due to my allergies. My sinusitis has worsened due to too many antibiotics for what I believe to be a fungal infection.
The point of my post is that the ear problems have decreased to a large extent in the past 2 days. The only thing I have done differently is that I started using LOCAL HONEY again. I also take Claritin D, but I know this isn't the reason for the improvement with my ears. I found out about local honey a couple of years go. I recently moved and had been unable to find it in my new area. In addition to the ear popping, I have been suffering with awful eye pain as well. Local honey will also relieve eye pain due to allergies. The honey is made by the bees using the same outdoor plants you may be allergic to. In that sense, it acts as a vaccine so to speak. You can find it at health food stores or your local Farmers' Market.
Anyone with sinus or ear issues due to allergies, TRY THIS! It really works :)
Avatar universal
I have a similar problem as well. I noticed it only arises when I am nervous and am thinking too much. I guess these could be considered "bipolar thoughts" (ya know the kind that just won't shut up?), although I am not bipolar. This is just a theory, but I think that it has nothing to do with the physical and is more of a psychological thing. The mind is so powerful that we may never know what thought alone has on our bodies. When I am thinking really hard, like to the point where I don't notice any external stimuli, my heart pumps harder and faster, sending more blood to the brain (much more so if I am feeling anxiety for some reason). This may begin to throw off the normal functions of the body if continued for too long (similar to burning out from stress which is common these days) hence the abnormal clicking in the ears. This unusual strain on the brain may affect the inner ear structures which are responsible for equilibrium and hearing, causing normal ear pressure to be thrown off and thus causing the clicking, squeaking, and popping noises.

Once again, I don't know much about this and am just looking for an explanation. If anyone knows more about the body's response to stress and know that this for a fact is not possible then kudos to you, but I am just throwing it out there.

Does anyone with this ear popping problem suffer from stress or anxiety or experience this only in certain situations? I wonder if I am on to something...
Avatar universal
Here are my symptoms: constant ear popping, left eye area and cheek hurts along with my upper teeth, and my left nostril is numb. I have lost my appitite and have gas that taste like my stomach gases. What is it? I have tried cold medicine, decongestant, and ibporphen for my headache or to try to relieve some pressure surrounding my nose and eye. I have run out of options.
Avatar universal
My ent diagnosed me with acid reflux, gave me a script and all better...years of ear pressure gone.  if I don't watch my diet now, comes back as a side effect of acid reflux...I don't get the expected heart burn, I get the ear pain.  Check it out and do a search for acid reflux and ear pain, you'll be surprised!
Avatar universal
i just started having this problem.  like a week ago.. I'm 14,, my teacher told me it was because of a miner infection, or wax build up.. and said it will go away in a little bit.. i was wondering if there are any quick fix answers to this because i cant take it anymore  :)
Avatar universal
I can't believe I found some people with the same problems!  I have had this constant pressure/popping in my ear (right only) for 3 years now, ever since I had an ear infection.  Almost like it never quite went away.  I went to an ENT and he didsurgery to correct my deviated septum.  This didn't help my ear so he put a tube in it.  This didn't help the entire time I had it and yesterday it was taken out.  I also suffer from tinnitus, motion sickness (vertigo?) and random severe headaches right behind my eyes.  Tomorrow I go for a brain MRI, I will post the results when I get them.  I've stopped complaining about my symptoms to family and friends because I also felt like they thought I was a hypochondriac, I'm glad to know I'm not crazy!  
649159 tn?1223858562
wow im suprised to read all these pots about the problems i have... sometimes it feels like im so alone... ive had constant ear popping and pressure for over a year and its the most annoying thing ever along with alot of dizzy spells. doctors and ents have found nothing wrong and its frustrating!! i know there is something wrong. its more in the left ear then the right. i also always feel like i have a stuffed nose and cant breathe right. ive tried so many meds and stuff to fix it and nothing works.... the last resort is to get my impacted wisdom tooth out maybe thats the cause... everyday i just worry like i might die or is it life threatening and its scary...anybody who wants to talk im here i could use someone to talk to who understands what im going through!!
Avatar universal
I've been dealing with this Stupid popping since last summer..At first i thought it was just caused by an 11 hrs non stop flight and the changed of the altitude. After several months till now its getting worst,giving me headache,ear pain and everytime i swallow my saliva it wont go tru immediately,kinda like i have to deep breath ( else it feels like cant breath at all) then redo the swallowing.Its crazy really,i just wish it would go back to normal.
Avatar universal
Like you all, I too am surprised to find others with this strange problem. I have had constant ear infections since I was very little. For about 10 years now I have experienced constant popping in my ears when I swallow and chew...I also have to constantly 'blow' my ears out (holding your nose and blowing to clear your ears) and helps for a few seconds, but they go right back to being 'clogged'. My left is worse than my right, and I have these pains in my left ear that I can only describe as a' charlie horse' feeling...I know it is imposisble to have a charlie horse in your ear as there really are no muscles there to spasm, but it is an acute sharp pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours. I have had hearing tests, seen specialists, and allergists...NOTHING has come of it. I also get migraine headaches and have been diagnosed with TMJ, but I really dont think that has to do with my ear, as the pain is my EAR not from my JAW. PLEASE, if anyone has any info on where to go or how to help....SHARE! :) Much appreciated!
Avatar universal

I had a full palm hit on my  left ear back in 2002. Since then I have been unable to sustain large change of pressure into my left ear  like going on an airplane or going under water . I have developed a clicking of the ear in 2007. That condition is known as TTM (tympani tensor myoclonous).  I have written a long post on the whole techinical details on this forum. Have a look. And if you have had and accident or ear trauma and have managed to remove that "clicking", I would love to know how you did so.
Avatar universal
Has anyone with all these symptoms looked up Sjorgrens Syndrome? It is an auto-immune disease that primarily affects the salivary glands (just below the ear lobes) and other fluid producing areas like tear ducts, joints etc.
Symptoms include: ear popping discomfort, difficulty swallowing, ear, nose and throat problems including sinusitis, breathlessness and joint pain. Patients also often suffer from extreme fatigue and anxiety/depression.
I have been diagnosed with this and am seeing a rheumatologist whose remit this comes under. Rheumatoid arthritis often accompanies this disease so it may be worth mentioning these things to your GP.
If anyone concurs with this amateur diagnosis, please feel free to share? :O)
Avatar universal
Relating to the last entry: 'Sjorgrens' patients affected are mainly female, initially presented between the ages of 40-50. 9 out of 10 patients with this are female! Sorry ladies, we're the unlucky ones again!
Avatar universal
hello everyone... i have been suffering from this for a few months now and thought it was a wax build up...but to my surprize the ENT assured me that there wasnt a wax build up...i had a stressful summer and am beginning to feel like this is more psychological than physical...then again it could have somthing to do with the wisdom teeth as my mouth feels out of alignment for the first time im my life...this could have an effect on the equilibrium of the whole facial area...anyway, im glad to hear that non of you have died from this rediculus problem...but i really believe that most if not all of you are anxious and nervous more than the mean...it also seems a little OCDish if you dont mind me saying...im hoping with new insight into this problem i can start relaxing about it and hopfully recieve some addvice from anyone willing...good luck my fellow ear-poppers...dont let it ruin your life...my brother has compounded cronic problems with his guts as well as diabeties...if he can live with those serious problems then surly you and i can manage this little set-back...be positive and good luck!!!
Avatar universal
I have had an ear popping problem for as long as I can remember and I am now 30.  My ears pop when I open my mouth wide, swallow or just for no apparent reason.  When they pop it feels so intense that I am constantly sniffing my nose hard in order to get them to feel closed up again.  I have been experiencing alot of dizziness, breathelessness and virtigo lately.  Everytime I mention this to a Dr.  they seem completely unconcerned.  It is extremely irritating to live with.  I would do just about anything to have a cure for this.    
Avatar universal
I have always had quick-forming ear pressure imbalances, but have always been able to depressurise much the same way you'd do on a flight, or the act of chewing would relieve that. Recently however, I started getting this constant and consistent "popping" and "clicking" sound in my left ear. Try as I might, nothing I did worked, until I read what some of the posts on this forum have indicated. I thought deeply about what I was going through and realised that YES, I was stressed, but then I have just also come out of a situation where I had a "minor' upper respiratory blockage AND to make things worse, I am self-employed with 101 things going on in my head and hence, not much sleep, just trying to get things going comfortably for the rest of my family.
I sat down to some meditation and relaxation to get rid of the stress and considered deeply the actual situation going on in my ears and head. I did some intensive research (almost like I was doing a Doctoral Thesis on just this one topic). I found that the popping is just your body's way of relieving additional internal pressure that happens to be more than the eexternal pressure acting on the tympanic membrane (ear-drum). I then used an old wives remedy to gain some temporary relief. I say temporary  because I have no idea as to how long it will last, it could come back perhaps a few minutes after writing this post, or perhaps a month from now, or even a year. Unless I stop the actual cause of the pressure imbalance, and the cause of stress, it might come back when conditions are again favourable for it to return. Meanwhile, I am still enjoying the same "Temporary relief". What did I do? Simply the following:

You will notice that the problem is usually affecting one ear (right or left). So......
Gentle breathing exercises, quiet medication for the stress and gently exhaling the worries and problems out. THEN, I used the lightest oil available (in my case, the 3in1 machine oil) and put that in the affected ear until it filled temporarily up. I closed it up with a bit of clean cotton wool and continued living my life....

The oil was able to counteract the pressure imbalance between the middle and outer ear, and I haven't had the problem since.

Even as I write this post, I dread thinking about it too much  in case, by the Laws of Attraction (The Secret), I attract the problem back. I know what we all go through with this problem, and all I can caution everybody with, is that as long as your ear drum has not been perforated in any way, the light machine oil (3-in-1) works just great. I think normal ear drops might be too light to counter the pressure gradient in the ear, so try it..... if anyone wants to engage in more frequent conversation, you can find me on Skype as "njwayi". God bless to you all.
Avatar universal
It is called chronic ear, it's normally caused from numerous ear infections that may have been left untreated for too long or not fully treated at the time of infection.
I have this problem, I am 24 and have dealt with it since I was about 6 years old (that I can remember)
Well, when I ended up with a deadly ear infection called malignant otitis in 2008 I went to 6 Dr. visits and my doc did nothing but put me on a broad spectrum anti-biotic, which didn't help at all! I ended up in the emergency room 8 days after the on-set of infection and the E.R. doc put something called a "wick" in my ear. The wick was used to basically keep my ear pryed open enough for the aggressive anti-biotic ear drops he put me on to get through the EXTREMELY swollen ear canal. I mean SWOLLEN! The entire left side of my face quadrupled in size and was putting pressure on my skull causing a brain bleed.
So the E.R. doc admitted me and put me on 3 oral anti-biotics and the aggressive ear drops which are so strong they are known to cause skin and muscle death as well as killing infection.
After 6 weeks of this and plenty of hydrocodone 10's for the excruciating pain I was in, the infection went away.
Now, after all of this the ER dr. checked me again, i had to follow up with only him because my regular physician wanted nothing to do with all of this, the ER doc checked my ears and told me I would have to have the scar tissue from the infection removed. Reluctantly, I agreed and he took a scalple to the inside of my ear and removed the dead tissue.
He then told me that he would need to check my other ear because apparently once you have had this type of infection once it is MUCH easier to get it again in either ear. It is a DEADLY infection, so if you get an ear infection do NOT let it go untreated because if you have chronic ear you're more supsceptible to this infection!!
When he checked my other ear he asked my to open my mouth, when I did he put his ear against mine and heard my ear pop. He asked how long that had been happening and if it was in both ears. I told him it's been like that as long as I could remember and that it was in both ears. That is when he told me I have chronic ear. It's a lifelong issue. It will never go away, no treatments have been proven to work for this and I think something needs to be done to try and find an effective treatment for this!!!!
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there is no treatment for chronic ear. I have been doing a lot of research since this happened and I finally have a diagnosis...but no luck yet. I may be on to a little something and will let you all know if I find something that at least minimizes our issue! if you have any questions you can e-mail me at
Avatar universal
I've had this problem for about five hours now. I don't know if I can take this for the rest of my life.
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