What is the relationship between ear popping and ear infection? Many people notice that if they have an ear infection their ears pop also. The reason for this is that infection causes swelling and inflammation of the delicate skin which lines the middle and inner ear. The Eustachian tube is a very tiny canal which connects the middle ear with the back of the nose. This equalises the pressure between the two, protecting your ear from changes in pressure. When you swallow it opens the tubes, equalising the pressure. The popping noise is the tube opening.
There are several types of ear infection. The variety which is most likely to cause popping is a middle ear infection. If your ears do pop then this means that you are probably draining your middle ear space. This is good. When the popping stops this may be a sign that it has become completely blocked. In this instance the air in the middle is space may be absorbed and replaced with fluid. Hearing becomes muffled and the fluid may become infected. This results in middle ear infection, also called otitis media. You may need antibiotics if you have this.
Anti-inflammatories and decongestants may help to keep the tube open. This may prevent the problem progressing. If you have an infection or think you may have another ear problem make sure you see a doctor.
This article does not constitute medical advice.
Dr Toby Bateson for zenplugs.com