Can Anyone else pop / crack their ears?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SamIchi, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    You know how when you pop your ears, there's this cracking noise, what is that? It's gotta be some kind of muscle if we're able to control it. Anyone know?
  2. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
  3. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    I can do that too :)
  4. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Its just a change in the pressure inside the ear. The pop you hear is the eustachian tube opening to equalize the pressure on either side of your ear drum. The eustachian tube connects your ears to the back of your throat (hence, when you get an ear infection you sometimes get a sore throat as well) and is the reason your ears pop on planes, when changing altitude, or in such activities as diving. Its all about keeping the pressure on either side of the ear drum the same. Since the tube is going into your throat you can force it open thus creating that popping noise.

    I find it neat really, everything up there is connected. Ears through the eustachian tube, your tear ducts are connected to your nose (hence a runny nose when you cry) and your nose to your throat (hence that whole breathing thing)

    teh Wikipedia link
  5. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Awesome, awesome, thank you, I probably could've found that but I'm lazy. when I "pop" my ears and hold it I can feel that it's connected with my throat, very interesting.
  6. Love macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2007
    Just southeast of Northwestshire
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; Smartphone; 176x220))

    i tend to pop/crack my ears when i swallow
  7. soemochris macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Nope, YOUR GOING TO DIE!!!!

    yes i can, your not going to die btw

    well, everyone does

  8. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I hear that being able to do this on cue is really important in diving. Since I am not a diver I woudn't know first hand, but that's what I've heard...
  9. Artofilm macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2005
    Wow, same here. I used to get really bad ear aches and then I learned to pop (open) my ears by myself. Ever since they kinda just do their own thing.
  10. Slip macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2007
    Wiltshire, England
    Now you mention it, I crack my ears when I swallow. Thanks a lot for pointing that out, it won't bug me at all every time I swallow now :|
  11. saxman macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2004
    Mine "pop" whenever I swallow, yawn or move my jaw forward. I've done it for so long I forgot how loud it actually is
  12. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    Yes, it's important in diving, otherwise the eardrum would break.
    Yes, some people can make their ears pop by swallowing. It depends on how you're done. For other people, it's extremely hard to achieve (and thus, cannot dive). I'm lucky, the slight pressure of the mask is enough to make me pop my ears as if I was pinching my nose.

    Even better, I depending on the day, I can make air get out of me by the eye!!!
    I've yet to ask a doctor about that, though!
  13. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    SOmetimes when I try to pop my ears, only one wants to for a little bit :p
  14. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2003
    In this image [Wikipedia] you have a better view of what is labled the "auditory tube". The opening of the auditory tube/eustachian tube into the nasopharynx is dorsal (towards the back) to the turbinites and has a firm ridge that partially surrounds it called the Torus tubarius. Two muscles have attachments around the Torus, one stretching to the soft palate (salpingopalatine m.) and another to the pharynx (salpingopharyngeal m.).

    Both of these muscles are involved in swallowing and their contraction probably slightly moves the opening of the eustachian tube, opening the canal, contributing to the characteristic "popping" sound. Moving your jaw, slightly opening it, will also cause a slight repositioning of the eustachian tube causing the sound. It is for this reason that people recommend chewing gum during airplane take off and descent to relieve ear pressure. This sound would be augmented if there was a pressure change.
  15. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
  16. mrwizardno2 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2007
    Columbus, OH
    I looked into diving certification, and on one of the sites I was reading it mentioned "ear fear," or people who were afraid because they've suffered middle-ear barotrauma. They couldn't / didn't know how to pop their eustachian tubes open to equalize pressure. It's extraordinarily painful... I've experienced it. About 8 feet under water and my ears felt like someone was jamming a blunt stick in them. Thankfully I know what to do now :)
  17. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    When diving you dont have to try and train yourself, you just hold your nose closed and push out with your nose as you travel down and feel pressure.

    Hard to write, but you know what I mean.

    Its the easiest part of diving, just pinch and blow (thats what she said).

    When you are going down and that doesnt work, even blowing hard, you cant continue deeper or the pain will be unbearable not to mention dangerous if you go too deep and cant equalize. Its a sign of blockage, usually when you are sick.
  18. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have always wanted to dive (friend of mine's dad does a class thing) but the whole ear thing really scares me. I have bad ears as is, so I dunno if it would be a good idea. That said, since I fly a lot being able to pop my own ears is terribly convenient. Until I flew somewhere with my fiance one time I didn't know that not everyone could do it :D
  19. 119576 Guest


    Aug 6, 2007
    Ditto that. I flew to Spain with my then-girlfriend and she was complaining about the pressure and her ears 'popping'; she thought you just had to wait it out, but I told her to just pinch her nose and try to blow through it. She was shocked. Haha.
  20. floriflee macrumors 68030


    Dec 21, 2004

    I, too, thought this was common knowledge. Heh. With that said, I can make my ears pop, and yes, it has been very helpful with diving and with flying and various other times when there has been a pressure change. I find I have to pop my ears whenever I'm on the metro and the train goes into a tunnel.
  21. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    It doesn't happen when I swallow but I can do it at will without needing to move other parts of my face/head. It's a nice thing to be able to do.

    I can also wiggle my ears.
  22. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    I can pop my ears. I can hear a lot better after I do it as well. I just plug my nose and and mouth and make pressure in my head. I can also wiggle my ears using the muscles around them.

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