Open Wide, Let Pain Reside: Using Your Mouth to Unblock Your Ears

10 June 2015
 Categories: , Blog


There are few conditions more irritating than a blocked ear. They can decrease your hearing ability, put you off balance, and even inflict a degree of pain if they last. No doubt you will have heard all the motherly tales about holding your breath or swallowing repeatedly can solve the problem, but given the ear's intimate relationship with the throat, these methods of resolution aren't actually too far off the mark.

Whenever your hearing dims or your ears pop, it is often due to your Eustachian tubes—the tubes which connect the middle ears to the back of the throat—becoming blocked. These tubes are responsible for maintaining a healthy level of pressure in the ears, as well as draining excess fluid to allow you to hear correctly. When these tubes suffer a degree of blockage, your ears will feel the consequences as an unstable amount of pressure builds up.

Whilst blocked ears often cure themselves without any need for medicine or treatment, occasionally this condition can linger for an exhausting amount of time. Listed here are three ways that you can use your mouth to eliminate the issue of blocked ears.


When it comes to having blocked ears, feeling a little tired might actually be beneficial. The act of yawning is a reflex which allows you to simultaneously inhale oxygen from the air and stretch your eardrums. This fresh dose of air being taken into the body helps to decrease the kind of air pressure which causes blocked ears, and the stretching of the eardrums help to open the Eustachian tubes to relieve pressure even further.

Even if you're not feeling particularly tired, leave your mouth slightly ajar and wait a few moments whilst thinking about the act of yawning. It shouldn't be too long before your body gives in and decides to take in some air. Try to yawn long and hard several times, and you should begin to feel the pressure on your Eustachian tubes beginning to considerably ease up.


Whilst the act of chewing gum encourages a high degree of muscle stimulation, it's the fact that the saliva generated by the process forces you to swallow that really helps blocked ears.

In a similar way to how yawning opens up the Eustachian tubes, chewing forces the kind of bodily action that stretches the ear drums to relieve pressure. The larger the piece of gum you have, the better. After all, the more that the throat opens up, the more pressure can be lifted. On an airplane the act of chewing is often encouraged as your Eustachian tubes go haywire attempting to balance air pressure in rapidly changing climates.

Chewing can help to maintain a constant, equalised source of pressure in the ears to prevent popping and blockage, and allow your hearing to function correctly.


On the face of it, the process of gargling may not seem particularly helpful when it comes to relieving ear pressure. But given the fact that the swill of water actively generates the kind of stimulation in the throat needed to open the Eustachian tubes, this can actually be a strangely effective technique for resolving stuffy eardrums.

Occasionally, blocked ears can be caused by nasal problems, and by gargling a solution of warm water and salt, you can help to ease any congestion in the nasal cavities, whilst simultaneously exerting the kind of pressure on the throat that enables the Eustachian tubes to open up. Fill up a reasonable sized mug of warm water, add a teaspoon of salt, gargle for thirty seconds, spit, and repeat the process several times until the contents of the mug has all gone. This technique should help to relive blocked ear drums no matter what the cause.

If your ears are giving you trouble and these tips aren't helping, contact resources like Medical Centre 291.