The tube going to the middle ear from the back of the nose is called the eustachian tube. Normally, this tube stays closed and opens when a person swallows, yawns, screams or “pops” his ears.
The way you pop your ears is:
- Hold your nose
- Close your mouth and
- Try and blow your nose.
Pressure will develop in the back of you nose and force the eustachian tube open. Many times when the eustachian tube opens, the person hears a popping in the ear.
By opening the eustachian tube, one is able to equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the outside atmosphere. Any negative pressure is released and fluid is able to drain from the middle ear space.
The photograph shows the maneuver used to “pop” the ears. This maneuver is also called a Valsalva or Toynbee maneuver.