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Ears Popping While Running? Answered

Whenever I run a 5k, I'm finding that my ears start to pop part way through. It makes everything louder, including my breathing, and is extremely distracting. One website mentioned dehydration as a factor, another said something about blood pressure...does anyone know about it? Thanks!


Oh my gosh! This happens to me EVERY TIME I Play basketball it's extremely annoying and I get frustrated. I looked around several websites and they all seem to point to dehydration...so I plan on drinking more BEFORE and after practice. I hope your ear gets better haha and wish me luck;)

Indeed. Have you tried altering how forcefully you breath? Or redirecting it through the nose of nose and mouth in combonation ?

That used to happen to me (like 20 years ago when I actually ran). You might try the "equalizing" move scuba divers use. Hold your nose and try to exhale through it. It'll pop pretty loud but then may stop the problem.

This has happened to me for years and drives me crazy! I've been to the doc and got the Eustachian tube dysfunction diagnosis, but I do not feel this is the problem as it only happens under certain conditions. After trying to self diagnose, this is what I have found. hydration, hydration, hydration! For some reason, it can not be solved just by drinking lots of water, you have to have a meal too. They say that food is mostly made with water and it must help the body balance itself some how. I came to this conclusion after I suffered from Ghiardia...A waterborne parasite that I picked up from contaminated food. I couldn't keep anything in me and my ears were in a constant state of being popped. Talk about making a miserable situation worse. It was all related to having food and water in me. Before Ghiardia, I experienced the popping when exercising and when pregnant. Many pregnant woman are always in a state of dehydration as I must have been. One comment about the blood pressure. It may tie in some how, but I have always had low blood pressure, even through pregnancy, so I don't think that it is behind the popping.

I've had Giardia a few times and now that you mention it, I did have ear problems. For me though, dehydration produces more of an echo or Tinitus. Either way proper hydration relieves a great deal of ear woes.

Hi. I have the same problem. I asked my instructor and his answer seems convincing to me. I ll try to explain: unhealthy food and fat also accumulate on our veins. As a result, blood cannot easily circulate, because veins become smaller (my english is not too good, but u know what i mean..). When you exercise it is even worse, because blood comes with more pressure. I didn t understand what the ears have to do with the whole story. I asked him if i change my diet and exercise, will it stop? And he says YES. (I am thin but i eat unhealthy). Finally he said "drink a lot of water, it helps". So maybe blood pressure and dehydration are somehow connected, but these are symptoms, not reasons. The reason is fat that has accumulate in the veins from unhealthy diet and not-exercising. May I ask, do you eat or used to eat unhealthy?

Correction: ..blood cannot easily circulate, because veins become narrow "The deposit of plaques in the arteries causes the narrowing of the blood vessels"

I've never eaten badly, but in the past few months, it's gotten a lot better. And the hard swallow works, too.

I would vote for blood pressure. I've never heard about that with dehydration. But speaking of dehydration, you do run with water, right?

Hi Weissensteinburg...I just want you to know that you are not alone. The exact same thing happens to me. Only when I run hard. I went to an ear, nose & throat doctor a few years ago... no answers. It is so distracting.. to the point I don't enjoy running when it starts. It happened to me when I lived in Idaho and Nevada. I'm not affected by changes in altitude either-I'm sure it is not that. I use to run all the time and it never happened...then one day about 7 years ago it began. I don't have any ideas but at least you can know you are not alone.

I haven't had the full effect since I posted this, but when I felt it coming on a little bit, and swallowed hard, it seemed to help. You oughta try that next time.

It sounds like some sort of change in pressure to me, to help get rid of it you have to swallow deeply to press on the soft palate at the back of your throat, I use chewing gum.

Gum is what you use to pop your ears though, no? Like on an airplane? This is the opposite, it's what happens once your ears pop, but instead of going away, it stays.

Yeah, I chew to stop them popping too, I think I would have real problems on an aeroplane because even driving down a hill builds pressure in mine.

It's not the gum, it's the chew-and-swallow motion that equalises the pressure. Just put some effort into swallowing as you run.

Since my father is a physician I have learned some diagnoses from him over many years. Here is my diagnosis; it is called Eustachian tube dysfunction. Basically it is where there is an imbalance of air in and out of the middle ear and the inner ear.

Contact your primary doctor and ask him about your problem. If you have decent health insurance, your visit should already be covered. Good luck!

The thing is, it only happens when I'm running, particularly when I push myself. I'm find swimming deep, going in airplanes, high buildings, etc.

Oh, and the "man in a barrel" is exactly what i've got. At least now I know that it's because my Eustachian tube is open when it shouldn't be. Thanks!

You've probably hit the nail on the head with the blood pressure thing, strenuous activity can raise your bp so theoretically it could pop your ears. I wonder whether the pressure waves from headphones/earphones could counteract it. Try running with an MP3 player?

That's a bit odd... I'd have expected the pressure waves from the headphones to counteract the pressure building in your head, but evidently not.

I highly doubt it's blood pressure, i have normal blood pressure and that doesn't happen to me... maybe you're just really sensitive to altitude? I know what you mean by distracting, sometimes when I try and fall asleep I can here my heartbeat, very annoying

If it were blood pressure, it would be from someone with high blookd pressure. And it's not altitude, I live in Florida, we're completely flat, and I'm rarely affected in airplanes.

meh, i think it's just a think that happens, when I yawn it pops my ears and everything's louder for a bit... I think of it as superhuman hearing ;)

Right...but they stay popped for the remainder of the run, and quite some time afterward.