9 doctors weighed in:

What exactly does it mean when you are getting a cold and can hear a bubble-poping/ running water sound in the ear?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Danny Proffitt
Family Medicine
7 doctors agree

In brief: Tubes stopped up

The eustachian tube ventillates and equalizes the pressure in the middle ear.
With a cold, this tube swells and is irritated and does not work as well. You have build-up of pressure in the middle ear and then the pressure releases. You hear bubbles, pops, and snaps. It should go away with resolution of the cold. Sometimes stays longer and you have to be seen.

In brief: Tubes stopped up

The eustachian tube ventillates and equalizes the pressure in the middle ear.
With a cold, this tube swells and is irritated and does not work as well. You have build-up of pressure in the middle ear and then the pressure releases. You hear bubbles, pops, and snaps. It should go away with resolution of the cold. Sometimes stays longer and you have to be seen.
Dr. Danny Proffitt
Dr. Danny Proffitt
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1 comment
Dr. Phil Zapanta
If this continues to be a problem for you, you can try using a oral decongestant or a nasal spray decongestant. This will help decrease swelling in the eustachian tube and eventually normalize the pressure in your ears. If this doesn't work, you should see your PCP and possibly an ENT.
Dr. Alexander Gorup
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery

In brief: Maybe good

Popping may be a sign that air is getting into your middle ear.
That would be a positive development.

In brief: Maybe good

Popping may be a sign that air is getting into your middle ear.
That would be a positive development.
Dr. Alexander Gorup
Dr. Alexander Gorup
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