Can a cold cause your ears to pop and crack when swallowing? Does it mean you have fluid? Does that mean you have an inner ear problem?

Eustacian Tube . The eustacian tube allow you to pressurize the air in the middle ear behind the eardrum (i.e. When flying). This tube opens into the back of the nose. Any swelling in the nose, like a cold, can affect the et, leading to ear pressure change. This does not mean you have fluid in the middle ear- though you may if you can't hear-. It does mean the eusctacian tube is temporarily dysfunctional.