Ears popping when ascending or descending

  • Thread starter destinee20
  • Start date
In summary: Then you can find the power of heart in watts.In summary, the first problem involves calculating the approximate force on an eardrum of area 0.50cm^2 if a change in altitude of 950m takes place. The second problem involves calculating the power output of the heart, in watts, assuming 70 beats per minute. To solve the first problem, the barometric formula can be used to derive the atmospheric pressure at the given height. For the second problem, the work formula can be manipulated to find the power output of the heart based on the given data.
  • #1
I have these problems about Fluids that I really need help with. Can you please tell me how to get started with these problems. Thanks alot!

1) When u ascend or descend a great deal when driving in a car, your ears "pop," which means that the pressure behind the eardrum is being equalized to that outside. If this didn't happen, what would be the approximate force on an eardrum of area 0.50cm^2 if a change in altitude of 950m takes place?

What I did was: Pressure= (density)(g)(height) Then (Pressure)(Area)= Force
Is that right?
I got .600045 for the force... which seems... wrong.

2) During each heartbeat, approximately 70cm^3 of blood is pushed from the heart at an average pressure of 105 mm-Hg. Calculate the power output of the heart, in watts, assuming 70 beats per minute.

for this one... I'm not sure of what to do... so please help. thanks
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
1) The height in the equation is the height of a column of a fluid assuming there is constant density. If you are using the density of air, then you should be getting the pressure difference between two levels, which is what you need. I don't know what your units are, or the density off hand, so I can't comment on the size of the force.

2) The easiest approach is to model the exit from the heart as a cylinder of some cross section A, and think about how far the blood has to move. Then use force times distance to connect to work/energy.
Last edited:
  • #3
If your answer is in Newtons, that's close to what I got :shrug:
  • #4
1. 950m seems like too much to consider the column as constant density. If you want a correct answer, assuming that the observer rises 950m from the sea level, use the barometric formula:

[tex]p = p_0e^{-\frac{mgh}{KT}}[/tex]

to derive the atmospheric pressure at the height of 950m.

2. You know the pressure p. Then you have to manipulate the work formula:

[tex]W = Fs = (pA)\frac{V}{A} = pV[/tex]

where V is volume.

[tex]P = \frac{W}{t} = p\frac{V}{t} = pR[/tex]

where R is rate.

From the given data of course you can find the rate of pumped blood in cube meters per second.

Related to Ears popping when ascending or descending

What causes ears to pop when ascending or descending?

When ascending or descending in altitude, the air pressure around us changes. Our ears are connected to the back of our throat via the Eustachian tube. When the pressure changes, the Eustachian tube opens to equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the air outside, causing the popping sensation.

Is it normal for ears to pop frequently when flying or driving through mountains?

Yes, it is completely normal for ears to pop frequently when changing altitude. This is especially common during takeoff and landing on a plane, or when driving through mountains. The change in air pressure is more significant during these times, causing the Eustachian tube to open more frequently to equalize the pressure.

Can ear popping be prevented?

There are a few methods that can help prevent or reduce ear popping. Some people find that chewing gum, swallowing, or yawning can help to equalize the pressure in the ears. Some also recommend using specialized ear plugs or ear pressure relief devices for flights.

Can ear popping be a sign of a larger issue?

In most cases, ear popping is completely normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, if you experience severe or frequent ear popping, it could be a sign of an underlying issue such as a sinus infection, allergies, or a blockage in the Eustachian tube. If you are concerned, it is best to consult a doctor.

Can ear popping cause permanent damage to the ears?

No, ear popping itself does not cause permanent damage to the ears. However, if you try to forcefully equalize the pressure in your ears by blowing your nose or holding your breath, it can lead to damage to the eardrum or middle ear. It is important to let the ear popping occur naturally and avoid trying to force it.

Similar threads

  • Mechanics
  • Biology and Medical