The Medical Reason Some People Vape Out Their Ears

At this point, we all have at least one friend that religiously vapes. E-cigarettes like the Juul have made their way into the mainstream almost as quickly as fidget spinners twirled their way into pop culture. This new craze has spawned the art of vape tricks and this teenager has taken the craft of blowing clouds to new heights.

In a Reddit video that garnered well over 21,000 upvotes on the WTF subreddit — a forum for all things unbelievable — a teen takes a rip of her bright pink vape only to do the seemingly impossible. Instead of mesmerizing her friends with cascading, elegant smoke rings, she proceeds to blow out the presumably fruit-scented cloud from her right ear. How is this possible? Has she somehow become a vape diety? No, she probably just has a history of ear infections.

Reoccurring ear infections are common among children and young adults. This occurs when bacteria build up in the middle ear — the space right behind the eardrum. The eustachian tube is a canal that links the middle ear to the nasopharynx — or the upper part of the throat behind the nose. Its main job is to control pressure in the middle ear and drain any unwanted fluids that could cause infection.

The eustachian tubes of younger people tend to have a harder time doing their job because they are slightly smaller than those in adults. To alleviate constant ear infections that could come with underperforming eustachian tubes, doctors insert tiny tubes — known as myringotomy tubes — into patients’ eardrums to help the draining process.

With these tubes in her ears, the girl in the video can push more through her eustachian tubes by holding her nose and popping her ears, just like you would in an airplane. By holding the vape smoke in the upper part of her throat she can force a bit of the cloud through her auditory canal.


While research on the health effects of vaping suggest it is a better alternative to smoking, there have still been some detrimental short-term effects caused by vaping. There haven’t been any studies on how this smoke trick might affect the auditory system, but it’s safe to say that constantly show off this trick isn’t the best idea.

Plus myringotomy tubes eventually fall out as the eardrum’s skin slowly moves towards the ear canal over time. So the people that can pull this off will eventually have to cross off this party trick from their resume. You’ll be stuck trying to blow smoke rings like the rest of us.

The vape gods giveth and they taketh away.

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