Whenever I'm flying, there's a period of descent where my right ear just refuses to pop. This has been bothering me for at least ten years. There seems to be a long stage of descent where my ear is just in agony. I've tried chewing gum, closing my nose and lightly blowing, opening my mouth, everything. However, when descending into landing (I can see cars at this point) it will start to pop.
Otherwise, it'll pop when I swallow at this stage or even while I'm walking around in the airport. The only thing that makes it pop early and at the same time as my left ear would be when I yawn.
When it does pop, it actually hurts sometimes. It has a very distinct pop, too. Instead of a light pop, it sort of stutters a bit, like it pops twice, and it's much louder.
This phenomenon seems to be very unique to when I'm flying on a commercial airline and descending. It has never happened upon ascension, and from the few times I've driven into mountains it hasn't happened, although that hasn't happened enough to be sure.
What about the descent makes this happen? Is there anything I can do to fix this issue?