Unless your jaw is "popping" TMJ? it sounds like it could be "Swimmer's Ear", an infection from water left in your ear canal. When really bad it hurts to talk or sleep on the affected side and can be extremely painful. One test for this is if you tug on your ear lobe and it causes pain.
Prevention is easier than cure -- I keep a small bottle mixed with 1/2 alcohol and 1/2 vinegar and give my ears a squirt after being underwater. Curiously I only have trouble with only one ear, probably due to some aspect of the ear canal that traps water.
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