How To Prevent Ear Pain While Flying

in Health

One-third of fliers often experience ear pain when they are on an airplane. This discomfort is caused by changes in air pressure. In some extreme cases, surgery is a method that is used to treat persistent airplane ear pain. However, there are many simpler and easier ways to get rid of this horrible feeling.

Here are 5 tips that you can take to ease the ear pain and discomfort during airplane flights.

1. Yawn frequently during takeoff and landing

It sounds surprising but yawning or swallowing frequently during takeoff and landing can actually ease your ear pain. This activity will allow the muscles in the Eustachian tube, which connects your middle ear to the back of your nose, to contract and open. It will also let air to flow into or out of your middle ear, equalizing the pressure and relieving pain. If you find it difficult to yawn intentionally, you can try hardening the back of your tongue to induce a yawn.

2. Suck on hard candy or chew gum

Sucking on hard candy or chewing gum or slowly sipping water when the plane starts ascending and descending can prevent ear pain in some cases. This will allow air to flow up the Eustachian tube and equalize the pressure in your ears. For adults and children older than 3, they can such sweets or drink juice during these times. For your baby, you can give her a bottle to suck on and encourage her to swallow.

3. Take a decongestant

If you're sick or have recently recovered from an upper respiratory infection, you should take a decongestant before your flight and the expected time of descent. This will help dry up mucus from your nose and sinuses as well as open up the tubes and ease your discomfort. Remember to take it within two hours of landing, or about 30 to 60 minutes before the door of the aircraft is shut for the best result.

4. Wear earplugs

Apart from taking a decongestant and chewing gum, you can prevent ear pain by wearing a pair of earplugs during your flight. These pressure-regulating earplugs are designed especially for airplane travel. They come with special filters that slow the flow of air in and out of your ears. Therefore, they can give the inner ear more time to compensate for changes in pressure. The equalizing earplugs, which are available in adult and child sizes, can be bought at airports and local pharmacies at a reasonable price.

5. Avoid sleeping during takeoff and landing

During takeoff and landing, you should avoid sleeping so that you can suck and swallow to encourage air to get into the middle ear. Instead, try to sit upright as much as possible because it will alleviate nasal and sinus congestion and decrease ear pain.

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Lee Dobbins has 433 articles online and 7 fans

I have been working as a doctor of a general hospital since February 1998. In addition, I am a full time writer and specialize in weight loss related issues. I also write for a number of different websites on the Internet.

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How To Prevent Ear Pain While Flying

This article was published on 2013/08/21