How To Protect Your Ears on Airplane

By Subodh / June 30, 2015

It is quite natural to experience discomfort in the ears when the airplanes reach cruising altitudes. Aerotitus, the expansion of the air pockets located in the middle ear, causes this discomfort in the fliers. This condition extends the ear drum, leading to the discomfort. It is essential to equalize the pressure by allowing the air to escape or enter via the Eustachian tube. There is a handful of effective tips that you can try to ease this discomfort and protect your ears while on an airplane.

1. Consume A Decongestant The Day Before You Take The Flight!

flight

The discomfort increases if you have a nasal congestion. So remember to decongest yourself before you board the flight every six hours. Continue using the same decongestant even after landing to allow the membranes of the ear and sinus to shrink.

2. Use A Nasal Spray!

nasal spray

Opt for a saline or a pediatric-dosed nasal spray once just before you board the plane. Using the spray keeps the Eustachian tube open while offering subtle medication.

3. Keeping Yawning And Swallowing!

how-to-get-rid-of-yawning

You can protect your ear from the discomfort by swallowing the air continuously. Keeping yawning in between to ensure that your tubes remain open. Swallowing and yawning will allow your ear pressure to strike a sync with the environmental pressure, thus alleviating and preventing discomfort.

4. Chew The Gum!

chewing gum

According to fliers, chewing gum or sipping drinks continuously can help in warding off the pain in the ears.

5. Use Earplugs With Filters!

Earplugs

Buy a pair of filtered earplugs that will help in equalizing the pressure in sync with the attitudes. These special earplugs can be purchased from the airport shops. While there are no evidences that they will be effective, fliers do vouch for its ear pop minimizing properties.

6. Pinch And Blow Your Nose Gently!

pinch-your-nose

Studies refer to this process as the Valsalva maneuver. In this process, you should pinch your nose and then blow it as mildly as possible. This is one of the most recommended ways to protect your ear from pressure fluctuations. So, if you are planning to travel, start practicing the technique well in advance to master it. However, ensure that you are not blowing it too hard as it could result in bleeding. Keep doing this process throughout your travel, especially during the descent.

7. Use A Nasal Spray 45 Minutes Before Landing!

nasal spray

According to various studies, using pediatric or saline nasal spray for 15 minutes, applying once in 5 minutes, before landing can help in protecting your ears. Ensure that you are sitting upright so that pressure will be easily equalized.

8. Choose A Different Mode of Transportation!

If you are suffering from any respiratory infection or a bout of congestion stimulated by the allergies, then opt out of traveling by flight.

Protecting The Ears of Kids While On Airplane

Kids are more susceptible to this ear discomfort than adults. Please keep the following tips in mind to put them at peace.

  1. Never Allow Your Kids To Sleep As The Plane Ascends And Descends. Studies Suggest That the risk of popping increases when the kids are asleep.
  2. Encourage The Kids To Keep Yawning And Swallowing. You Can Give A Sweet Candy Or A pacifier to your toddler to encourage swallowing. Elder kids can rely in sipping juice through a straw or sipping cup. Swallowing as the plane descends and ascends will protect their ears.
  3. Postpone Your Travel. It is advisable to postpone the travel if you kid is suffering from cold or allergic congestion. It is not advisable to put the kids on decongestants.
  4. Frequent fliers are used to the fluctuations in the pressure and have lesser chances of experiencing the popping. However, they still follow these tips to keep them safe!