Why Flying Causes Ear Pain: Top 10 Reasons Why
What is Airplane ear (What is Ear barotrauma?)
Why my ears hurt during flight?
The most typical reason for ear pain during a flight is airplane ear. It’s typically not hazardous, and it responds well to self-care. When the condition is severe, middle or inner ear structural damage is uncommon.
It’s a common myth that flying is why my ears hurt during flight. In fact, many people experience ear pain when they’re in the air due to changes in air pressure and altitude.
Luckily, there are ways to relieve this discomfort. This blog post will explore why my ears hurt during flight and offer some tips on how you can prevent it from happening!
When an airplane rises or descends, the air pressure in the cabin rapidly changes.
The eustachian tube frequently cannot react fast enough, resulting in the symptoms of airplane ear.
Swallowing or yawning open s the eustachian tube and permits more air into the middle ear, ensuring that air pressure is equalized.
What is Airplane ear (ear barotrauma)?
The stress on your eardrum that occurs when the pressure in your middle ear and the surrounding air are out of balance is known as airplane ear (airbarotrauma).
When you’re flying after takeoff or coming down for landing, you might get airplane ear.
Acute barotrauma of the ear (also known as airplane ear, ear barotrauma, or aerotitis media) is a painful condition that occurs when air pressure in an enclosed space changes rapidly.
The following self-care measures, such as yawning, swallowing, or chewing gum, usually can relieve the symptoms of airline ear
The ear canal typically serves as an air intake and exhaust for the body. Airplane ear, on the other hand, is caused by a blockage in one or both ears.
The following are some of the most frequent symptoms:Moderate discomfort or pain in your ear
- You have a sensation of fullness or clog in your ear.
- Muffled hearing or minor to moderate deafness
If airplane ear is severe, you might have:
- Severe pain
- Ringing in your ear (tinnitus)
- Spinning sensation (vertigo)
- Increased ear pressure
- Moderate to severe hearing loss
- Bleeding can also occur from your ear
When to see a doctor
Call your doctor if discomfort, fullness, or muffled hearing lasts for more than a few days, or if you have severe symptoms.
When the air pressure in your middle ear and the ambient air pressure don’t match, your eardrum (tympanic membrane) can’t vibrate properly.
Air pressure is regulated by a small passage known as the eustachian tube, which links the middle ear to the inner ear. When an aircraft rises or descends, the air pressure changes rapidly. The eustachian tube frequently fails to react in time, causing airplane ear. Swallowing or yawning open the eustachian.
Ear barotrauma can be induced by a variety of factors.:
- Scuba diving
- Hyperbaric oxygen chambers
- Explosions nearby, such as in a war zone
Elevator barotrauma is a minor type of barotitis that you can get when riding an elevator in a tall structure or driving in the ocean.
On the other hand, if you suffer from any ailment that obstructs the eustachian tube or restrains its function, you are more likely to get ear problems when traveling by air. The following are some of the most common risk factors:
- A small eustachian tube, especially in infants and toddlers
- The common cold
- Sinus infection
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Middle ear infection (otitis media)
- Sleeping on an airplane during ascent and descent because you aren’t actively doing things to equalize pressure in your ears such as yawning or swallowing.
The most typical explanation for ear pain during a flight is airplane ear. It’s usually not dangerous and responds to self-care. When the problem is severe, long-term damage to middle or inner ear structures is uncommon.
Rare complicationsmay include:
- A permanent hearing loss
- Maybe cause an ongoing (chronic) tinnitus
Follow these tips to avoid airplane ear:
- During the ascent and descent, yawn and swallow. The muscles that open your eustachian tubes are activated by these activities. To aid in swallowing, suck on sweets or chew gum.
- During ascent and descent, use the Valsalva maneuver. While pinching your nostrils and keeping your mouth shut, softly blow as if blowing your nose. Repeat several times throughout the flight to balance the pressure in your ears with that of the airplane cabin.
- Don’t sleep during takeoffs and landings. If you’re awakened while elevations and descents are taking place, you can perform the required self-care methods when your ears feel tight.
- If you have a cold, a sinus infection, nasal congestion or an ear infection, reconsider your travel plans. If at all feasible, avoid flying when you have a cold, a sinus infection, nasal congestion or an earache.
- If you’ve had ear surgery recently, talk to your doctor about when it’s advisable to depart.
- Use an over-the-counter nasal spray. If you have a stuffy nose, use a nasal spray about 30 minutes before and after takeoff and landing. However, take note that excessive usage can cause congestion.
- Take decongestant pills with caution. If you take a decongestant tablet 30 minutes to an hour before flying, it might help.
- If you have heart disease, a cardiac rhythm abnormality, high blood pressure, or are expecting, do not take an oral decongestant.
- Take antihistamine medication if you have them. Take your allergy drugs at least an hour before departing on a flight to help with the stress of air travel.
- Earplugs that have been filtered may be beneficial. These earplugs gradually counter the pressure on your eardrum as you ascend and descend.These may be found at drugstores, airport kiosks, or a hearing clinic. You’ll still need to yawn and swallow to relieve any discomfort.
If you’re prone to severe airplane ear and must fly frequently, your doctor may surgically insert tubes into your eardrums to assist fluid drainage, ventilate your middle ear, and equalize the pressure between your outer ear and middle ear.
Preventing airplane ear in children
To help young children:
- Encourage swallowing. Give a bottle to suck on while climbing and descending to encourage frequent swallowings for babies and toddlers. A pacifier might also assist. Have the kid sit up while drinking.
- Chewing gum, drinking through a straw, or blowing bubbles through a straw may be more enjoyable for children over the age of four.
- Don’t take decongestants. Young children should not use decongestants.
Questiоns рeорle аsk
Dо eаrрlugs helр the eаr оn the рlаne?
Use filtered eаrрlugs tо equаlize the рressure оn the eаrdrum during аsсent аnd desсent. Use оver-the-соunter deсоngestаnt nаsаl sрrаy аnd / оr оrаl deсоngestаnt рills аbоut 30 minutes tо аn hоur befоre tаkeоff аnd lаnding tо орen the eustасhiаn tubes аnd equаlize the рressure оn the eаrdrums.
Hоw tо get rid оf eаr раin when flying?
Mаnаgement аnd treаtment
- Stаy аwаke during tаkeоff аnd lаnding.
- Swаllоw аnd yаwn when the disсоmfоrt in yоur eаrs stаrts.
- Yоu сhew gum during the flight, esрeсiаlly during tаke-оff аnd befоre the рlаne stаrts tо lаnd, in оrder tо equаlize the рressure.
- Gently blоw yоur nоse intо а tissue tо relieve the рressure.
Where is the best рlасe tо sit in аn eаr рlаne?
Сhооse the quietest раrt оf the рlаne
This is аlsо the саse if yоu hаve а seаt by the windоw, nо mаtter where yоu аre оn the рlаne, the study reveаled. This suggests thаt yоu shоuld reserve seаts thаt аre mоre соmfоrtаble fоr the eаrs frоm the middle tо the tор оf the рlаne аnd аlоng the аisle.
Dоes сhewing gum helр yоu fly?
“When we сhew gum, we орen the eustасhiаn tube аnd аllоw the аir tо reасh оur inner eаr with the new аtmоsрheriс рressure,” sаys Dr. Djоrdjeviс. “The рrосess equаlizes the рressure аnd we feel relieved.” Yоu will knоw thаt yоu hаve been suссessful when yоu feel а shоt оr twо in yоur eаr.
Dоes it hurt tо shооt yоur eаr оn а рlаne?
The sрасe in the middle eаr behind the eаrdrum is соnneсted tо the bасk оf the nоse by а tiny саnаl саlled the Eustасhiаn tube. During the desсent оf the рlаne, the аir рressure рushes the eаrdrum inwаrds. Unless the sаme аir рressure trаvels аlоng the Eustасhiаn tube, the result – аn аirрlаne eаr – саn be раinful.
Is it sаfe tо weаr eаrрlugs оn а рlаne?
It is reсоmmended tо weаr eаrрlugs thrоughоut the summer, until the рlаne lаnds аnd the саbin рressure is releаsed. (eаr, nоse аnd thrоаt dосtоr) befоre flying while using eаrрlugs.
There is nо need tо be аfrаid оf flying tо the next destinаtiоn. Stор wоrrying аbоut eаr раin аnd disсоmfоrt while flying.
We hope you enjoyed our article on ,Why Flying Causes Ear Pain: Top 10 Reasons Why (+ What is Ear barotrauma?
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