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Savvy Travel & Family Time

How To Stop Your Ears From Hurting When You Travel By Plane

Image from pixabay (CC0 License)

If you’re reading this, then you suffer from a problem that lots of other people have to face whenever they go on vacation. You’re all hyped up and ready to go, but you’re a bit anxious about the plane journey. It’s not because you’re afraid of flying, it’s because your ears end up in excruciating pain whenever the plane takes off or lands. 

Why does this happen? More importantly, can you stop your ears from hurting?

The effect your feeling is actually known as barotrauma. This is a condition where the pressure in your ears can’t adjust to the increased pressure outside. When a plane takes off and lands, the cabin pressure is abnormally high. Air and fluid get trapped in the eustachian tubes in your ear, causing excessive pressure that leads to inflammation. As a result, your ears hurt like crazy. 

Science lesson over, can you do anything to remedy the situation? The good news is that you can. If you try some of the ideas listed below, then it should stop your ears from being in massive amounts of pain. Then, you can enjoy your family vacation with one less thing to be anxious about on the journey!

Clean your ears before you travel

Earwax can enhance the pain you feel when your ears don’t adjust to the cabin pressure. This is because it sometimes ends up hard and backed up in your ear. As a result, it can also cause a build-up of pressure. So, when this combines with the outside pressure, you get even worse pain. All you have to do is book yourself in for some professional ear cleaning before you travel. Don’t try and do it yourself as you’ll probably just push the wax deeper into your ear, increasing the chances of a ruptured eardrum. 

Use a decongestant spray

A nasal decongestant spray can actually help your ears during a flight. Essentially, the spray will unblock your nasal and ear passages. These sprays are typically used when you have a cold, and they work really well. You free up the tubes in your ears and stop fluids from being built up. As a consequence, the change in pressure doesn’t have as bad of an effect as it usually would. A couple of sprays in each nostril before take-off and landing is all you need to do. 

Chew or suck on a candy

It sounds like one of those old wive’s tales, but sucking or chewing on some candy during take-off and landing can help with this problem. The science behind it is that the chewing or sucking actions work the muscles around your jaw, which get your ears to open up. Therefore, the pressure won’t build-up, and you can enjoy a pain-free flight. It helps to create the sensation of your ears popping and feeling more open and free.

Hopefully, this will help you enjoy your travels a lot more. It can be very daunting when you have an upcoming vacation and you know you’ll be in pain during the flight. Now that you know what’s causing the issue – and how to prevent it – you can relax and get ready to enjoy your vacation.

One Comment

  • Tamra Phelps

    This has happened to me, especially if my allergies are bad and I have any fluid in my ears. It really can be pretty painful.

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