It was the summer of 2006 and I was about to travel on an airplane for the very first time. I was super excited and I could not wait to actually get on the plane from the very first time I knew I would be traveling. At that time I was in my first year of university and I was about to undertake a summer work and travel program in the United States of America. Everything went well and the day for my trip had finally arrived.
So I boarded the plane, and we took off and everything seemed to be fine. That was until about the last 15 minutes of the flight. No one told me to expect anything out of the norm so I was very much surprised when I started to feel a terrible pain in both of my ears. So terrible, it was almost unbearable. Even after I landed, my ears were so tender, I was scared to touch them and they were very uncomfortable for the next few days.
Have You Ever Felt That Terrible Pain In Your Ear When Flying?
If you have, I know exactly what you are going through and I am going to share with you exactly how you can overcome that pain on your next flight as well. You see after that first flight, I knew I had to fly again but I did not want to be in that uncomfortable situation every again. Trust me, the pain was terrible and I would not want anyone else to experience it. That's when I started to do some research to see what causes pain and even more so, how to prevent it or ease the pain should it come again.
What Causes The Uncomfortable Pain In Your Ear?
The pain in your ear is caused from a change in pressure in your ear passage way. In order to fully understand why, you need to know that airplanes are pressurized in much the same way as you would put air in a balloon. The reason for this is because when the plane reaches certain altitudes, people would have trouble breathing properly and their could also fatalities.
Normally the pain in the ear would occur either when taking off / ascending or as in my case close to landing / descending. When taking off, the pressure inside your ear is higher than that of outside your ear and as a result the air will press against your eardrum which is what causes the pain. The reverse is true also when you are descending but this time the pain can be more intense as the higher pressure outside your ear presses against your eardrum.
How Can You Get Rid Of The Pain In Your Ear When Flying?
That's the same question I was asking after my first flight and now I am going to share exactly what I learned with you. In order to prevent or ease the pain, you need to equalize the pressure in your ear. That means the pressure outside should be the same as inside so there's no net effect on your eardrum.
There are several ways to equalize the pressure in your ear. You can take a long a candy or a gum with you and suck / chew through your flight. The motion of your mouth with keep the ear passage open which helps to equalize the pressure.
Another thing you could do is to get some earplugs. These are sold at most airports but you could also pick them up at a local store for a much cheaper price. I've used these before and while they did not take away the pain completely, they did ease to pain to some extent.
The final method to ease the pain in your ear is to pinch your nose while keeping your mouth closed and then blow until you hear a pop in your ear. This method is called the Valsalva maneouver but you must be very gentle when doing it. If you blow too hard, you risk damaging an eardrum which cause even further pain. This was the method that cave me instant relieve from my ear pain and now I am no longer worried that I'll be having any more uncomfortable flights due to pain in my ear.
So the next time you are flying, be sure to remember these tips and try one or all of them if you feel like you are going to have an ear pain. Now go ahead and enjoy your flight and have a great trip.