Here’s how to prevent your ears from popping on a plane:
Invest in earplugs
Are earplugs safe on a plane? Do earplugs help with airplane pressure? These are common questions that are asked surrounding earplugs for flying.
The answer is yes. And we don’t mean the usual cheap, throwaway yellow earplugs. We’re talking about earplugs that are specially designed to safeguard your ears and give them the maximum protection when flying.
They work to slowly equalize the pressure against your eardrum, protecting the delicate parts of the ear and easing pain and discomfort.
Loop Experience Plus
The Experience Plus earplugs reduce noise by up to 23dB. They work to equalize the pressure in your ear and the new tech means that they won’t block or muffle sound. You’ll still be able to hear everything you need to on board. They’re also ultra-comfortable and fit snugly in your ears, so you won’t have to worry about them falling out.
Swallowing or yawning
The main way to prevent airplane ear is to open the eustachian tube as much as possible. When you swallow or yawn, the clicking or popping sound that you hear is a tiny bubble of air that has moved from the back of the nose to the middle ear, via the eustachian tube. Making sure that the eustachian tube is working overtime and open more frequently will give it a greater chance of accommodating the air pressure.
Chewing gum or sucking on candy
Both of these actions will stimulate the frequent swallowing that’s needed to help equalize the air pressure.
Try the Valsalva maneuver
This handy tip is often used by frequent fliers. Take a big mouthful of air, close your mouth, and then pinch your nose. Then, gently force air out of your mouth until your ears pop. It’s a great way to open up the eustachian tubes.
IMPORTANT NOTE: if you’re sick with a cold or allergies are raging, the Valsalva maneuver is not the one for you, as it could cause a severe ear infection.
Most cases of airplane ear are mild, only last a few minutes and can be treated with tips and self-care.
If it lasts longer, you may need medical treatment for an infection or another underlying problem.
Treatment may include:
° Oral decongestants or nasal spray to open the eustachian tube are often a great airplane ear remedy
° Antihistamines may be prescribed if allergies are a contributing factor
° Pain medications or eardrops may be suggested to relieve any pain.
° Eardrops are only recommended if the eardrum isn’t ruptured
° Antibiotics for a ruptured eardrum
° A hearing exam for any hearing loss present
° In rare and extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the eardrum