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'Aeroplane Ear' questions?...

Chadford

Distinguished Member
i.e. pain in the ear due to a pressure differential (cabin to inner ear) when ascending and descending in an aircraft.

Anyone know why this is more problematic when descending?
I can only guess that...
1) Aircraft descend much more quickly than they ascend thus there is less time for the ears to equalise?
2) When decending the inner ear will have a lower pressure than the cabin pressure and for some reason the ear is more sensitive to this differential than the converse on ascent?


Anyone tried these?...
Earplanes (Adult, 12 Years+): Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home
...and did they work for you?

Has anyone ever suffered a burst eardrum when flying? and if so how long was it before you were able to fly again?


Thanks.

:)
 

weetsie

Well-known Member
i dont see how they can work, you need to equilize the preasure in your ears and if you have something blocking them you can do that. (but the reviews say different?)

and decending is probably worse because preasure increases instead of decreases.
 

Chadford

Distinguished Member
i dont see how they can work, you need to equilize the preasure in your ears and if you have something blocking them you can do that. (but the reviews say different?)
I think it's because they have a small valve that allows the equalisation to occur much more slowly.


and decending is probably worse because preasure increases instead of decreases.
Hmm dunno?
 

weetsie

Well-known Member
I think it's because they have a small valve that allows the equalisation to occur much more slowly.

i guess, does holding your nose and blowing into your ears not work for you? i have never had a problem apart from when i have a really bad cold.
 

maxwell

Distinguished Member
If I remember correctly commercial aircraft pressurise and depressurise the cabin at @8000 feet so on the descent you have a rapid change from cabin pressure to atmospheric pressure @8000 feet which increases even more as the descent below that altitude is quite quick not allowing enough time for your ears to equalise.

When I used to skydive we used to take Sinutab tablets to offset the effects of pressure build up in the ears and it worked well, this was only applicable to the freefall itself as the aircraft are unpressurised and we never landed with the plane lol.
Another tip is to suck hard on a boiled sweet during the aircraft descent, years ago the airline company used to hand them out before the descent began but that practice seems to have stopped.
 

Chadford

Distinguished Member
i guess, does holding your nose and blowing into your ears not work for you? i have never had a problem apart from when i have a really bad cold.

It's not me, it's Mrs C and her sister, they suffer with flying. I've been looking into it and having cold or congestion seem very bad news when flying as the 'Eustachian tubes' become inefficient and doesn't allow equalisation to take place. Mrs Cs sister suffered badly the last time she flew (bled from her ear), I'm pretty sure she's had a perforated ear drum, but never bothered going to the doctors during and when she returned from holiday :facepalm:.

The earplugs look promising and taking a decongestant before and during flying seems to be recommended. :)
 
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mikeclark007

Well-known Member
and decending is probably worse because preasure increases instead of decreases.

Hmm dunno?

This is correct as its the same principles for Scuba Diving ie. Pressure increases on descent.

Less pressure on your lungs following an ascent enables you to exhale for longer should an emergency situation arise
 

mooperman

Distinguished Member
It's not me, it's Mrs C and her sister, they suffer with flying. I've been looking into it and having cold or congestion seem very bad news when flying as the 'Eustachian tubes' become inefficient and doesn't allow equalisation to take place. Mrs Cs sister suffered badly the last time she flew (bled from her ear), I'm pretty sure she's had a perforated ear drum, but never bothered going to the doctors during and when she returned from holiday :facepalm:.

The earplugs look promising and taking a decongestant before and during flying seems to be recommended. :)

i have exactly the same problem, the pain is excruciating but only in 1 ear which suffered an outer drum burst some years ago now, no answer unfortunately, i just drink lots of water and hammer pain killers, rarely works but i prefer to suffer for a couple of hours than stay in the country for holidays....

weirdly, when i flew to Bermuda via BA (7 hours) it wasnt to bad, seems to be worse on the cheaper airlines and around the 3 hour flying time lark....?????:confused:

EDIT: never seen those earplanes before but i will def be trying this year!!!
 
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IronGiant

Moderator
I find sucking a boiled sweet helps :)
 

Chadford

Distinguished Member
:smashin:

That's because the action of swallowing cause the eustachian tube to briefly open (normally shut) equalising pressure in the ear (slowly, one small bubble at a time, in or out). Problems come when you're bunged up or your eustachian tube may not be working at optimum. Best advice, as far as I can make out doing a bit of trawling on t'inernet...

1) Take decongestants before and during flight.
2) Suck sweets vigorously whilst descending.
3) Use valve based earplugs (to be verified :)).
4) Don't sleep whilst landing.

:)
 

IronGiant

Moderator
No 4) is especially important if you happen to be the pilot...

:thumbsup:
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
I was on the way back from France on a school trip ages ago and near everyone on the plane was having their skulls crushed. I was sitting beside this American dude who said "I'll show a trick to make it go away"

I can't explain the technique exactly but stick your thumbs out fonzie style, then bring them back and place them under your nostrils forming a seal but not an incredible tight one.

The rest is kinda hard to explain as you do this while descending several times as you feel the pressure build up.

You basically start off very gently exhaling out your sealed nose and add more puff / pressure until you feel a creaking noise, this is your ear levelling out - then basically repeat every five / ten mins during the descent.

I've been using it since I was 13 on long and short haul flights, works every time.

Do not pinch yer nose and blow hard like all the other idiots on the plane, that will just ruin ye.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
I was on the way back from France on a school trip ages ago and near everyone on the plane was having their skulls crushed. I was sitting beside this American dude who said "I'll show a trick to make it go away"

I can't explain the technique exactly but stick your thumbs out fonzie style, then bring them back and place them under your nostrils forming a seal but not an incredible tight one.

The rest is kinda hard to explain as you do this while descending several times as you feel the pressure build up.

You basically start off very gently exhaling out your sealed nose and add more puff / pressure until you feel a creaking noise, this is your ear levelling out - then basically repeat every five / ten mins during the descent.

I've been using it since I was 13 on long and short haul flights, works every time.

Do not pinch yer nose and blow hard like all the other idiots on the plane, that will just ruin ye.

Yeah, that forces pressure into your Eustachian tube, it definitely works. I do that all the time on flights.
 

mooperman

Distinguished Member
the sweets/swallowing works great if your tubes are working properly as said above, believe me when i say ive tried sweets/painkillers/drinking lots of water.... Am keen to give these pressure ear plugs a go though....
 

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