Why do we have ear pain during a flight
According to studies, If you have an ear infection, cold and respiratory infection, you are prone to have ear pain during flights.
However, the real cause of ear pain during a flight is because of rapidly changing air pressure inside the plane. When the air pressure inside the plane and your middle ear is out of balance, you will have ear pain. That’s why you might only have ear pain during takeoff or landing because during those times the air pressure changes very fast due to change in altitude.
Ear pain caused by airplane is also known as Airplane ear. In medical practice, they are also called ear barotrauma, barotitis media or aerotitis media.
My personal ear pain experience
I do not always have ear pain during the flight, but when I do, I feel like a needle piercing through my ear. I experienced ear pain in 2013 for the first time. I thought it was just a one-time incident but it got worse after that. Nowadays, I have ear pain on almost every other flight.
Ear pain is one of those hard pain types, that makes you cry instantly because there is nothing you can do to ease the pain because it’s inside pain. No massage will help it to be honest. Also, you can’t just get out of an airplane even though you know you are having pain because of the air pressure. So, you are in a pain trap for the duration of the flight.
I think for most people say sucking on a candy or chewing gum works because your Eustachian tube will have more air flow when you yawn or chew things. The best so far is try to breathe out by closing your mouth and pinching your nose to open up the Eustachian tube.
When candy or chewing gum did not work
One of the items in my travel bag is always a pack of gum. Chewing a piece of gum worked for me many times, but didn’t work for me after a while. Don’t get me wrong; it still helps me for my Airplane ear, but I realized I needed something better than a pack of gum to completely put an end to my ear pain. I spoke with few doctors, but everyone suggested the same thing – suck on candy and breathe as much as possible.
What worked for me
I found this product called “Earplanes“ online. At first, I thought it was a scam and a quick money making scheme, so I looked at Amazon reviews but they were all good. I also got to know that this product is sold in all retail pharmacy stores.
I picked my first Airplanes from a CVS store in Seattle before coming back to DC from a vacation. Luckily, Earplanes worked for me. I enjoyed that flight like never before – no Kidding!
What worked for me might not work for you but it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. That’s how I tried Earplanes anyway.
One thing to remember is that if you have ear pain, do not go to sleep because this could make things worse. The cabinet air pressure will be adjusted by the crew members according to the elevation level so you might be alright after sometimes. Therefore stay calm and fly on.
The CVS store inside Target store where I bought my first Earplanes in Seattle Downtown.