Airplane Ear Natural Remedy

Airplane ear remedies listed here are for prevention or to reduce airplane ear. The medical name for airplane ear is ear barotrauma or barotitis media. It refers to the stress exerted on your eardrum, eustachian tube and other ear structures when air pressure in the environment are of of balance. You may experience airplane ear at the beginning of a flight when the airplane is climbing and at the end of a flight when the airplane is descending. These rapid changes in altitude cause air pressure to change rapidly. The air pressure in the middle ear does not adjust quickly enough. Sign and symptoms may include pain in one ear, slight hearing loss or a stuffy feeling in both ears. This is caused by your ear drum bulging outward or retracting inward as a result of the change in pressure. Ear barotrauma is also a common problem with scuba diving when water pressure in the outside of the ear becomes greater than air pressure in the middle ear. Any condition that can interfere with the normal function of the middle ear increases the risk of airplane ear. This would include a stuffy nose, allergy, cold or throat infection. A cold or ear infection isn't necessarily a reason to change or delay a flight, however. 

Home Remedies

  • Use a decongestant. Take a decongestant about 30 minutes to an hour before takeoff and 30 minutes to an hour before landing. This may prevent blockages of your eustachian tube. If you have heart disease, a heart rhythm disorder or high blood pressure or if you've experienced possible medication interactions, avoid taking an oral decongestant, unless your doctor approves. 
  • During flight, suck candy or chew gum. This encourages swallowing, which helps open your eustachian tubes. 
  • Don't sleep during ascents or descents. If you're awake during ascents or descents, you can do the necessary self-care techniques when you feel pressure on your ears. 
  • Try the Valsalva maneuver to unplug your ears. Gently blow, as if blowing your nose, while pinching your nostril and keeping your mouth closed. If you swallow at the same time, it's more helpful. Repeat several times to equalize the pressure between your ears and the airplane cabin. Be careful not to blow too hard, just whats comfortable to "pop" your ears.
  • Look for specially designed filtered earplugs. These earplugs slowly equalize the pressure against your eardrum during ascents and descents. You can purchase these at drugstores, airport gift shops or your local hearing clinic. 
  • Give infants and children fluid. Drinking fluids during ascents and descents encourages swallowing. Give the child a bottle or pacifier to encourage swallowing. Decongestants should not be used in infants or children.


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