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Information on Ear Pain and Flying

There are people who fly frequently and there are those who fly just occasionally but in both cases it is possible to experience ear pain and sometimes even a slight temporary hearing loss which occurs when the plane takes off or lands. There are numerous cases of acute painful sensations during the flight on an airplane.

Temporary hearing loss is also not uncommon in numerous cases. Painful sensations in the ears during an airplane flight are medically referred to as aerotitus.


Painful sensations in the ears during a flight are usually caused by the changes in air pressure inside the cabin of the airplane. There is an air pocket located inside the middle ear, and it expands when the plane takes off or lands which leads to the stretching of the eardrum. The eardrum needs to be normalized when this occurs.

The process of normalization consists of air entering and escaping through the Eustachian tube located inside the ear. It is sometimes rather difficult for the Eustachian tube to keep up with the air pressure changes in the airplane cabin caused by the takeoff and landing because they tend to be very rapid at times.

If the tube cannot adapt to the changes fast enough, the painful sensations in the ears can sometimes be very severe. This medical condition can also get worsened by certain other medical conditions.

Those conditions can also contribute to the likeliness of the occurrence of aerotitus. Those conditions are usually congestion, numerous different types of infections and various allergic reactions. This is because most of them cause the Eustachian tube to become clogged which makes things worse if a person flies on an airplane.

The clogging can get worse because of air pressure changes. The scarring in the middle air can sometimes make the Eustachian tube smaller or less elastic which may sometimes mean that it is impossible for it to adapt to the air pressure changes. People should avoid flying when suffering from allergies, congestion and any type of infection.

The flight can be made slightly more comfortable by utilizing certain methods. Taking decongestants before and after the flight can be of great help because it shrinks the swollen membranes in the sinus and the ear. Simply chewing a gum during the flight can also be helpful in some cases. Certain types of ear plugs can also come in very handy.

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