Here are a few ways that anybody can deal with the excruciating ear pain often felt by passengers during landing and takeoff;
1-The Valsalva Maneuver – The Valsalva Maneuver is a simple yet effective technique which involves the simple act of blowing air through the nose while keeping the nostrils pinched or closed. By doing this, no air is blown from the nose but it does, however, push a bit of air into the ear. This can help you ‘pop’ your ears and get immediate relief.
2-Swallow and Yawn as much as possible – the simple act of swallowing and/or yawning also helps in stimulating those muscles which help in unblocking the Eustachian tube. This is more so during the landing of the plane. Some of the airlines around the world also offer some candy or sweet treat to their passengers prior to the flight in an attempt to help tackle the same problem. For children, it is a good idea to give them a drink at the time of landing and takeoff in order to encourage swallowing.
3-Use a Decongestant – one must essentially consult a pharmacist or doctor prior to spending money on decongestants such as nasal drops, nasal sprays, and/or pills. The Nasal Sprays are commonly sprayed after every 15 minutes prior to the take-off of the flight and around 15 minutes prior to landing in order to help passengers clear out their nose. Any oral decongestant is not really recommended for those people who come in the older age bracket.
4-Do not sleep during takeoff or landing – people commonly believe that sleeping either during landing or take off will help them transition through the entire phase without any real pain. However, it has been found that it is much better to be awake during these 2 times in the flight and also practice those counter measures which have been mentioned above.
One should also avoid suddenly waking up mid-flight as it can cause severe pain in the ear. By devoting only a few minutes in order to help the ear in adjusting the ear pressure, you can enjoy the rest of the flight with relative ease. You can also ask the staff onboard the aircraft to wake you up prior to the descent of the plane.
5-Lozenges and Medicines – take any pain killer around half an hour prior to the takeoff or landing. The ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen are both available in pain killers, however, one should avoid any sort of pain killer which may contain some caffeine as it can often lead to dehydration.
A simple over the counter, a nonprescription nasal decongestant can also help you in unclogging the nasal and ear passages. Some people prefer to chew gum, however, a better alternative is to place a hard candy or throat lozenge in the mouth as it does not dry out the mouth like the chewing gum does.
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