thanks for all your help guys!
I have really bad problems with my ears and even if i dont have a cold i always get really sore ears for a good couple of hours after! I'm going to see how the nasal spray goes with chewing and if that doesn't help i might try out the cup thing!!
Well, my mum has been in agony for years with her ears on planes and she reckons you should get some Earplanes. These are available from Boots or probably other chemists too, they are tiny tubes you put in your ears and they equalise the pressure. Doctor's advice, drink loads of water because you swallow lots and avoid sinus problems due to dehydration. Don't sleep if possible! - because you don't swallow or breathe properly when you are sleeping and this will block your ears up again. She flew 9hours to Vancouver with these in and had the first pain free flight for 10 years.
Next week she is getting grommets put in and the ear specialist says she will never have ear pain with these in, but she still won't fly to NZ to meet me - how rude!
I am a pilot who has had this problem often after being sick (including right now). In flight school they teach you two solutions; the Valsalva Maneuver (pinch your nose, close your mouth, and blow), and to use Afrin nose spray. In my experience, the Valsalva Maneuver only works when you have slight congestion. Afrin has never worked for me. Today, I discovered something that worked very well. I landed with my ear hurting badly, and drank some very hot water. Every time I swallowed the hot water, my ear had some great-feeling strong pops toward pressure equilibrium. Every time I swallowed normally without hot water, nothing happened. It was very interesting. I had never heard of this trick and just looked online, but there seems to be no report of it. It worked very well for me. I felt obligated to release my discovery. My ear felt 100% normal 15 minutes after I started drinking the hot water (an hour after the flight). I don't know if it will work for everyone or help all levels of congestion, but I am going to try it again tomorrow during the descent. Happy flying / scuba diving.
I'm flying with my 5-month old baby this summer. It's only a 1-hour flight, but I'm worried about his ears hurting. Any advice?
I sometimes take a sinus med like Advil Cold & Sinus. I find this helps, but you have to time it appropriately for your landing (say an hour before you land).
This is also a problem for me. It's frustrating when yawning and blowing with my pinched nostrils don't work. But thanks for sharing the techniques used by divers. I'll try those out next time I'm on the plane.
Recently I tried wearing ear plugs on flight and they did minimize the pain. See if that helps you.
Chewing a gum always works for me. But don't chew it when you're already about to land. Do it minutes before. Or, sometimes, my ears just don't hurt when I'm asleep.
I've been a pilot for 50 years (30 years as an airline pilot) and here are my thoughts: Ears clear with no problem on ascent, it's during descent that problems occur. The eustachian tubes in your ears have valves that allow pressure to equalize very easily when the pressure decreases, but many people have problems when the pressure increases (during descent). Typical cabin altitude is around 6000 feet, so if you are landing at a low-elevation airport, the cabin will descend about 6000 feet. I recommend always having decongestant nasal spray for emergency use, but ONLY use it when the airplane is descending. If you use it earlier in the flight, you can suffer "rebound" congestion, which will make it more difficult to clear your ears. Also, stay well ahead on clearing your ears by taking actions (swallowing, nose-blowing, valsalva maneuver) early into the descent. And NEVER travel by air when you have a cold! Good luck!