How can i stop my ears hurting when we land on the plane??

Travel Forums General Talk How can i stop my ears hurting when we land on the plane??

Last Post
11. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

James beat me to it, but the only sure fire way is don't fly. It's worked for me so far

12. Posted by brusubi (First Time Poster 1 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Sometimes I was sick for over a week with terrible earpain.
My docter advised me to use nose drops or a nose spray , use it one hour before you take off and it really helps very well!

13. Posted by sanquar (Full Member 63 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

HI, I'm also a dive instructor and have had numerous issues with clearing over time. I have found the best way to clear is to snort saline water. Doesn't sound fun but try it about 15 minutes before decent and all will be right.. .Use the valsalva (holding nose and breathing out gently), yawning, and wriggling your jaw from side to side.
People should beware of medication, but take an all day sudafed or similar about 2 hours before decent and you will be fine... I have dived with them for years and have full faith in them.
This was confirmed by and ENT (ear, nose throat) specialist as I suffer from a severe deviated septum... try a mixture of the above and you'll be fine..Avoid dairy products before and on the flight. Dairy means mucus ewwww.


14. Posted by Mimi84 (Full Member 71 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!


My sister has the same problem with planes but on one trip to see my relatives in Iran an air stewardess came to us with a solution. You may feel slightly stupid but my sister swears it works for her.You take 4 plastic cups and sum wet tissue or something simmilar. Put the wet tissue into two of the cups then place the empty cups inside of the cups with the wet tissue in them then place them over your ears as you take off and just before landing-but remember not to take them away from your ears until the cabin doors have opened due to the pressure. Hope it works 4 u.


15. Posted by Bart_Man (Budding Member 9 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!


Just for your information: I'm a private pilot myself, I'm going commercial next year. The reason that your ears hurt is because your eustacian tube that goes from your ears to your nose/mouth is probably blocked due to excess mucus or sinus problems. There's not much you can do about it. When a plane takes off it climbs into an athmosphere that has less pressure. The airplane will compensate for the pressure loss but not completely, it compensates until it reaches a level that is comparable to the pressure you would be experiencing if you would be on a, say, 7000 or 8000 feet high mountain. So when you take off, the athmospheric pressure that's in your head is basically going out through your drums and when you land the full athmospheric pressure is going into the airplane again and air will try to enter your eardrums. This exherts a certain pressure on your drums and normally your eustacian tube that is connected to your mouth would compensate for the air going in and out, but if this "pipe" is blocked it cannot compensate for the pressure difference. Chewing, swallowing etcetera are just helpful things that make your eustacian tube more accessible for air going in or out, but this only helps for people who have a good or at least minimal accessible eustacian tube. If you have a blocked one, there's not much you can do about it. Holding your hands over your ears won't do much either, because the air (pressure really) has to go in sooner or later. You would have to consult a doctor to see if anything can be done about it (I knew one pilot and he had his eardrum perforated, which is not too smart from an aviation point of view, but ok for you IF it could help, according to the doctor).
This is a simplistic explanation, but I guess you get the picture.

Good luck!

16. Posted by Keelzy (Budding Member 10 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

MeBart is right....there is not much you can do.
My eustacian tube is screwed so I'm almost deaf in one ear because it is so blosked and pressure during descent can get pretty bad. I find that just sticking my finger in the ear that hurts helps alot. It doesn't make it go away compllety but it's alot more comfortable. And you don't look all thet silly :)

17. Posted by bkester (First Time Poster 1 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!


I am a purser, and I know it is no fun to have blocked ears. We are actually advised not to fly at all whenever we have a severe cold (you can try clearing your ears already on the ground, at home). Flying in those circumstances could seriously damage your ears. There are even colleagues who had to quit flying altogether because of it. Now I imagine that it is not always easy to cancel a booked flight. The next best alternative is, as described in an earlier post, to ask for cups with wet towels inside and keep them against your ears. Remember, descent is always worse than take-off, and you want to have the cups 30 minutes before touch down (that's normally the time it takes to descend). Asking this to a flight attendant is not strange, they are used to these requests. If you try to blow your nose, do so with caution, because doing it too violently might also do damage to your ears.

Good luck!

18. Posted by lil j (Travel Guru 1303 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

ok now your all getting me worried-is flying really that bad, i think i will be ok what with heights and all that, nothing really bothers me like that, but all this talk of your ears really hurting, is it that bad?

I have never flown before so hearing all this is a little worrying!!

19. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Lil, I think it usually hurts when you have a headcold, or if you're particularly prone to hay-fever-type allergies. From what I've read here, it seems some people are more susceptible than others... still, I can't say I know very many people who endure severe pain. Just, um, mild pain... you know, once in a while...

20. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2004 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Well, the ear problem is mainly tough on young kids, because their ears haven't developed yet, and they have low pain tolerance--and don't understand what's going on.

The best thing is to swallow, swallow, swallow during descent, and to cover your ears with two of those small plastic cups they use for the drinks they serve (make sure there are no gaps between the cups and your skin when doing this--the reason is below.

This really does help. The point is that the plane's cabin pressurization system can't respond as quickly to the plane's descent as it should, so the added pressure is tough on the ears. Covering them--thus preventing the additional air pressure from being applied to them, helps relieve the problem somewhat. If you don't form a tight fit, then the air pressure problem is not eased at all. So cover them, then remove them after the plane has leveled off and flown at an even altitude for about two minutes.

The reason the swallowing helps is similar--it's forcing you to modify your ears' shape--thus making them less suceptible to the air pressure problem. This only helps temporarily, though--thus the need for the plane's pressurization system to kick in.