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04-18-2017, 09:10 PM   #1
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Ear pain on commercial flights

I will be traveling via commercial passenger jet, for the first time in many years. In the past I've experienced extreme pain in my ears. As a result I usually drive great distances, which I don't mind, as I enjoy driving.

However this time around, I will be flying.

Any recommendations regarding avoiding or at least, minimizing ear pain would be greatly appreciated.

04-18-2017, 09:28 PM   #2
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It's a shame to hear about this, on occasion I get a stabbing pain behind the eye from the pressure difference during descent.

Hopefully some knowledgeable people around here can chime in and help make your trip more enjoyable. In the meantime there's some tips in this link that might be useful: Ears and Flying. Pain when travelling by Plane or Helicopter | Patient

Tas
04-18-2017, 10:57 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I used to get that. Here were my solutions:
1) Chew gum
2) Every once in a while, attempt to gently push air out of your nose while holding your nose shut. Sounds weird, but this will vent some pressure buildup in the ears

It is also possible you have a buildup of wax in your ears, which could cause additional air in your ears. In this case, get it cleaned out by a doctor or do it yourself with a kit from the drugstore.

#2 works for me most of the time
04-19-2017, 12:02 AM   #4
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Good advice from automorphism. The other thing often done by airlines here, is to pass eucalyptus oil sachets to suffering passengers, for inhaling through the nose. I couldn't say if that works, not having had cause to try it, but some people I know say it helps.

04-19-2017, 12:29 AM   #5
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Pressure-equalizing earplugs tend to work best.
04-19-2017, 12:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Ear pain on commercial flights
Some very good advice already given, and I hope this helps too !!
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04-19-2017, 01:31 AM   #7
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I cannot offer any other suggestions except if you have adequate insurance, go and seek medical advice before your trip, you may find that there is something going on more than the "usual" problems we might suffer.

the other comment I have is don't forget, if you are on a longer flight, to get up from your seat and stretch and move as much as possible. I know you have to 1 - follow the rules and 2 be courteous and considerate of other passengers but I have to do this because of a medical condition. I always try to reserve an aisle seat for that reason but even if I don't have one, I explain and do what I have to do.

good luck
04-19-2017, 04:12 AM   #8
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I like to flush my sinuses before i fly with a neti pot to make sure there's nothing stuffing me up.

04-19-2017, 07:05 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I will be traveling via commercial passenger jet, for the first time in many years. In the past I've experienced extreme pain in my ears. As a result I usually drive great distances, which I don't mind, as I enjoy driving.

However this time around, I will be flying.

Any recommendations regarding avoiding or at least, minimizing ear pain would be greatly appreciated.
In my personal experience, the swelling of mucous membranes during low level allergic reactions or rhinovirus infections (head colds) may prevent air pressure in the ear from equalizing. Antihistamines or decongestants have helped me. Non-drowsy types of antihistamines have been available for many years (brand names in Canada include Reactine, Seldane, Claritin). The packaging of these antihistamines and decongestants lists conditions or medications with which the antihistamines should not be taken. As someone else mentioned, a visit to your family doctor can narrow down the cause of your problem.
04-19-2017, 07:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
In my personal experience, the swelling of mucous membranes during low level allergic reactions or rhinovirus infections (head colds) may prevent air pressure in the ear from equalizing. Antihistamines or decongestants have helped me. Non-drowsy types of antihistamines have been available for many years (brand names in Canada include Reactine, Seldane, Claritin). The packaging of these antihistamines and decongestants lists conditions or medications with which the antihistamines should not be taken. As someone else mentioned, a visit to your family doctor can narrow down the cause of your problem.
be aware of taking over the counter meds if you suffer from high blood pressure. I nearly got into severe problems by taking Coricidin D

you may want to check this link out if you have high blood pressure and are seeking relief from a cold:

High blood pressure and cold remedies: Which are safe? - Mayo Clinic
04-19-2017, 05:47 PM   #11
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Opening your mouth and moving your jaw forward could help in equalizing pressure, does pretty much the same thing as chewing gum. At least for me.
04-19-2017, 08:44 PM   #12
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Thanks to all who have contributed. I appreciate it.

I'm going to print the advice and carry it with me on the upcoming flights. It (advice) will be immediately accessible, if I need to try different approaches. As Slyfox said about antihistamines, one has to be careful if there are blood pressure issues.

As it happens I will be seeing my GP a few days before the flight, so will also ask him for advice and I plan to stop off and get a pair or EarPlane ear plugs for my journeys. My understanding is that they are designed to regulate ear pressure.

Thanks again,
Les
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