Insight into making air travel more comfortable
• Why do ears pop?
• How can air travel cause hearing problems?
• How to help babies unblock their ears?
• and more...
Ear problems are the most common medical complaint of airplane travelers, and while they are usually simple, minor annoyances, they may result in temporary pain and hearing loss. Make air travel comfortable by learning how to equalize the pressure in the ears instead of suffering from an uncomfortable feeling of fullness or pressure.
How can air travel cause hearing problems?
Air travel is sometimes associated with rapid changes in air pressure. To maintain comfort, the Eustachian tube must open frequently and wide enough to equalize the changes in pressure. This is especially true when the airplane is landing, going from low atmospheric pressure down closer to earth where the air pressure is higher.
Actually, any situation in which rapid altitude or pressure changes occur creates the problem. It may be experienced when riding in elevators or when diving to the bottom of a swimming pool. Deep sea divers, as well as pilots, are taught how to equalize their ear pressure. Anybody can learn the trick too.
How to unblock ears?
How to help babies unblock their ears?
Babies cannot intentionally pop their ears, but popping may occur if they are sucking on a bottle or pacifier. Feed the baby during the flight, and do not allow him or her to sleep during descent. Children are especially vulnerable to blockages because their Eustachian tubes are narrower than in adults.
Is the use of decongestants and nose sprays recommended?
Tips to prevent discomfort during air travel
• Consult with your surgeon on how soon after ear surgery it is safe to fly.
• Postpone an airplane trip if a cold, sinus infection, or an allergy attack is present.
• Patients in good health can take a decongestant pill or nose spray approximately an hour before descent to help the ears pop more easily.
• Avoid sleeping during descent.
• Chew gum or suck on a hard candy just before take-off and during descent.
• When inflating the ears, do not use excessive force. The proper technique involves only pressure created by the cheek and throat muscles.
• These tips may also be used for people who scuba dive.
Otolaryngology (pronounced oh/toe/lair/in/goll/oh/jee) is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists are commonly referred to as ENT physicians.
|1546||Account published of first documented successful tracheotomy|
|1806||Dutrochet introduces concept of vocal cord movement|
|1898||Carbon-type hearing aid first produced|
|1924||Otolaryngology specialty board (second such board in U.S.) is formed|
|1984||FDA approves first cochlear implant for marketing|
|1988||First wearable digital signal processing hearing aid produced|
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