For those who are frequently having to travel through the air for work, flying can be tough on the ears. The changes in atmospheric pressure will throw off the balance of the equilibrium inside the auditory canals, resulting in numerous symptoms that can range from pain, dizziness to even temporary loss of hearing. Here are a few tips to provide some comfort for your ears the next time you find yourself in a plane.

Swallow frequently
Because air passes into our bodies through our Eustachian tubes in the ears, traveling at high levels of elevation can produce popping sensations because we are not accustomed to being so high in the air. Swallowing provides stimulation to the muscles attached to the Eustachian tubes, which keeps them active and eases tension. Chewing gum during flying is also proven to be a therapeutic option.

Nasal decongestants
About an hour before your flight, try taking a nasal decongestant to help relax your Eustachian tubes and reduce symptoms of discomfort and ear residue. Decongestants are available at any pharmacy and do not require a prescription, but be moderate with your usage and make sure to only spray a few times while in the air.

The Valsalva maneuver
Here’s a handy trick you can try. Close your nose with your thumb and index finger and exhale gently with your mouth closed as if you were trying to breathe through out your nostrils. This can also help equalize pressure between your eardrums and relieve any popping sensations or pain.

CapTel Captioned Telephone