2nd October 2019

healthyhearing
14

Why do your ears hurt when you fly?

When your flight takes off and the plane begins its ascent, the air pressure inside the inner ear quickly surpasses that of the pressure outside. The tympanic membrane or eardrum swells outward. The Eustachian tube ensures that the air in the middle ear is constantly being replenished.

Can airplane pressure damage your ears?

You may risk a barotrauma, damage to the eardrum due to pressure changes, or even a rupture of the eardrum (although rare). You might experience pain, hearing loss, dizziness or tinnitus (buzzing in the ears).

How do you unclog your ears after flying?

Do-it-yourself techniques to clear your ears
  1. The Valsalva maneuver. Take a deep breath, pinch both nostrils shut with your fingers, close your mouth, and attempt to exhale through your closed nose.
  2. The Toynbee maneuver. Pinch your nostrils shut and close your mouth while swallowing.
  3. The Frenzel maneuver.
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