How to Protect Your Ears During a Flight

You may have packed your bags and booked your hotel, but no trip to the travel agency can teach you how to protect your ears during a flight. Everyone experiences ear discomfort on airplanes because of the rapid change in air pressure during ascent and descent. Thankfully, though, there are ways to, if not prevent the issue entirely, at least mitigate the pain.

  1. How to Protect Your Ears During a Flight

Avoid Flying if you have a respiratory infection. Infections and allergies can cause congestion that blocks the sinuses and restricts the amount of air that can flow through your eustachian tubes thereby putting even more pressure on your inner ear.

Swallow or chew gum to keep your eustachian tubes open. Swallowing regularly, chewing gum, or even holding your breath and plugging your nose can all help relieve pain in your inner ear by evening out the difference in air pressure. Children may wish to suck on lollipops or blow through a straw, and if you have infants, you will definitely want to bring along a bottle or pacifier.

Use EarPlanes to even out the difference in pressure. EarPlanes are earplugs specially designed to relieve pain during flights. They have been tested by U.S. Navy pilots and have the Good Housekeeping stamp of approval.

  1. Why Your Ears Become Plugged During a Flight

Usually the air pressure on your inner ear is equal to the air pressure on your outer ear. Even if you change altitudes, your ears will adjust to the difference assuming that you aren’t travelling at hundreds of miles per hour. You need to know how to protect your ears during a flight because the change in pressure is dramatic rather than gradual.

As the plane ascends, pressure in the cabin drops and the pressure on your eardrum remains stable. The difference is enough to make what is usually referred to as the tympanic membrane swell outward. On the landing, the same membrane is sucked inward creating a vacuum effect.

  1. What Not to Do When Flying

Before saying bon voyage, check out these other tips for how to protect your ears during a flight:

  • Bring a nasal spray and use it once before landing
  • Yawn occasionally to open up your eustachian tubes
  • Stay awake so you don’t forget to take care of your ears properly


Knowing how to protect your ears during a flight can save you a lot of pain during take-off and landing even if you can’t solve the problem entirely.