Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Painful Ears When Descending  
User currently offlineScottishLaddie From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 2384 posts, RR: 8
Posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7722 times:

Who else gets really sore ears when descending from high altitude? It's the one part of flying which I could do with out. I'm not affected normally on takeoff, just when landing. I'm sure I can't be alone.

40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDemoose From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 1952 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7663 times:

I used to, and I really didn't enjoy it at all. I think I just learnt to 'pop' my ears and I never have any trouble now. I know its not so easy for everyone to cure this problem as my mum still gets that horrible pain in the ears when on descent, I guess I can only suggest the usual; have a boiled sweet to suck on.

Mark



Take a ride...fly across the sky
User currently offlineFLYtoEGCC From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 947 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7641 times:

Same here. If the boiled sweet trick doesn't work, squeeze your nose and try to blow through it, as hard as necessary. This will "clear" your ears, but you might have to keep doing as you descend.

I used to be really badly affected by nosebleeds after landing. I used to get them fairly frequently anyway, but it was guaranteed I'd get them after flying. I remember my dad having to dash me to the toilets in Geneva airport immediately after we disembarked because it suddenly started pouring. Fortunately I don't get them too badly any more. Anyone else have this trouble?



Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
User currently offlineTYSGoVols From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 634 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7624 times:

I do it on descent and ascent however, my mom found these things at Wal Mart and you can find them on the Internet as well. They are called ear planes. It is an ear plug with a hollow space in the middle. Half way down that space there is a very small amount of something like a gel or something. It allows you ears to pressurise slowly. Without them I would probably never fly again. The first time I ever flew over twenty five thousand I thought I was going to die. On descent into CDG I felt as though someone was plunging an ice pick into my head. I fly by the ear planes. If you want to try them and can't find them let me know I am sure I can help you get some somehow. They are only good for two or three flights though at least that is what the package says they start loosing some working power after like four flights. You take them out after reaching flight level and put them in just before you think descent is going to happen.

In Christ
Garen B.



Rocky Top You'll Always be home sweet home to me, Good ole' Rocky Top WOOOOO
User currently offlineFLYtoEGCC From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 947 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7595 times:

Oh yeah, you can get them in the UK too! In fact I should have remembered that, I worked at a very well-known high street chemist store for three years and I used to see them sitting on the shelf every day! I never used them though.


Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
User currently offlineDeltaMD11 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 1701 posts, RR: 34
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7573 times:

My ears will rarely hurt when descending (never happens on the ascent). Usually my ears will just pop when descending, no pain really. However, I remember this one Delta flight in particular from SLC-SAN on a 752. The descent into SAN was horrible--I was in a good deal of discomfort and there were several children on the plane whom were crying from the pain. A lot of people seemed to be holding their ears. Was very strange because I've never had that happen before but a lot of people were having problems with their ears. There was even some lady in the same row as mine on the other side of the aircraft that was crying from the pain.


Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
User currently offlineFlymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7147 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7561 times:

Yea everyone gets it. Especially in A chalks Mallard at 9,000FT. But i have a question to pilots. Do you get used to it after a while or do your ears pop alot. I would not want them to when talking to ATC!


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineFLYtoEGCC From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 947 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7556 times:

I would guess it depends on the rate of descent. If ATC has asked the pilot to expedite to a certain level, the rate of descent increases, and the cabin air pressure increases much more quickly, giving your body less time to adjust. I doubt it's to do with the aircraft type, I've been on ten 757 flights and never had a problem.


Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
User currently offlineDeltaMD11 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 1701 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7540 times:

hehe Fly...I know it's not endemic to 757's. I have 32 flights in that I can count since July of 1996 on 757's (it's nice to have family sprawled throughout the country....all the more reason to travel lol) and this was my first encounter with extreme ear pain.


Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
User currently offlineScottishLaddie From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 2384 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7530 times:

Once when descending I was blocked up with the cold and it felt like my face was going to explode! It was really painful. The discomfort normally felt in the ears I was also feeling in my sinuses I guess, anyway it was hell and boy was I glad to have that flight end.
I've experienced a flight like that before DeltaMD11, it was a really rough descent and my ears were majorly aching and some children were in tears because of the pain.


User currently offlineFLYtoEGCC From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 947 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7501 times:

DeltaMD11
"...it's nice to have family sprawled throughout the country....all the more reason to travel lol..."

Lucky you Big grin I wish the UK was a bit bigger, most of my family live within an hour or so drive away, and even the for the ones who live right down in the south it's cheaper and more practical to drive than fly  Sad

EDIT: P.S. sorry for getting off topic.

[Edited 2004-02-19 03:00:36]


Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
User currently offlineVC745D From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 214 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7475 times:

It might be that people grow out of this problem, although I've been assuming that more modern aircraft with better pressurization systems have something to do with it. In the days of DC8s/707 etc, f/a's used to give you a hot wet towel in a paper cup to hold up to your ear--it seemed to work.

User currently offlineLHR340 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 877 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7458 times:

I had really bad ear problems whilst descending in to LHR on the 12th, I have never had it so bad and I am never affected by the pressure, but I couldn't hear out of 1 ear properly and it drove me crazy. I'm not sure if its the A321 or London...Or maybe it was because I wasn't chewing gum, I normally chew gum on takeoffs and landings.

LHR340



A340 LoVeR! EC-GQK - LHR The Bussiest International Airport & 3rd Bussiest In The World!
User currently offlineTYSGoVols From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 634 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7444 times:

I just have a lot of sinus and ear infections. My Dr once told me he believed I was born with one. As for the little kids. My mom read an article in one of her magazines (it was the same one that she read about the ear planes in) the guy that invented them is actually over some kind of national ear health institute or something of that nature here in the states and he was on a flight with a crying baby. He told the F/A who he was and what he needed to do get the baby to stop crying. He used two plastic cups and a warm damp cloth in each and put them on the kids ears. Within a matter of a few minutes the kid had quite. Did you realize that your ear drums can actually rupture . The kids Dr. found out through a later visit that the guy had actually saved the kids ear drums. Probably looked like a dork with those plastic cups stuck to his head but he wasn't crying. I wished I had known that on that DFW CDG flight dork or not I was already crying so what else could be worse? Our ascent and descent were really not that extreme I just have sensitive ears. Trying to pop them really doesn't help me all that much. This is going to be a bit gross but when I fly I find that if I don't outwardly belch as opposed to doing the closed mouthed burp my ears hurt too.

In Christ
Garen B.



Rocky Top You'll Always be home sweet home to me, Good ole' Rocky Top WOOOOO
User currently offlineFLYtoEGCC From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 947 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7426 times:

Nothing wrong with a good belch, mate  Big thumbs up


Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...
User currently offlineETStar From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 2103 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7424 times:

As mentioned above, it gets so worse when flying with a cold... hurt to the point that I could not sit up straight, simply cannot describe it. Even cold medicine does not help!

User currently offlineLoggat From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 666 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7415 times:

The reason that your ears hurt is because of the increase in air pressure in the cabin on descent, relative to the cabin air pressure at higher altitudes. At cruise altitude, the cabin pressure is about the equivalent of air at 8,000ft. As you come down, the pressure increases to normal levels, which pushes on your ear drums. The air in your ear canals had gotten used to the 8,000ft air pressure, and now has to try and level itself out with the outside air. By holding your nose and trying to blow air out of your ears, you are trying to open up the drums to allow air to equilibriate between the two. If you can't get the air to balance inside and outside of your head, it feels like your head is being pounded. If you have a sinus infection, you will be even more stuffed up, making it feel much worse. Hope this clarifies the reason for it, and why it is a landing issue and not a takeoff issue.

The worst airplane I have been on and experienced this problem is both NWA and CO DC-10's on international flights to and from LGW. International flights will generally make your ears feel the pain longer because they have spent a longer time at the 8,000ft cabin pressure altitude.

Regards
Peter



There are 3 types of people in this world, those that can count, and those that can't.
User currently offlineGoboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2694 posts, RR: 15
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7397 times:

I don't fly jets, but my ears don't pop anymore, and the vertical speed on descent in a light aircraft that your ears are exposed to is actually more than in the cabin of a pressurized aircraft. In a jet, it's maybe only 500 FPM or so, but I have had to descent at over 3,000 FPM due to an emergency and my ears didn't pop and my instructor didn't say anything about his ears hurting either. Maybe they get used to it. They didn't pop on the last commercial flight I took either.

Nick


User currently offlineYhmfan From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 607 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 7348 times:

Flying with blocked sinuses after a cold can be painful and dangerous.
I did this only once on a BHX-LHR-YYZ flight. After landing at LHR (it was a prop) I had to go and see the duty physician who would not let me continue on to YYZ. He told me that I could potentially rupture my ear drums!



If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you
User currently offlineCRJDispatchKid From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 99 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 7323 times:

I think it has to do something with the age of the a/c. I find that older a/c make my ears hurt more. This might be due to older pressurization systems. For example, when I'm on a NW DC-9 my right ear feels like it might explode on decent, but when I'm on one of our CRJ's my ears are fine. Just a hypothesis.



Thanks...C-Ya...Bye
User currently offlineTcfc424 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 517 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 7317 times:

This is JUST SPECULATION, however I would be inclined to believe that ear pressurization and pain is affected by the rate of ascent and descent. During takeoff and ascent, the aircraft is climbing quickly, and pressure equalization occurs quickly, providing only brief discomfort that is usually forgotten by the time descent comes around, thus the reason for no one complaining about the ascent phase of flight. Descents however occur at varying rates, and the longer the descent, the longer the discomfort. I have noticed that my ears hurt longer and more painfully during slow descents as opposed to those descents which are quicker.

Just my 2 cents.

Mike S. in AUS


User currently offlineACEregular From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 676 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 7211 times:

I used to suffer really badly with my ears on flights. I can remember flying on a Britannia 737-200 from NCL-ALC when I was about 9 years old and the pain had me screaming and kicking the seat in front, nothing could stop it. And on most flights after that I would usually storm off (very bad tempered) and the family would know not to come near me until my ears settled a bit.

I have rarely suffered anything for years now. I was dreading it as part of my life when I began flying as crew but most of the time I notice nothing, whilst kids squall all around me I am fine. on Sunday 15th of Feb however I must have been a bit bunged up because on the last sector of the day during descent I thought my right eye was going to be ejected from my head, the pain was excrutiating. I have flown since and I am back to normal.


User currently offlineWorldAV8R From Poland, joined Feb 2004, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 7177 times:

I have come to think that with more air travel, your ears begin to adjust to the pressure changes. Mind you this takes half a lifetime to accrue. Companions of mine who have flown far fewer times complain regularly. One companion who had only travelled several times by air suffered MISERABLY for the next 24 or so hours, on one particular trip.

Happily, I can say that my ears adjust by the time we hit the runway. Thanks to years of travelling.



Next Trip: STL-ORD-LHR-ATH-JMK
User currently offlineDemoose From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 1952 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 7178 times:

ACEregular, funny you should say that. As a child I flew on Britannia's 732's numerous times and ALWAYS got really bad pains in my ears on decent. The bizarre thing was it was never on the return flights into Manchester, only on the outbound flights. My parents said at the time it was because we were flying to small Greek Island airports which required faster decent, although I doubt this is the case. It always took a few days for my ears to get back to normal.


Take a ride...fly across the sky
User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 377 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 7166 times:

It happened to me only once when I had an accident and my spine was injured, I was 14 then, it was awful to think I may have to endure it forever but thank God it vanished on its own, was pretty bad, let me tell you that, popping ears pale in comparison.


.....up there with the best!
25 RayBolt : I was told that it can be dangerous to do the 'hold your nose and blow.' It is possible to rupture your ear drums by doing it. It was recommended that
26 Aircraft88 : Hi! The worst iv'e every had was when we were decending into ATL from LAS with DL on a 763. I kept having really quick pains in my ears which really s
27 Pe@rson : I fly pretty regularly and sometimes suffer, although it's not normally overly bad. I find holding my nose tightly and blowing in tends to help.
28 Fliboyz : In November of '03, I was flying home and on the descent I started to get some fluttering in my ears. Well it got blocked and stayed that way for almo
29 LH423 : Normally I'm not affected by this, however I have had two instances that stand out. First was in 1997. I flew BOS-ORD-MSP. No pain so much but after I
30 Alcregular : ACEregular & Demose, It must be a Britannia thing. I was really bad on my first flight when I was 9 years old. Partly because the pressure wasn't full
31 TYSGoVols : I do the whole can't hear thing afterwards a lot too. When ever I travel with a group I always wind up yelling at people so I can hear what I say. As
32 Nycfuturepilot : It used to effect me a lot however it hasn't been as much since i started flying more often. However, i had a sinus infection when I was going to MCO
33 AvianceGirlUK : Hell yeh, i remember as a kid flying to and from Amsterdam with my parents to see a friend quite a bit on BMI and whenever we got home and put the ket
34 MYT332 : Back in 1995 i remember having really bad pressure in my ears on approach to MAN. It was the worst pain id ever suffered and i so wanted to be anywher
35 LV : I find chewing gum really helps with this...the constant moving of the jaw moves the ear tubes around helping to equal the pressure. So whenever I fly
36 Post contains images ScottishLaddie : I use chewing gum, but also doing a yawning motion with your mouth seems to do the trick as well!
37 A330Jamaica : Sometimes forcing a yawn repeatedly can minimize the effects. I rarely have that problem nowadays.
38 DC-10 Levo : I usually get ear-ache when we descend quite fast - it's alright if we begin the descent quite a way out but when there is a sudden drop they really h
39 Jcxp15 : The process of holding your nose and blowing out is called the Vasalva. You should only do this on decent, as if you do it on ascent, it's likely you'
40 RonE : "Same here. If the boiled sweet trick doesn't work, squeeze your nose and try to blow through it, as hard as necessary. This will "clear" your ears, b
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Ears Hurting When Flying. posted Wed Apr 4 2001 00:16:47 by DeltaAirFreak
Hopes For SWF Soar When B6 Arrives On Tuesday posted Mon Dec 18 2006 11:12:41 by FA4B6
What Happens To FF Miles When Airlines Merge? posted Fri Dec 15 2006 15:52:19 by Chase
Emirates In CPH. When? posted Fri Dec 15 2006 00:15:06 by Himmelstormer
When New Entrants Battle Market Leaders posted Mon Dec 11 2006 22:48:47 by Dartland
BA - When New First Class? posted Fri Dec 8 2006 11:49:11 by Ikarus2006
Delta, When Will It Make A Decision On 70- Seaters posted Thu Dec 7 2006 16:35:23 by Naritaflyer
When Airport Employees Just Don't Get It... posted Wed Dec 6 2006 20:22:18 by Planenutz
Since When Is Aeromexico Flying Into SJO? posted Mon Dec 4 2006 07:49:25 by LTU932
When Will The 747 Be Out Of Passenger Service? posted Sat Dec 2 2006 02:17:47 by Scalebuilder