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Ear Problems - Cabin Pressure  
User currently offlineKoenie From Belgium, joined Oct 2004, 46 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8518 times:

First of all.. I'm sorry if this isn't the place to post this kind of message but I thought that this was the best place to post it....

Every time I fly I have problems with my ears. Especially during landings.
It's like my eardrums are going to explode. Offcourse I heared the standard chew gum or swallow routines.. but they just don't do the trick.....

So I would like to ask you folks if you know of any other remedies, tricks or things to do to avoid problems like that... as I have to fly BRU-MAD-PTY next week.....

Thanks in advance!!

Regards

K




26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6763 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8496 times:

Koenie,

I have the same problem.. on a recent trip to SAN, I thought my ears were going to bleed! They didn't pop until I was about 15 minutes away from the airport. No yawning, blowing air into the ears, or candy would do anything.. I almost past out!



Aiming High and going far..
User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8490 times:

You might be suffering from mild sinus congestion or something of that sort. I found out that a dose of Sudafed can help - just don't take it if you're driving because it can make you drowsy.

User currently offlineCOAMiG29 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 515 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8472 times:

this works most of the time, hold your nose and try to blow out through it as hard as you can, it is the opposite type of compression and causes the pressure to leave in one very large pop sometimes it hurts but just for a seccond then you are fine. good luck with it


If Continental had a hub at DFW with nonstop flights I would always fly them, unfortunantely good things take time.
User currently offlineScottishLaddie From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 2384 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8448 times:

COAMiG29, is that now how you end up with a ruptured ear drum(s)?
A yawning motion normally does the trick for me now  Big grin
Old thread, same problem:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1410312

[Edited 2004-10-23 17:44:05]

User currently offlineKoenie From Belgium, joined Oct 2004, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8420 times:

ERJ170:
Believe me I know the feeling.. last yr in september during landing on Larnaca in an Austrian Airlines A321 I almost fainted... my head felt like it was going to explode.. and I looked as white as a corpse...
(while some german speaking guy was doing cross signs constantly... a bit scared obviously..... but between his sessions he was trying to get the FA's attention on my case.. and ... then I just wanted to be left alone.. and on the ground)

Backfire:
I'll check on the sudafed but don't know if you can get it without subscription

COAMiG29 and ScottishLaddie:
I've tried that... and it did hurt alot....
thanks for the link Scottishladdie

The only thing that sometimes helps me.. is drinking water during landing...

[Edited 2004-10-23 17:47:20]

User currently offlineLordHowe From Finland, joined Jan 2003, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8372 times:

My kids doctor gave us years ago a good tip. Nosespray - no prescriptions needed. One spray to your nose before going into the plane, one spray when you leave the gate. Then on your way down, one spray when you leave your cruising altitude. It helps my wife, maybe it helps you too.

Best regards,
LordHowe



Lord Howe Island - The Last Paradise
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8366 times:

Believe it or not my dad gave a simple remedy. Chew gum during take off and landing, it works for me! My ears would do the same thing and pop, I started chewing gum and it went away!

User currently offlineKoenie From Belgium, joined Oct 2004, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8353 times:

LordHowe: but what nose spray?

NIKV69: as stated.. chewing gum doesn't do the trick  Smile/happy/getting dizzy... luckily it does for you!!!


User currently offlineLordHowe From Finland, joined Jan 2003, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8296 times:

Koenie,

Nose spray - its simply a small spraybottle with some natriumclorid and some medicine (you should ask your nearest pharmacist) and you put (spray) it to your nostrils. Very effective because the spray makes it go deep in your nose and it opens your nose very good.

Try it - if you can find it.

Regards,
Lord Howe



Lord Howe Island - The Last Paradise
User currently offlineFLVILLA From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 394 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8274 times:

Hi,

In recent years I have had many problems with my ears when flying. First off try the whole yawning and chewing gum it can help, but if your like me then it won't even make a difference.

I use Earplanes when I fly, they are little blue ear plugs which pretty much do all of the pressure changing for your ears, you sometimes don't even feel the affects of the pressure, but when you can feel it , you can also feele them working and making it easier as you go up and down. You can use them on 2 flights then it suggests you disregard them after that time.

www.cirrushealthcare.com , you should be able to find them at most health care stores and pharmacies , definatly in the ones at airports.

These are brilliant little things and they do really work, i just could'nt fly without them anymore.

FLVILLA



I hope in life i can work to live, not live to work
User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8271 times:

"hold your nose and try to blow out through it as hard as you can"

NOT as hard as you can, since that can result in damage to the ears. Instead, gently blow - if it's going to work, it'll work after gentle pressure. It's the way most scuba divers "equalise" the pressure.

Geoff M.


User currently offlineLV From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 2003 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8271 times:

I know you said you chew gum but do you only do it at certain points in the flight or for the whole flight? When I used to do it for just certian points it didnt really help but now I chew for the whole flight and it works because instead of waiting till the pressure has built up I am constantly equilizing the pressure. Plus the added bonus, even though I love flying, flying is somewhat stressful and when I am stressed I get bad breath....so it takes care of that problem too.

User currently offlineNYCAAer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 692 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8260 times:

Be careful about the Valsalva maneuver, where you pinch your nose, close your mouth and blow to equalize the pressure in your ears. It is procedure at some airlines, such as AA and B6, but DL and NW discourage passengers and crew from doing it. You can "blow up your ear," which really means you can have a perilymphatic fistula, or a rupture of the lining of the inner ear, causing vertigo and hearing loss, sometimes a permanent condition. Don't repeat the procedure too many times, or blow too hard.

User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8241 times:

Changes in cabin pressure can affect everyone. It is simply a fact that some people are more sensitive than others and that is why they experience pain and problems. The same can be said why some people do not experience any pain or discomfort when swimming under water, and others do.

I am not going to repeat all the suggested remedies in this thread and elsewhere (suck a sweet, hold your nostrils and then try to blow through your nose, etc) but the more you fly, the more you ears get used to changes in cabin pressure. If you find that there is still a problem, I suggest you speak to your doctor or visit a hearing specialist/audiologist who might find out what causes the problem, which can normally be cured by treatment or prescription drugs/sprays.

You might experience more discomfort on some flights than others - this is simply due to the fact that the cabin pressure is changing quicker. On my last flight (on an Airbus to please all the Boeingers) I found my ears totally blocked on descent and were still blocked until I came out of baggage reclaim!





MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineAGrayson514 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 396 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8242 times:

On descent to MSY one time, my ears actually did start bleeding. My doctor had provided me with a good decongestant, but I did not take it in time apparently and the pressure did not equalize untill about 3 minutes before landing. I was deaf for about and hour afterwards. Goodness that hurt!

What do airline pilots that suffer from allergies or colds do in a situation like this? I've heard of navy pilots being grounded for life because they had so much damage done to their sinuses, so I'm sure there is some sort of trick in the trade.

~ Andrew Grayson



Give a little bit...
User currently offlineKoenie From Belgium, joined Oct 2004, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8207 times:

I asked a doctor specialised in travelling. (from a yellow fever vaccination center).. the best he could come up with was chewing gum... so... doctor's don't seem to know either....

User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3624 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 8168 times:

Yawning works for me; not a full yawn, just that initial opening up of the back of your throat. I do it over and over until it works. Sometimes it takes 10-12 tries. If I wait too long to try it (if the pressure builds up too much), it won't work anymore, or it'll at least be much harder. Try to do it as soon as you start to feel something. I usuallly have to clear my ears 15 times or so before landing.

Problem is even though cabins are pressurized, they're only pressurized up to an altitude of between 6,500 and 8,500 feet. So it's still like coming down from an 8,500 foot mountain when you land at sea level.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineJafa From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 782 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 8161 times:

I work for NW and am not aware of any policy discouraging the use of the valsalva manuver. The whold trick is to do it gently. We do discourage the use of hot towels in cups which are held over the ear.

I would also suggest seeing a medical doctor about such a severe and painful problem. If it is just an annoyance then you could try "earplanes" chewing gum, decongestant, etc.


User currently offlineType-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4990 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 8140 times:

It seems that some planes are worse than others. I mean individual planes, not the type. I have been on some 737's that you couldn't even feel the pressure changes, and I have been on others that have kept my ears plugged for 2 days afterwards. I think when a plane gets old, parts of the pressurization systems don't work as smoothly as they used to and when you touchdown the dump valves dump off the excess pressurization resulting in an abrupt change of cabin pressure.

I have found that Benadryl works fine and if your ears are still plugged when you get home a nice hot shower with a yawn will usually do the trick.



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlineSian From United Kingdom, joined exactly 10 years ago today! , 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8065 times:

Hi there,
I'm not trained in medicine or anything, but I studied pharmacology in university. Apart from teaching us why "coca-cola" was nicer when it still had cocaine in it, and how to make your own absinthe, our medical lecturers told us again and again, when equalising pressure in an aircraft: "Don't blow when holding your nose, our you'll perforate your eardrums". I have an Aunt with a perforated eardrum, and I know how frustrated she gets with not being able to hear out of one ear. So, do this, and you'll never hear again. I just chew sweets, or use those little earplugs that have tiny holes in them ("Earplanes" I believe). Hope this helps!

Another 2 ceiniog, I'm getting poor!

Hwyl!

Siân Big grin



"Pleidiol wyf I'm gwlad!"
User currently offlineAircraft88 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8000 times:

I have the same problem! When flying STN-HAU on my own to meet a mate, I thought that my ear drums were going to explode! I cant blow my nose, I can't stand that! During landing I go all deaf and it usually takes my ears about 2 days to get back to normal!

On the way back from HAU when I was flying with my mate, I found that drinking water did the trick! However my mate who I was flying with was crying with pain and going crazy! No one is aloud to talk to her during decent and landing as if she hears any noise, her ears really really sting. I feel very sorry for her indeed!

I hope my ears get better as one of my ambitions is to be an air steward!

Cheers,

Jamie.



Yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no!
User currently offlineTrb10 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7822 times:

Earplanes! I couldnt survive without them like FLVILLA. You pop them in your ears on take off and can take them out at altitude and then put them in again before descent and they slow down the pressure changes in your ears. I won't fly without them.

Hope that helps  Smile


User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7821 times:

Normally, when I fly, the cabin pressure adjusts automatically, so it doesn't hurt my ears, but on one flight into GPT, the 717 pressurization system would not work so the pilot had to do it manually throughout the flight, and I guess he didn't pressurize it enough, cuz my ears were killing me.

User currently offlineAmmunition From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 1065 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7752 times:

i use the same technique as spacecadet and it works for me.
I have found differences in aircraft type, 777 was very comfortable, while other aircraft like the IL-96 can be quite uncomfortable.
i have also noticed pressurisation of the cabin whilst on the ground, prior to take off, my ears started blocking on all my recent IL-96 flights.

Chewing gum does not work for me, nor does sweets (given out by many airlines). The best method is yawning, but it does make my eyes water severely.



Saint Augustine- 'The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only 1 page'
25 JMChladek : The valsalva manuever isn't that dangerous if you do it gently. If you have to do it hard, then there is a problem and you are probably experiencing a
26 Yhmfan : What do airline pilots that suffer from allergies or colds do in a situation like this? They get grounded! At least this is what the doctor at LHR tol
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