Afay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2918 times:
I know the physics reasons why one's ears "pop" or feel pressure, but anecdotally, American's A300-600's do it to me every time; ear splitting pain. I have no idea why, it just always happens to me. It must have to do with the kind of pressurization systems on various model's of planes coupled with the sensitivity of the tympanic membrane of an individual. Anyone else have a more scientific explanation?
Andreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2895 times:
For me, using a spray to open up the sinuses is the way to go.
It happens sometimes to me, too, the pain is really bad for a few minutes, but never on large aircraft, such as the A300 or bigger, but mostly on B737, curiously enough, not on A319, though it's the same size.
LMML 14/32 From Malta, joined Jan 2001, 2565 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2887 times:
Advanced technology has not yet reached the human ear. I guess that we humans were not supposed to fly !! As the saying goes If God meant for us to fly He would have given us wings !! And ears to go ........
But seriously. Ever heard of the "hot towel in a cup" technique? You wet some hot tissue with hot water, squeeze the excess water out and put in a plastic cup. Then seal the cup around your ear and hold it like that all thru the descent. Do the same for both ears. It is supposed to ease the pain by differentiating the pressure slower than the cabin rate of climb. I never tried it on myself, but have done it to pax who all said it worked.
Ikarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2872 times:
My personal experience: Use some nasal decongestant tablets or sprays. My parents swear on "ear planes" - some small ear plugs that claim to reduce the rate of pressure difference, thereby making it more bearable.
But on the whole, my ears have improved very much since I was a kid. Now I only really feel it if I have a slight cold - but then all the pain and agony is back with a vengeance, and last time I couldn't hear much on my left ear for almost 2 days.
I could not find any difference between plane types, though. Only once did I have the impression that a Canada3000 A330 pilot descended rather more quickly than usual (from cruise to landing in less than 15 minutes - usually most airliners I've been on take 30 minutes or so). But apart from that, all planes feel the same to me and my ears.
I don't believe pressurization technology has advanced very much in the past 10 years. Only airline services have lowered. They no longer hand out chewing gums or candy prior to takeoff and landing (Virgin Atlantic being the commendable exception)
Scottb From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6583 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2806 times:
Basically the jaw motion is what helps to open up the Eustachian tube (the passage from the throat to the middle ear), thus allowing the middle ear pressure adjust to the ambient pressure. You can get more-or-less the same effect by just moving your jaw around.
BWIrwy4 is right about scuba diving being a way to learn to equalize at will - I can pretty much manage it at any time, unless I have severe congestion. Lt-AWACS is also right - but don't blow too hard...