Blocked ears – easing the pain in flight

You’re on a flight trying to get a little rest when the kid whose been kicking your seat for the last half hour suddenly begins to scream.You do what any normal passenger would do and spin around, shooting the parents an evil look. When that doesn’t work you ring your flight attendant call light and ask the attendant if perhaps she can help, all the while thinking thank God we’re landing soon. What the heck is wrong with that kid!

Blocked ears. Altitude changes increase air pressure as the plane lowers. The change in pressure pushes the eardrum inward. Because children have relatively narrow Eustachian tubes, they may not function as effectively as an adults’, especially if they’re clogged by an inflammation or ear infection. Blocked ears can cause severe pain, dullness in hearing, and can occasionally lead to hearing loss.

What a parent can do…

1.Don’t allow the child to sleep during descent
2.Find something to suck on; a bottle, pacifier, gum or hard candy
3.Postpone any future air travel if a cold, sinus infection, or allergy attack is present.
4.Ignore the jerk seated in front of you.

What you can do when your own ears hurt…

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Photo courtesy of TomD