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If you are planning to fly but are anxious about the discomfort caused by the pressure changes on flights, you can follow any of the following tips:
  • Chewing gum is the most simple and convenient method to carry out. When you chew gum on taking off you will reduce the undesirable symptoms.
  • Yawning is another method; opening and closing the mouth facilitates pressure balance between the ear and the environmental pressure.
  • Covering your nose, closing your mouth and breathing out for a second.
  • There are earplugs you can buy at pharmacies and specialized centers to help you resolve pressure imbalance.
  • Try not to fall asleep, because when we sleep we reduce the number of times we swallow and the Eustachian tube, responsible for ear pressure balance, reduces its activity at rest, so we increase the risk of discomfort.

Why does this trouble occur?

One of the main functions of the Eustachian tube is to regulate the pressure between the middle ear and the nasopharynx. This allows gas exchange, making the pressure equal and eliminating the feeling of plugging. This is usually carried out by an involuntary mechanism, but we may also make it voluntary, such as by using the advice given above.
When flying, the pressure change experienced by the ear is very abrupt, and as such, the feeling, depending on the person ranges from bearable to unbearable in some cases because it may cause dizziness.
That’s why when the advice given is followed, we help balance the pressures and the sensation noticeably decreases.
In future articles, we will continue talking about the importance of the Eustachian tube and its intervention in catarrhal processes, for instance.

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