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Old 08-14-2007, 08:45 AM   #16
storzo
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Originally Posted by beachblanket View Post
The ear discomfort people are referring to is due to sea-level air pressure inside your inner ear not adjusting to the lower air pressure at altitude.

The way to relieve this is to simply get you inner ear adjusted to the same air pressure as that in the airplane cabin. You do this by getting your Eustachian tube (which runs from the back of your throat to your inner ear) to open, which equalizes the air pressure inside your inner ear to that outside it.

Chewing gum, etc. is a weak, inefficient way to do this, and earplanes have the downside of seriously limiting your hearing. The better way to deal with this problem is to use what doctors and scube divers call the Valsava maneuver.

That involves closing your mouth, pinching your nose and then blowing without opening your mouth. When you do this, the air inside your mouth has nowhere to go other than your the Eustachian tube, thus forcing it open and immediately equalizing the air pressure in your inner ear.

If you do this both when the airplane is ascending and descending, you will immediately get rid of ear tightness and discomfort. No more tightness and no need to blow money on earplanes.
My DH dives, I guess I'll have to get him to show me this trick.
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:53 AM   #17
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I asked the orthodontist about Freedent and he said no. I don't understand why, all my friends who either had braces or their kids do now say they chewed it and allow the kids to. Maybe I'll just try it, not so much for the plane, but DS is a big gum chewer...given a choice of desserts from ice cream to candy, he will pick a piece of gum.
She did not chew it on a day to day basis, but the orthodontist did say it was okay for her to chew it when she was flying since it was such a short time she would be chewing it.

Question for those mentioning the "close and blow." Once when I was about to fly with an ear infection, one doctor (not my regular one) specifically told me NOT to do that because patients had busted their eardrums doing that (and my boss actually had this happen to him while flying). Have doctors recommended this to you? I've been confused about it ever since.
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:53 AM   #18
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Go to your CVS and buy "Ear Planes". They are a really helpful, I learned about them one year when I got the flu in WDW and had to visit the Urgent Care. I had double ear infections, 103 fever etc. etc. I was so worried about my ears on the plane ride home and the doctor said to go next store and buy Ear Planes...they really helped! I still carry a pair everytime I fly just in case.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by LiteBrite View Post
I vote for earplanes, too.



I've had terrible trouble in the past with my ears while flying, but the use of ear planes, combined with a squirt of Afrin (or any other nasal decongestant spray) 30 minutes before flight time has worked wonders for me.

2nd everything you said.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:03 AM   #20
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EARPLANES With out a doubt, I wouldn't fly anywhere without them.....ever...
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:35 AM   #21
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Can earplanes be used for toddlers? We flew for the first time w/the kids in May and my 5 yo was fine but 3yo was having a rough time. We tried the lollipops, water, etc, but nothing worked very well, and I don't let her have gum. I would definitely try the earplanes if they'll work for her and fit.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:42 AM   #22
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Okay I know this is gonna sound really silly, but it worked very very well. When I was little my mom and I use to fly between NJ and FL all the time. I had a horrible time with my ears in general on land (constant infections, etc) One time we were taking off and my ears were so bad I was crying that they were bleeding and hunched in a ball . The flight attendant told my mom that for the trip home to ask the attendant for hot cups. They are plastic cups with steaming hot paper towels on the bottom (just wet the paper towels so they are soaked, but not dripping wet and push them to the bottom of the cup) and put them over the ears. The heat makes the inner ear expand, thus elevating the pressure from the take off (landing wasn't so bad, it was the take off that killed me all the time).

In the 70's they didn't have anything for ear pressure other than chewing gum and well.. hot cups. Just a thought in case anyone ever forgets their ear plugs/gum, etc.... not sure if they teach this to the fight attendants today, but when my mom asked the new flight attendant for them she knew exactly what my mom was talking about.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:42 AM   #23
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Definitely Earplanes. They work so well. I like the fact that they also help to decrease the noise. The last time I flew we had also brought suckers with us and I think those helped more so than gum. When we flew and took only the gum it didn't help at all for me. I won't fly without Earplanes though.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:50 AM   #24
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They also have sizes for smaller children....
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:36 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiteBrite View Post
I vote for earplanes, too.



I've had terrible trouble in the past with my ears while flying, but the use of ear planes, combined with a squirt of Afrin (or any other nasal decongestant spray) 30 minutes before flight time has worked wonders for me.
EARPLANES!!!
Would not fly without them!!
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:44 AM   #26
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I've used the cups as well -- but we've used them without water and it works then too. Put the cups over the child's ears. Sounds odd, but it works -- I've used them myself.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:33 AM   #27
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Yawning always helps me.

I used to have braces and never had any trouble with gum, caramel, or any other "forbidden" substance. If he usually had good results with chewing gum on the plane, try it out before you leave to see if he can chew it. I'd probably avoid the overly gooey stuff like Bubbalicious, but the regular stick stuff should be fine.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:59 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pansmermaidzlagoon View Post
earplanes!

if you would like something other than chewing/swallowing something.

we have flown 6 times with our DD9 and these are the only things that help - she has a terrible time with the pressure causing pain. Also, be sure to follow the instructions for the best results.

Good luck!
What are earplanes? I need to get this.

My ears never pop when I'm on a flight. I get bad vertigo during every trip becasue my ears don't drain and fluid gets stuck in my inner ear.

I need help with this. I don't want to be miserable at disney again!
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:11 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rylinhunter View Post
Okay I know this is gonna sound really silly, but it worked very very well. When I was little my mom and I use to fly between NJ and FL all the time. I had a horrible time with my ears in general on land (constant infections, etc) One time we were taking off and my ears were so bad I was crying that they were bleeding and hunched in a ball . The flight attendant told my mom that for the trip home to ask the attendant for hot cups. They are plastic cups with steaming hot paper towels on the bottom (just wet the paper towels so they are soaked, but not dripping wet and push them to the bottom of the cup) and put them over the ears. The heat makes the inner ear expand, thus elevating the pressure from the take off (landing wasn't so bad, it was the take off that killed me all the time).

In the 70's they didn't have anything for ear pressure other than chewing gum and well.. hot cups. Just a thought in case anyone ever forgets their ear plugs/gum, etc.... not sure if they teach this to the fight attendants today, but when my mom asked the new flight attendant for them she knew exactly what my mom was talking about.
WOW, INTESESTING!!!
As one who USED to suffer, to the point of going to an ER upon landing because I lost hearing and my ears would not drain properly thus causing an infection, the EARPLANES have worked wonders.
BUT I have also tried to re-use them (says on teh box you should not, stubborn me) and THAT was a huge mistake, so I travel with 2 pairs Just in case.
I do still use one pair for the round trip, but I am so anxious about having the problem again, I always fly with two pairs!

The gum is like giving a "candy lifesaver" to one who has Serious ear issues!
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:11 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzannen View Post
Question for those mentioning the "close and blow." Once when I was about to fly with an ear infection, one doctor (not my regular one) specifically told me NOT to do that because patients had busted their eardrums doing that (and my boss actually had this happen to him while flying). Have doctors recommended this to you? I've been confused about it ever since.
I challenge anyone here to find anything online or in print from a named, credible medical source (ergo, not just hearsay from "some doctor") that specifically states that the valsalva maneuver (as discussed here, for use in flight) holds any sort of risk.

In fact, not using it (or some other approach to equalizing air pressure in the inner ear to the outside are pressure) is the real risk. Here is discussion on that from the U.S. Air Force:

"Rapid altitude increases and decreases can cause pain because there is an air pocket in the middle portion of the ear. To equalize pressure in the ear, physicians typically advise pilots and passengers to clear their sinuses by plugging their nose and blowing until the eardrums "pop." Other options include yawning, swallowing or chewing gum. For people with a cold or a severely blocked middle ear, the use of decongestants, antihistamines, or nasal sprays may help. Without taking steps to equalize pressure, the tympanic membrane could rupture, causing hearing loss, vertigo, dizziness, and nausea."
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