Ear Pain after travelling by flight
Ear problem is a common complaint of persons who travel by flight. This can range from minor discomfort and ear blockage to severe pain.To understand that why there is problem with ear after flight we should know something about Eustachian tube.
What is Eustachian tube? It is a tube, which connects the middle ear with nasopharynx (area behind the nose). This tube is responsible for equalizing the pressure between the surrounding and the middle ear. Air enters from nasopharynx into the middle ear by this tube and the lining of middle ear then absorbs this. In this way pressure equalizes. But when this tube gets blocked the air in the middle ear gets absorb and creates vacuum. This sucks in the ear drum and causes its stretching leading to pain and discomfort. The infection of nose or sinuses is a common cause of Eustachian tube blockage.
How flight travel cause ear problem? Rapid change in air pressure can block this like during ascent and descent of flight, diving in sea, in elevator. When there is change in air pressure, then to equalize the pressure in middle ear Eustachian tube needs to open frequently. If it does not then there is blocking of tube when the difference is more than 90mmHg.
How to prevent ear problem during flight? Swallowing causes Eustachian tube to open so chewing and swallowing helps in opening thus equalizing the pressure. If one can yawn then that also opens up the tube. Using the local decongestant drops may help during the flight. If these measures does not help then one should close the nose and mouth and try to force the air into the middle ear. If this doesn't improves the situation then one should consult a doctor