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How to minimise pain in the ears while air travelling?

Q: I work abroad in the oil industry and am a frequent air traveller. I see most of the children crying during plane landing due to the pain in the ears. I myself experience severe ear pain occasionally. Now my wife and children will be travelling by air for the first time. What is the correct technique to avoid or minimize the ear pain that may occur due to the variation of the cabin pressure while landing?

A:The pain in the ear during travelling is due to pressure difference in the middle ear and outside. It is more if you travel with nose or throat infection. The problem can be avoided by:

  • Staying awake especially during descent.
  • Repeated swallowing movements which can be facilitated by chewing sweets.
  • Taking proper decongestants if you are suffering from cold. See ENT specialist before journey.
  • If ear blockage occurs manoeuvres like wide yawning, swallowing or blowing out through nose with mouth and nose closed.

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