Ears, Height and Airplane Travel

The most common medical problem encountered during air travel is ear problems. mostly simple
discomfort occurs, rarely temporary pain and hearing loss occur. This brochure is available during your flight.
It is prepared for you to understand the mild ear problems you face and how to protect yourself.

Structure of the ear
The ear is generally divided into three parts.

Outer Ear: The outer ear, which is seen on the side of the head and continues to the eardrum, is the outer ear.
consists of the ear canal.

Middle Ear: The small space between the eardrum and the inner ear. Meanwhile, three ossicles (Hammer, anvil)
, stirrups) , the air spaces of the ear bone are located.

Inner Ear: It is the part of the ear bone that contains the hearing and balance nerve endings.

It is the part of the middle ear that causes problems during air travel. Because there is a small air gap,
affected by pressure changes.
Normally, a small click in your ears every time you swallow (or the second and third swallow).
you feel the sound or pressure play. Meanwhile, the eustachian tube between the nasal cavity and the middle ear
air bubble has passed into your middle ear. The air in the middle ear is absorbed by the tissue lining it.
is constantly sucked in but the air pressure on both sides of the ‘eustachian tube’ is equalized. If the pressure difference
If it occurs, the ears will feel as if they are blocked.

What Causes Congestion of the Eustachian Tube and Ears?
The Eustachian tube can become blocked or closed for many reasons. In this case, middle ear pressure
cannot be synchronized. Since the air in the middle ear is constantly sucked and cannot be renewed, a vacuum is created, the eardrum is pulled inwards.
collapses. The strained eardrum cannot vibrate normally and sounds are dull and low. Tension of the eardrum
can also cause pain. If this situation continues for a while, in order to equalize the pressure in the middle ear,
A fluid similar to blood serum leaks from the tissue lining the middle ear and fills this place.
fluid in the ear’, ‘serous otitis’ or ‘aero-otitis’ is called.
The most common cause of obstruction of the Eustachian tube is the common cold. Sinus inflammation and nose
allergies (such as hay fever) are also common causes.

The Eustachian tube and the tissue lining it are the continuation of the nose and nasal passages. Because of this continuity
stuffy nose causes the ears to be stuffy and feel like that too.

Another reason for the obstruction of the Eustachian tube is middle ear infections that cause swelling in the tissues. Eustachian
Children are more prone to blockage because the tube is narrower than adults.

How Does Air Travel Create Problems?

During air travel, sudden pressure changes occur. To equalize these pressure changes, the Eustachian
The pipe must be able to open and close immediately at that time. This is especially true when the plane is about to land.
is seen.

In the first period, this was a real problem for airplanes that did not provide pressure equalization.
Today, this event has been reduced to a minimum. However, there are still some unavoidable pressure changes.
can happen.

In reality, any situation that causes a pressure change creates a problem. In the same situation, in high-rise buildings
you will encounter it in fast moving elevators or while diving into the water. Diving deep and
pilots are taught how to deal with this situation. You can learn your own method too.

How do you prevent your ears from getting blocked?
Swallowing activates the muscles that open the Eustachian tube. While chewing gum or eating mints
You swallow more often. These are good exercises to do before landing. yawn even more
is good. This muscle is better stimulated when stretching. You have to be careful not to sleep during the descent because while you sleep
the swallowing process is very slow (the flight crew wants to wake you up when landing.)
If swallowing and yawning are not effective, this method works best:

1) Close your nose wings tightly with your hand.
2) Take a strong breath through the mouth.
3) Even though your mouth and nose are closed, you can breathe out using your cheek and swallowing muscles.
try to blow it so that the compressed air can pass through the Eustachian tube into the middle ear. pressure in your ear
or when you feel the sound, you have succeeded. You may have to do this several times during the descent.

Babies cannot do this, but if they suck on something, they will relax. Breastfeed your baby during the descent
or feed them and do not let them sleep.

What Measures Should You Take?
Do not use your stomach and chest to pressurize your ears with air because in this case it is very
too much pressure builds up. Proper pressure is achieved using only your cheek and swallowing muscles.
If you have a cold, sinusitis or allergies, it is best to delay the flight.
If you have had an ear surgery recently, ask your doctor about the flight.

Nasal Opening Drugs and Sprays ?
Experienced passengers use a nasal decongestant or spray about an hour before landing. This
drugs help the middle ear aeration by shrinking the tissues going to the ear. for the same reason
People with allergies should also take allergy medications before the flight. high blood pressure of nasal decongestants,
Before use by people with heart problems, heart arrhythmias, thyroid disease, extreme irritability
A physician must be consulted. Likewise, pregnant women should consult their physicians.
they should consult.

What to Do If Your Ears Don’t Open?

After landing, you can do pressure equalizing movements and continue with nasal decongestants (nasal
Do not make a habit of using opener sprays and do not use them for a long time, otherwise it will be more
They can cause too much congestion) If your ears still do not open and hurt, you should consult an ear doctor.
must. Your doctor may need to relieve pressure or fluid in your middle ear by scratching your eardrum.
can hear.

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