How to prevent pressure changes from affecting our ears

According to Mayo ClinicThis problem is known as barotrauma, and is related to the change in pressure that alters the proper functioning of the eardrum. This problem occurs more frequently at the time of takeoff and landing of an airplane. Here we will talk more about him.

How it occurs

He barotrauma It occurs the moment there is a pressure change. That is, when the air pressure in the middle ear and the external pressure or ambient pressure do not harmonize, which prevents the tympanic membrane from vibrating normally.

The Eustachian tube is responsible for air regulation. So, when an airplane rises or falls, the atmospheric pressure changes suddenly. In these cases, the Eustachian tube cannot react immediately.

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This abrupt change produces Vertigo, ear congestion, moderate pain, or even mild hearing loss. Of course, it’s not just plane flights that are causing this problem. Diving and nearby explosions are also causes of barotrauma.

Barotrauma prevention

It is possible to prevent this problem by following some simple recommendations. In the case of flights, chewing gum during takeoff or landing will help maintain ear pressure.

Too swallow or yawn helps keep the channel open, so to speak. The valsalva maneuver is also useful. It consists of blowing softly, covering the nose with the fingers in the form of a clamp, keeping the mouth closed.

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An important recommendation is not sleeping during takeoff and landing, as pressure could not be controlled, and would affect hearing. Using a nasal spray is also helpful if used 30 minutes before takeoff. For children, if they are young, giving them a bottle or a pacifier will help them swallow and maintain adequate pressure in their ears.

Although barotrauma does not represent a great health hazard, it is important to prevent it to avoid unwanted discomfort. In case of constant pain or major discomfort in hearing, it will be better to consult a doctor.


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