AIRPLANE EAR PAIN
If airplane travel is a part of your vacation plans, then listen up. Ear problems are the most common medical complaint of air travelers, and while they are usually simple, minor annoyances, they occasionally result in temporary hearing loss.
The rapid changes in air pressure, particularly during ascent & descent, can cause a vacuum in the middle ear creating a blocked sensation. Many travelers find this sensation annoying, but for some travelers ear discomfort becomes ear pain. If your ears feel blocked when flying, you need to equalize the air pressure in the ear.
This can be accomplished by swallowing which activates the muscle that opens your Eustachian tube causing your ears to "pop". Yawning is even better since it's a strong activator of that muscle. To facilitate swallowing try chewing gum or sucking on mints or hard candy, especially just before and during ascent & descent.
When flying with a baby keep them awake during ascent & descent and make sure they are sucking on a bottle or pacifier to keep them swallowing. Otherwise, it's very likely you'll have a crying baby on your lap.
Try these techniques the next time you fly. If your ear still won't unblock, or ear pain persists, you may need to see your physicians. If you feel you have temporary hearing loss you can take a free hearing test over the phone courtesy of the "Dial A Hearing Screening Test" network. This service is available in most major cities in the U.S. and Canada. To find out if it is available in your area, call the "Dial A Hearing Screening Test" National Information Center at 800-222-EARS, 9-5ET. An operator will advise you if the service is available in your area and provide the local test number and instructions
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE DIAL A HEARING SCREENING TEST-CONTACT-GEORGE BIDDLE-800-622-EARS- DAHST@AOL.COM