The pressurized air inside an airplane gives many people problems with their ears. Stuffy ears, less acute hearing and sharp ear pains are just some of the symptoms of what might be called "airplane ear." Checkout specialized earplugs that exist that help to lessen these symptoms caused by air pressure changes. Wear them before takeoff and landing to help equalize the pressure between your environment and your inner ear, and you may well experience fewer symptoms and a pain-free flight.

How To Use Ear Plugs

Here’s how to use ear plugs for flying to avoid ear discomfort during air travel:

  • Insert the ear plugs one hour before takeoff. Remove them after your plane has reached cruising altitude. Replace the plugs one hour before landing to balance your middle ear when the cabin pressure varies.
  • Pinch your nose closed with your fingers. Attempt to blow your nose gently. This will clear your ears from clogging.
  • Hold one ear plug in your right hand. Reach over the top of your head with your left hand and grasp the top of your right ear. Pull the top of the ear upward and outward to open the ear canal.
  • Push the ear plug into your right ear. Put it in with the ribbed end going inward and twist it like a screw until the plug fits securely and comfortably in your ear canal.
  • Switch hands and insert the other plug into your left ear.

How To Purchase Airplane Pressure Relief Ear Plugs

You can find these specialized earplugs on Amazon or in most drugstores like Walgreens. A popular brand is Earplanes and they are silicone earplugs made of a hypoallergenic silicone that come in adult’s and children’s sizes for maximum accessibility. Earplanes work by using CeramX technology – a ceramic filter – to provide ear protection for your middle ear. Earplanes ear plugs also provide in-flight noise reduction by blocking the eardrum.

FAQs and Tips

Air pressure regulating ear plugs are designed to be used only a designated number of times. Discard them after the correct number of uses.

Chewing gum can also help with ear popping and ear problems during airplane travel.

Don’t wear these if you have an ear infection and be sure to clean excessive ear wax off of them between uses.

If you feel pain when inserting these plugs, you have inserted them too far. Remove the plugs and try replacing them at a more shallow depth in the ear canal.