Why does air travel affect the ears?

air travel

Many activities make the ears pop. If you ride to the top of a skyscraper or down a deep mine shaft, you will need to swallow several times to correct a bulging sensation within the eardrums. Similarly, when you fly, particularly in an unpressurised cabin, or ski fast downhill, you may suffer that same discomforts inside you ears.

All these activities have something in common. Whenever you travel fast up or down, you are suddenly changing the air pressure on your eardrums. Air pressure as you climb is lower than that on the ground; below the surface it gets steadily higher. If you go up, the air inside your middle ear is still at the higher pressure of ground level; it presses the eardrums out. If you go down, the air outside forces the eardrum inwards.

Normally, the pressure inside and outside your ear is the same, maintained by the Eustachian tube, which links the middle ear and the throat. If you climb a mountain, you will inevitably swallow many times. This opens a valve at the end of the Eustachian tube, admitting or releasing air to equalise the pressure inside and out. When we travel more quickly up or down we don’t always remember to do this until the eardrums tell us.

This discomfort in the ears is known as barotrauma. Usually, it wears off quite quickly, especially if you swallow or yawn a few times. A danger arises because of the close links between the throat and the ears. If you have a heavy cold , your ears could  suffer some damage. In any case for other passengers, you would be wiser not travelling until you are well.

air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside, air, ears, pressure, eardrums, inside, air pressure, eardrums air, eustachian tube, middle ear, pressure inside

PinIt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*