Eustachian tube is responsible for the process of ear popping, which can occur when air pressure changes suddenly.
Common cold, sinusitis and ear infection can cause the Eustachian tube to become inflamed and block the air, resulting in ear pain and pressure, hearing difficulties, dizziness, and a buzzing sound.
How to prevent
To prevent ear problems, people should take precautionary measures such as using nose sprays, decongestants, oral antihistamines, and chewing gum prior to flying.
To relieve ear pressure, people can try any of the aforementioned treatments or Valsalva maneuver, sucking on hard candies, steam inhalation, and using ear plugs.
How to solve
If the ear does not pop and the cause is unknown, it is suggested to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist as a preventive measure, and as a last resort, doctors can issue an “unfit to fly” certificate to use for insurance claim purposes. Staying aware of one’s condition and assessing potential ear damage are paramount for safe air travel.