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Can You Reduce Airplane Pressure With Headphones?

Views: 223     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-11-13      Origin: Site


Can You Reduce Airplane Pressure With Headphones?

Although flying can be enjoyable, many people find it uncomfortable due to the pressure in the aircraft, which can cause damage to one or both ears. A person may have discomfort in their ears during a flight due to a shift in air pressure. Many passengers find that this sensation is uncomfortable, even though it passes quickly, and are attempting to find solutions.

There is data that suggests headphones may not have a substantial impact on how much pressure you feel, despite the opinion of some experts who claim they can successfully lessen it.

Whether or not headphones are beneficial depends on the individual; some find them to be quite useful, while others report no change at all.

So let's talk about whether or not headphones relieve airplane pressure before you check in for your next flight.

What Creates Pressure in an Airplane During Flight?

Both adults and children frequently experience airplane ear discomfort during a flight. Changes in pressure are the main reason for this discomfort.

Normally, there is not much of a difference between the air pressure inside the inner ear and the outside air pressure, or at least not enough to be uncomfortable.

The issue only arises when the altitude changes so quickly—which is typical during air travel—that there is insufficient time for the pressures within and outside the inner ear to equalize. This condition is referred to as ear barotrauma in medicine.

The air pressure within the inner ear rapidly rises above the outside pressure when a plane takes off and starts its ascent. There will be an almost vacuum-like swelling or drawing inward of the tympanic membrane or eardrums.

In order for the Eustachian tube to continue its function of supplying air to the inner ear, it will flatten and require some assistance from you. The inability of the eardrum to vibrate during this period results in discomfort, muted noises, and diminished hearing.

Why Is It Important to Cover Your Ears When Flying?

One of the most valuable abilities that no one wants to lose is their sense of hearing. Therefore, it is crucial that we shield our ears from harm or injury.

Extended exposure to noisy situations can harm our ears permanently and increase the risk of developing hearing loss. Therefore, it is crucial that we shield our ears when in a noisy setting, such as an airplane.

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Aircraft cabin noise levels can reach up to 85 decibels (dB) at cruising altitude; if the aircraft is older, the noise level may be significantly higher. This is due to the loud, disagreeable noises that old engines produce. Imagine spending hours seated in the aircraft cabin! Prolonged loud exposure can lead to severe pain and discomfort in your ears.

How Can Headphones Lessen the Pressure Inside an Airplane?

Experts are currently investigating how headphones lower aircraft pressure, but it's thought that the sound waves they produce facilitate the opening of the Eustachian tubes. When these tubes are clogged, it can cause discomfort as they control the air pressure in the ears.

Over 50 years have passed since this notion was initially put forth. However, it wasn't until recently that Canadian researchers from McGill University carried out an investigation to see whether it was worthwhile. The journal Ear & Hearing published their research.

In this study, participants were instructed to use headphones to listen to music while the plane took off and landed. In this study, it was discovered that wearing headphones assisted in opening the Eustachian tubes, thereby lowering the participants' perceived pressure. But the effect was only temporary and dissipated after a short while.

Does this imply that you should bring active noise-canceling headphones for studying on your next trip, or that you should just use the headphones that airlines provide? Well, not exactly; further investigation is still required to ascertain whether or not headphones actually reduce cabin pressure on airplanes. But if you have discomfort from airplane pressure when flying, it's something to think about and give a shot.

Check out our shopping guide if you want to buy new over-ear headphones for your upcoming flight and you have the money to do so. Selecting headphones with noise cancellation will help filter and block cabin noise while easing strain on the eardrum. Additionally, noise-canceling headphones avoid tinnitus (rather than making it worse).

Play some soothing music to reduce any tension you may feel during your travels. If you'd like, you may also watch a movie.

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1.Yawning or swallowing anything

By swallowing or yawning, the Eustachian tube opens and allows air to enter the middle ear.

By activating the muscles that restrict or impede airflow in the Eustachian tube during takeoff, this will help balance ear pressure by facilitating easy airflow through the ear tunnel.

2.Chewing gum

Chewing gum can help initiate the swallowing action and facilitate the adjustment of air pressure.

When descending with children, you can use a bottle to help them drink more, which will lessen the pain in their ears from the shift in air pressure.

3.Valsalva technique

In order to shield your ears during takeoff and landing, you can also use the Valsalva maneuver. The Valsalva maneuver involves methodically holding and releasing breaths to assist in altering breathing patterns.

By doing so, the air pressure will be brought into balance with the surrounding air by forcing air into the Eustachian tube. Hence, the earache was relieved. To assist you in doing the Valsalva maneuver, follow these steps:

Take a deep breath in and hold it for ten seconds.

Breathe out slowly to begin the quick release of breath.

Get your breathing exercises going again.

4.Franzel manoeuvre

Another option is to do the Frenzel maneuver, which involves compressing the throat, closing the glottis, and drawing air into the throat. To achieve this, breathe gently into your pinched nostrils and take a few swallows.

5.Use decongestants

Decongestants for the nose or mouth can be used to clear mucus that could obstruct the Eustachian tube. When landing and after the flight, take a decongestant until your ears return to normal.

Only visitors who are sick with the flu or a cold should take decongestants. Remember that elderly people should not take decongestants and that you should always consult a doctor before using prescription medication.

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6.Wearing headphones with noise cancellation

Instead of using plug-in earbuds to filter out background noise while watching a movie or listening to relaxing music like pop, classical, or natural sounds, you can use over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation.

Occasionally, certain airlines, such as British Airways, provide headphones to their customers.

7.Getting up an hour or more before landing

Make sure you wake up at least an hour before landing if you have a lengthy fight. If you wake up right before landing, you won't have enough time to become used to the circumstances.

8.Be sure you are healthy before taking a flight

In some cases, having health issues can make the discomfort that the pressure of the flight causes worse.

Prior to opting to fly, it is best to discuss any health concerns you may have with your physician or other qualified health provider. However, if you are in good health, you will be able to handle the pressure and the circumstances.

How Come Your Ear Doesn't Pop After a Flight?

Your ears may pop following a plane trip for a few different reasons. The Eustachian tubes could be obstructed or malfunctioning, for example.

It's also possible that the flight was too short for the pressure to build up to uncomfortable levels.

There are several things you can attempt to help if, after a plane flight, your ears don't pop. Chewing gum, yawning, and swallowing can all be beneficial.


In conclusion, while they can be a temporary fix, headphones can lessen the pressure in your ears during flights. You can try chewing gum or performing the Valsalva maneuver to see if you can stop the pressure from ever rising in the first place.

Decongestants and rising an hour before landing can be helpful if your ears are already hurting. If you have any health issues, don't forget to consult your physician before taking a flight.


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