I landed from a transatlantic flight last Saturday and it is now Thursday, 5 days from arrival time, and I still cannot hear clearly from the pressure disequilibrium in my inner ears from the rapid descent of this flight. I tried yawning, hitting ears with shower stream, hopping on one foot with head tilted, but none of them worked. I won't use medication. This has happened before but not this long and so severe. The sounds I hear seem to be coming behind a wall rather than directly and it is annoying. Any suggestions appreciated

  • perhaps some of the tips here will help: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/5193/… Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 0:12
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    medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001064.htm: "If self-care steps do not ease discomfort within a few hours or the problem is severe, you may need to see a provider." If it's been five days, sounds like you ought to see a doctor. This site isn't a substitute for qualified medical advice. Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 1:13
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a request for personal medical advice, which we cannot provide. Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 1:17
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    @NateEldredge I beg to differ. Being a travel advise site, I am sure this question is relevant to all flight travelers. If I was seeking medication or prescription, I would agree with you that it would be info that only a medical professional can provide. This not the case here. Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


Normally you must let air of the surrounding pressure back into your inner ear. While most of the time chewing relieves the symptom, divers have more techniques for this which is called equalizing:

  1. Block your nose, squeezing it with your hand. Blow gently, increase the pressure slightly and gradually. Do not blow super hard as it is possible to rupture your eardrum which is extremely painful.
  2. Breath in. Block your nose and swallow.

Should neither of this work, you are probably congested. Meaning there is some accumulation trapping higher-pressure air between the ear canal and the ear drum. This risk is exactly why divers should not dive congested or after using decongestants, since they may wear-off during the dive.

This means that a decongestionnant will probably help you. Since you will not use medication, you can try natural ways for reducing congestion. Eating very spicy food works me better than other things but you can try saline solution too.

  • Adding to this answer: Sometimes all you can do is wait. Yes, it is annoying but just like water can get trapped in your ear after going swimming, the air can get trapped in your ear as well. It will come out eventually (and when it does... ohhh what a relief :) ). If it doesn't get better after a few days (no medical adivce, I use "few days" just as a figure of speech here) you might want to see a doctor about it.
    – waka
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 13:05

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