I’m going to Spain in 3 months, and it will be my first flight in 8 years.

I have always had problems with my ears when I was younger. I have had lots of grommets in because of hearing loss and ear infections and had my last ones removed 2 years ago.

I still get a bit of pain in my ears even now when we drive up a hill, and my ears pop or if we go on a train through a tunnel. Even if my mum has her window open in the car and I don’t, it sends my ears wild.

However, the last time coming home on a plane from America when I was 9 or 10, I had severe pain in my ears when landing. It has always put me off flying and now I have a flight coming up. I’m very nervous.

Can someone give me some tricks and tips to calm my nerves and ease my worries? I really don’t want to not go on a plane ever again. I want to travel and I don’t want this stupid reason to hold me back from life!

I have tried the ear pressure plugs, swallowing, bowing your nose and nothing works!

I will try and get some pain meds from doctors but what if it hurts?

  • Get some long-lasting (or lots of) sweets or gum to suck/chew on. This should make you swallow constantly and help equalise the pressure and thus reduce ear pain. Not sure if that's enough if you are more severely affected than other people, but it will certainly help.
    – jcaron
    Jul 3, 2018 at 11:51
  • I disagree with marking this as a duplicate. The OP clearly has a pre-existing medical condition and the only correct answer is "go see a doctor".
    – Hilmar
    Jul 3, 2018 at 23:24

1 Answer 1


This is a non-trivial medical issue, so let's not fuzz around with this: You need to go and see an good ear doctor and talk it through with them.

The reason for the pain are changes in air pressure. These need to be equalized between the outer world and your middle ear cavity. That, apparently, doesn't work well for you and hence the ear pain. If the pressure between both sides of your ear drum isn't the same your ear drum will be either pushed out (going up) or pushed in (going down). This as a) painful and b) potentially dangerous, so you should NOT paper it over with pain killers.

The best way to proceed depends on the details of your medical condition, so it can only be determined by a trained professional who is familiar with your specifics.

Don't follow medical advice from strangers on the Internet.

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