3 ways to relieve ear pressure on a flight
Photo by Ruth Enyedi on Unsplash

Reader’s Digest recently published a story titled “42 Everyday Fixes to Survive Basically Anything.” It’s full of practical information and worth reading, but one fix stood out as particularly relevant for travelers: “How to survive clogged ears on a flight.” I’ve had experiences on flights myself in which my ears felt like they were going to explode, usually when I’ve had a cold. I would have loved to have had the info below descending on those flights:

“There are actually three ways to correct the problem, each named after the doctor who developed it:

  • The Valsalva maneuver: Take a deep breath, pinch both nostrils shut with your fingers, close your mouth, and attempt to exhale through your closed nose. Don’t be overzealous with this maneuver, as there is an off chance you could rupture an eardrum.
  • The Toynbee maneuver: Pinch your nostrils shut and close your mouth while swallowing. (This might take a try or two.)
  • The Frenzel maneuver: Pinch your nostrils shut and make a k sound.”

Have your own, safe way to relieve ear pressure? Share in the comments below!




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4 Comments On "3 Ways to Relieve Ear Pressure on a Flight"
  1. Brianna|

    Thank you for sharing this info! I took a screenshot of it for future reference. . I don’t travel by airplane, but I can tell you I definitely suffer with this problem while driving the mountains between Ga and Va. It is a constant clogging & popping of my ears that ranges from very annoying to extremely painful. Hopefully these tips will help.

  2. Susan Bissette|

    I try to start chewing gum as soon as I detect beginning descent. That will do the trick as long as I start chewing soon enough. If not, I do use the valsalva maneuver.

  3. LINDEE|

    I heard once from a pilot that biting into an apple works to clear your ears.

  4. Anonymous|

    You can purchase them from CVS, Walgreens, etc.

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