Are you planning to travel with your kid in tow? If yes, there must be many things running in your mind. Travelling can be a beautiful experience and the journey matters a lot too. But the journey, although a short one could dampen your kids’ moods. If you are traveling by an airplane, your kids might experience severe pain in their ears. This article will teach you how to treat ear pain while travelling in an airplane.
It’s not just children who feel this painful sensation. As adults, we have learned how to gracefully deal with the situation, reminding ourselves that it will soon be over. These sensations can be a lot more disturbing for your child.
As the plane soars higher & higher, the altitude changes frequently and both the ears start reacting to the change in pressure. The eustachian tube leading from the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat tries to equalize the pressure on our eardrums. In toddlers, this tube is smaller than an adult’s and the chances of discomfort are double for them. Meanwhile, the pain is only temporary and it won't cause any lasting issues for kids.
What causes ear pain when flying?
Children have a very sensitive membrane in their ear and due to the unequal pressure between the outer and inner ear, they suffer from pain when they are on board. There is a small space in the middle ear, behind the eardrum that is filled with air normally and this is connected to the back of the nose by the Eustachian tube. The structure is designed in such a way that air on either side of the eardrum should ideally be the same pressure. When a plane descends, the pressure changes frequently due to the different level that pushes the eardrum inwards. The air passing needs to travel up the Eustachian tube to equalize this pressure and when it doesn't is when a person experiences pain.
Symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore:
If your child complains about the following things during or after a flight, please take it seriously. Symptoms.
- Throbbing pain in the ears
- Feeling of stuffiness in the ears
- Muffled hearing to moderate hearing loss
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Bleeding from the ear
7 Tips for easing ear pain in babies:
Air travel is exciting but can be equally scary for a child. But, these simple tips that you can try during traveling in an airplane can help balance the air pressure in your child's ears and decrease the pain.
Also read: 13 Things to carry when travelling with kids
#1. Drink a lot of liquid:
Water is the best solution for this problem. Your baby should drink plenty of decaffeinated fluids throughout the flight. Experts recommend that babies are kept well-hydrated while flying as it stimulates swallowing.
#2. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen:
Your baby should take an Acetaminophen or an Ibuprofen about a half hour before takeoff or landing if you know your child has ear pain when flying.
#3. Chew gum:
Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy will arouse constant swallowing which helps equalize air pressure but is only recommended for the child over 3-year-old. Further, children can engulf on a lollipop to relieve ear pain.
Take a bottle or breastfeed: If your baby is too little to eat anything or if you bottle-feed/breastfeed then keep in mind your toddler is sitting upright while drinking
#4. Yawn repeatedly:
Yes, yawning is a great way to reduce ear pain.
#5. Stay awake:
Make sure your child is awake while landing or takeoff because when we are asleep we don't swallow as often. This makes it difficult to keep the air pressure in the central ear balanced.
#6. Breathing exercise:
Kids are more than 5 or teens can practice breathing exercise while traveling in flight. Slowly breathe in and lightly pinch the tip of the nose and exhale out. This really helps to treat ear pain while travelling in an airplane.
#7. Ear plugs for ear pain
Using ear plugs can be a massive help to treat irritating ear pain. Earplugs are available in pharmacies and at most airports and it is also available in child and adult sizes.
Well, if your baby is taking medications that hold antihistamines or decongestants, talk to your doctor before taking him/her on the flight.
Also read: Nutritious Recipe For Babies While Travelling
So, with a little perseverance and some simple anticipations, though, you can make your plan for next family holiday and make it the fun-loving journey for both you and your child.
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