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Ear pain

Louis9820

New member
So last week was my discovery flight and it was absolutely amazing. I had never flown before so there was some sensory overload, taking in the sights and following along with what the instructor was saying, but I did noticed my ears popping a good amount. While in flight I could feel it pop but it wasn't bothering me at all. Once we landed and I got packed up and back to my car was when I noticed it really starting to hurt. It lasted for a few hours of pressure and pain with seemingly nothing I could do to release it. My next flight is in a couple of days and was wondering if there was recommendations to help with it or avoid it all together.
 

Deadpool

New member
Do you have any allergies going on or a cold or sinus infection? Anything that is messing with your sinuses can add to that pain you might feel from the changes in air pressure.
 

Zeede

Active member
Congrats! My discovery flight was almost a year ago to the day, and I still remember it fondly. (I also remember that I got really motion sick twenty minutes into it, so it sounds like you did better than I did!)

I find that sometimes I have to squeeze my nose shut with my fingers and then try and exhale through my nose to pop my ears. That always works for me unless I'm sick, like Deadpool talked about.

How bad was the pain? Like crippling or just mildly "there"?
 

Louis9820

New member
Thanks for the reply! At its worst the pain was about a 5 I'd say felt like a bad ear infection almost. Sore on the inside deap down not like lobe. Some ringing but only like a few minutes. It started off as just annoying but got worse then tapered off. To add a bit more detail, it was the left ear that was worst, the right was barely even sore or noticeable different. No previous history of injury to that ear comes to mind.
 

Zeede

Active member
It sounds like a blockage combined with something else. Did the rental headset fit well? Maybe the left ear cup didn't fit as well and your discomfort was more due to the engine noise?

Sorry, I can only guess! What method(s) did you use to try to pop your ears? My dad used to always chew gum on airplanes but it never worked for me (I still accepted the gum, because candy!). Some people yawn, but that also doesn't work for me. Only the diver method where you try to exhale through your nostrils.
 

Louis9820

New member
Just wanted to give an update! My flight got moved forward to earlier today due to scheduling issues so I got my second flight today! I spoke with my CFI about the ear pain and he had some recommendations as well as we discovered an issue. So he went over some ways to help relieve the pressure buildup, the holding nose and blowing, chewing gum, and holding my breath and swallowing a few times. But the biggest thing is we discovered my head set had an issue and was letting in a lot of the noise from the plane and outside winds. Swapped me to a different headset and bam little to no pain this time. He said it is common to have some pain the first few times while still getting use to everything!
 
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Zeede

Active member
That's great! I got my start in aviation almost exactly a year ago, so welcome to the wild world of flight!

Which airport are you doing your lessons out of?
 

Zeede

Active member
Ah! I was in Portsmouth in 2019 for a family reunion. I have no idea if Nashua is anywhere near there, but Portsmouth was very nice :)
 

Siris

Active member
As they've said it's usual some sort of congestion that causes it. Blow your nose before flight well, drink lots of water (which will also help with any motion sickness actually) well before, and for maybe your first few times till you get used to the altitude changes chew a bit of gum.
 
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