4 doctors weighed in:

If I have to make a sudden descent from altitude, is there a way I can prevent ear pain?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Latisha Smith
Wound care
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

The ear pain from sudden decrease in altitude is caused by the eardrum being pulled inward.
This is because middle ear space has a pressure less the air space around your body. Chewing gum, swallowing, sipping through a straw or doing a valsalva maneuver will equalize the ear space pressure with the atmosphere. To do a valsalva pinch the nose closed, close mouth and blow so air pushes toward ear.

In brief: Yes

The ear pain from sudden decrease in altitude is caused by the eardrum being pulled inward.
This is because middle ear space has a pressure less the air space around your body. Chewing gum, swallowing, sipping through a straw or doing a valsalva maneuver will equalize the ear space pressure with the atmosphere. To do a valsalva pinch the nose closed, close mouth and blow so air pushes toward ear.
Dr. Latisha Smith
Dr. Latisha Smith
Thank
Dr. Harold Peltan
Ophthalmology

In brief: Chew gum

Chewing gum and sipping on water are the best ways to keep the pressure in your ear equalized and prevent ear pain.
Yawning also helps.

In brief: Chew gum

Chewing gum and sipping on water are the best ways to keep the pressure in your ear equalized and prevent ear pain.
Yawning also helps.
Dr. Harold Peltan
Dr. Harold Peltan
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Brian Affleck
The most effective way to equilibrate middle ear pressure is to do a Valsalva maneuver. To do this, simply pinch your nose, purse your lips together and gently blow. This forces air pressure right up the Eustachian tubes and "pops" your ear. You may have to do this several times as you descend because the pressure outside keeps changing. The closer to earth the more rapid the pressure change.
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