Middle Ear

Flying & Diving

What Happens?

The air pressure changes rapidly during ascent and descent

  • if the ET opens normally;
    • air will move keeping the pressure equalized
  • if the ET does not open;
    • the excess pressure can stretch the eardrum causing pain
    • this may lead to a blocked ear
    • fluid may collect in the middle ear
    • in severe cases tiny blood vessels can burst within the layers of your eardrum – this is called Barotrauma

How can you help yourself?

  • blow your nose and then ‘pop’ your ears often before you dive or fly;
    • To do this: hold your nose firmly shut with your fingers and then gently blow against the shut nostrils, air will then go up the eustachian tube and ‘pop’ into your middle ear.  Swallow afterwards to equalize the pressure.
  • have Air Waves chewing gum and/or a Vick’s Inhaler with you, if a stuffy nose develops the menthol and eucalyptus will help keep the ET’s open and working well
  • call into TOLBECS to make sure your ear canals are clear for a FREE Ear Canal Check


Ear trouble? Book an appointment now!