Airplane Effect Ears
Airplane travel increases in the summertime and many will notice its effect on their ears. Have you ever noticed the following when flying:
Airplanes and Ears
Difficulty hearing on board: It’s hard to hear on an airplane and requires extra focus to communicate with flight attendants, traveling companions or nearby passengers.
Ringing ears / muffled hearing: You may notice that your ears “ring” or “hum” after an airplane flight. Often your hearing may also be a little muffled.
Mental fatigue: You will notice that you are less able to “focus” and “process” incoming information after airplane travel. You may often feel overstimulated as well.
What Causes This?
Noise exposure to loud levels of noise on board an airplane can cause you to experience this. Here is why:
Difficulty hearing on board: Noise levels on a plane vary due to plane size, number of engines and location of seating. The cabin noise is much louder than average speech levels. As a result, the noise overpowers individual voices – especially those that are soft or high-pitched. (Average cabin noise levels are between 80-90 dB.)
Ringing ears / muffled hearing: Sounds that are louder than 85 dB are hazardous to hearing. Many airplane’s cabins are in this hazardous zone. Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and muffled hearing are classic signs of overexposure to loud sound. Most of the time these signs will go away but if it happens repeatedly, it may not.
Mental fatigue: Noise has a negative impact on our overall health by adding mental stress and increasing distortion in the ear – creating a heavier “load” on the brain.
What to Do?
Pack and keep an EXTRA set of hearing protection in your carry on!
Foam earplugs are the simplest and cheapest and can be found in most drug stores and airport kiosks in case you forget!
Noise-cancelling headphones help to reduce the environmental sounds around you – which is especially helpful on an airplane. Helps you to tune out the sounds you don’t want to hear.
Custom earplugs provide great protection and are comfortable for longer wear and longer airplane flights. Often can replace your media earbuds!
Choose an option that works well and is easy to use! If comfort is an issue – contact us to discuss custom earplug options for travel!
Other Airplane Effects on Ears
Muffled hearing / ear popping: Many of us have difficulty equalizing pressure during an airplane flight. This can be due to ear structure, allergies and congestion from colds or flu. Ear popping, muffled hearing and occasional pain can result until the ear equalizes pressure through the Eustachian tube. These signs usually will go away but can sometimes continue after airplane travel and may require medical attention.
Consider trial of EarPlanes pressure regulating earplugs which can be found at most drug stores. They are special ear plugs with tiny valves that help with ear pressure discomfort. They can be worn before airplane takeoff and removed after landing.