Protecting Your Ears on a Flight

Now that there are a few more countries that we are able to travel to, whether that be because they’re on the green list, or the amber list but your fully vaccinated, we thought it would be a good time to discuss about protecting your ears while flying. We have a few simple tips that can make your experience better as well as protecting your ears.

Aeroplanes are loud. There’s no getting around this fact; they have roaring engines and there is the continuous noise of air rushing past as you travel through the sky. As we have discussed so many times before here, we always seem to neglect to protect our hearing. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have cracked into a proactive culture about hearing; at the moment, it feels as though we are only ever reactive and by this time, the consequences may be more serious. So if you’re reading this, let’s try and be a bit more proactive and look after our hearing.


A Quieter Seat

Often when booking a flight, we have the option to chose our own seat. This is great news for travellers as a recent study found that there are certain parts of the plane that are much noisier. Sitting closer to the back of the plane means you are closer to the jet engines or propellers obviously making your journey a noisier one. The study also found that window seats are generally noisier, no matter whereabouts on the plane you are seated. Trusting these findings, we would suggest booking aisle seats from the middle of the plane upwards.


Wear Protection

A plane taking off is generally around 120 dB which is a level of noise that could cause damage to your hearing. It is always advisable to wear ear protection when you are going to be exposed to sound levels over 70 dB. Earplugs are a great option for this situation. Not only will they protect your ears from the sound level of the plane, but will also muffle sounds onboard if you wanted to go to sleep.



If earplugs aren’t your thing, noise cancelling headphones is an alternative product that can help to protect your ears. These would be a great choice for a traveller who plans on listening to music or a podcast throughout the flight anyway. “Noisy” passengers was recently voted as the most annoying travel habit, and these headphones will also block out any passenger noise.


Popping Ears

Fliers are often irritated by popping ears while flying, particularly during take off and landing. This is caused by the difference in pressure in the ear and outside. You can help yourself avoid any pain caused by popping ears by simply chewing food or gum, or swallowing and yawning. These actions have the effect of equalising the pressure in your ear. Another method that travellers use is known as the Valsalva maneuver which involves holding your nose while gently blowing.


Keep Drinking

Drinking lots of fluid (unfortunately not of the alcoholic kind) during the flight will make you feel better because the pressurised air in the cabin doesn’t have as much oxygen as you get on the ground which can result in feeling sluggish and tired. The swallowing action will also help, as discussed above.


We hope our top tips can help you to keep your ears protected during a flight. As always, if you would like any further advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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