Summertime often means traveling. Blocked, painful ears can quickly put a damper on your travel plans, though. During an airplane’s ascent and decent, pressure can build up. You’re looking to equalize the pressure on your middle-ear by “popping” your ears. Here are our best tips and tricks for relieving ear pressure when you fly.


  • Move the tip of your tongue up to the roof of your mouth, toward the back. Hum a little and open up your Eustachian Tubes, located between your ears and throat.
  • Yawn deeply or try swallowing a few times
  • Chew gum
  • Plug your nose, take a breath through your mouth, and gently push the air into your nose like you would exhale through it. This can direct air into your Eustachian Tubes and clear them.

Ear issues can be more severe if you fly while you have sinus congestion or a cold. Consider postponing the trip if you can while you’re head is stuffed, or be prepared for a bit of extra pain during the flight. If you’re healthy, you can use over-the-counter decongestants to help ease the pressure from a head cold before you fly.

If you experience intense pressure in your ears or the pressure doesn’t let up after you land, you should consult your ENT specialist.

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