Professional 'Flight Nanny' Reveals This Simple Hack To Relieve Kids' Ear Pain When Flying
Most of us know that our ears hurting on a flight is due to a sudden change in air pressure. But ask most people to explain what that actually means and they'd be at a loss.
Basically, the air pressure on the inside bit of the ear and the external air pressure are practically the same. So if you were to, say, climb a mountain, the speed at which you were climbing would not be enough to upset the air pressure inside your ears.
But when the change in altitude occurs at a much more rapid rate - such as on a plane soaring thousands of feet up into the air - there is little time for the internal ear's air pressure and the air pressure outside of the ear to equalise.
This ultimately means that when a plane is both ascending and descending, the eardrum is stretched as a result, which can go on to cause pain. When this happens, the eardrum is unable to vibrate and so your ability to hear is also affected.
But fret not, because apparently there is one full-proof way that you can fight against the pain, according to one of Etihad Airways' "flight nannies", Denya Glover.
Just for a bit of background information, Etihad Airways' flight nanny service is available on all of their long haul flights. It is literally as the name suggests - nannies are hired to look after children during a flight - pretty damn helpful, huh?
Anyway, speaking to Conde Nast Traveller, Glover revealed one pretty clever trick for both children and adults alike to use when sucking on sweets and swallowing saliva have proved ineffective.
"When taking off, many children experience ear pain due to the increase in air pressure. Most parents think that earplugs will solve the problem, but I recommend something else," she explains.
"Ask the flight attendant for some warm water (not too hot, not too cold), a tissue, and a cup. Place the wet tissue in the cup and then over the ear. The steam will relieve the pressure and soothe the pain. Happy children, happy flight!"
So there you go - all those years of flying with unpoppable ears when really the solution was a simple as requesting a cup of warm water and a tissue! You learn something new every day...