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Best Earplugs For Flying

by | EarProtection

 In A Hurry?

Some people do not want to read an article on the Best Earplugs for Flying, and just want to make a purchase. If that is you, below are my top choices for earplugs for flying

Best Earplugs for Planes

Airplanes are a great way to travel, as it will get you to your destination many times faster than is possible than other method. Prices also work out far cheaper when you fly, than if you take some other method of travel.

Airplane ear plugs are a necessity for some people, and they are just nice to have for other people. People want ear plugs when flying for three reasons: 

Discomfort in the ears when the plane is taking off / landing. Listen to their own music/movies. Help them sleep, as jets are not the quietest of places.

This gives us three different types of ear plug.

  • Pressure reducing ear plugs (will not block all of the sound)
  • Ear plugs to block sound (not great at reducing the pressure in the ear)
  • Noise Cancelling Earplugs (not great at reducing the pressure in the ear)

Why Do We Need Earplugs For Flying

Some people, when flying, experience some discomfort when the plane changes altitudes. This is due to pressure differences in the inner and outer ears. This article will cover ways to overcome this problem.

Also, most of us will be traveling in “Cattle Class,” i.e. not in Business or First Class. This can be cramped (if you are tall) and noisy.

Sorry, there’s not much we can recommend for you if you need a bit more space where you are sitting. But if you want to block out the sound of the other passengers, to block out the noise of that screaming baby, or just to be able to hear the inflight movie or music better, then I have some great recommendations!

Best Earplugs For Flying

Earplugs For Flying Pressure

Earplugs for airplane pressure can help people who suffer from ‘airplane ear’, or barotrauma, to give it its real name. The good news is that permanently damaged to the ear is extremely rare. But short painful earaches are quite frequent when taking off and landing.

Pressure-regulating earplugs are available. These are designed to be worn during flights. They can be effective against ear pain in a lot of people who use them.

They are designed to make the pressure on both sides of the eardrum equalize at approximately the same time. This will stop the drum stretching and so reducing the discomfort.

Best Earplugs For Sleeping On A Plane

The best airplane ear plugs, if you want to sleep, really need to have the same selection criteria as any other sleeping earplugs. However, when you are trying to sleep in the seat of an airplane, then sleeping on your side is not really possible. So that is one less thing to concern yourself with.

When sleeping on an aircraft, you do not really have to worry too much about waking up in time for work, or hearing noises in your house. You just want it to be as quiet as possible. There are a lot of other people around, including staff, and when it is time to land, or for a meal, they will wake you.

So the primary concern when flying and sleeping is going to be the following

  • Quiet as possible
  • Comfortable

As mentioned earlier, plane travel tends to be noisy and a little uncomfortable, so you do not want to be adding to it. It is generally recognized that moldable wax earplugs are the most comfortable for sleeping. The heat from your body melts the wax slightly, so they fit perfectly.

Because they are so well fitted and do not have any holes, they block out nearly all the sound. This is excellent for sleeping, but you will not be able to have a conversation with them in.

If you want ear plug for sleeping on a plane, you can find them here

More detailed articles can be found below. The information is not totally relevant to airplane ear plugs, as these articles assume you will be lying in a bed, rather than sitting up!

Best Earplugs for Side Sleepers 

Best Reusable Earplugs for sleeping

Best Earplugs For Flying

How to Avoid Painful Ear Popping on a Plane

Best Noise-Canceling Headphones For Flying

The best earplugs for flying if you want to hear the movie easier, or listen to music are noise-canceling headphones. These, of course, are great for a lot of other situations, when you want to listen to something in a noisy environment. E.g. Work, Gym, Home, Jogging, Commuting, etc.

These work by actively canceling out the outside noise, rather than blocking it. Each ear plug has a microphone which picks up the outside noise.  Then it creates the exact opposite sound, that is 180 degrees out of phase with outside sounds and plays them. The two sound waves then cancel each other out.

You do not have to understand this…Just believe me, it works. When I first got my noise-canceling earbuds, I spent 10 minutes with them not plugged into anything, just turning them on and off again. I was amazed that the outside sound almost vanished as they was turned on, it seemed like some sort of magic!

Anyway, these earplugs are great, and because they block out a lot of the outside noise. You can hear what you want to listen to without having the volume too loud, which is great for your ears, especially if you have ear problems such as I do.

If you are looking for noise-canceling headphones, I would recommend these You may need a plane adapter for headphones

They are wired earplugs as movies on planes are not Bluetooth compatible.

Best Ear Protection For Flying

Ear Pain When Flying – Why Does It Happen

Airplane ear pressure is what causes the discomfort, or sometimes pain when people fly. The ear is composed of multiple sections, and when you fly, the pressure on the eardrum can be different in the inner and outer ear. This is what causes the pain.

The part of the ear that you can see is open to the world, and any pressure changes are immediate. The other side of the eardrum is connected to the outside world through a tube that runs from the ear to the back of the nose and throat. This is the Eustachian tube, and pressure changes can take longer to travel through this.

If you have cold, allergies, or anything that can cause blockages here, it may increase your chances of experiencing discomfort. Airplane ear plugs can reduce this, but there are also other things you can do to equalize the pressure and stop any discomfort. These include

Drink Water

If you keep hydrated – drink lots of water and other fluids (preferably not caffeinated). When hydrated there is less chance that your nose and nasal passages will become dry and therefore blocked. A cheap and easy thing to do on all flights.

If you are at the airport and have no blockages, you should still drink plenty. Since the smoking ban on flights, the air quality has DROPPED significantly as the air gets recycled more. This air is dry and not fresh, this can cause your nose to dry out leading to blockages

Take Pain Killers

If you have a blocked nose, have sensitive ears, or have experienced ear discomfort when in a plane before, then pain killers may help. I am sure that you have taken Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or aspirin before. Whatever your preferred pain killer is, you can use that to reduce the discomfort.

Read the instructions on the bottle, or consult a doctor if you are unsure of how to use this type of pill.

Yawn a lot

When you yawn, it helps to equalize the pressure on the inner ear, making it similar to what the outer ear is experiencing. Forcing yourself to yawn should help with the problem. Yawning is free, and the effects are also immediate

Suck a hard sweet or chew gum

This works in a very similar way to yawning above. The sucking action causes the air pressure to equalize. A fast and quick way to get relief from flight ear pain. But remember to take something to suck with you!

Be Awake when Taking-Off And Descending

It may seem to be a good idea to be asleep for as much of the flight as possible, but merely being awake can reduce the discomfort as well. When sleeping, we breathe differently which does not help different pressures in the ear. Also, you can’t chew gum or yawn when you are sleeping.

Conclusion – Best Earplugs For Flying

There are numerous things that you can do to help you if experiencing pain when flying. However, once you are on that flight if you have any problems then you will no longer have the opportunity to buy some plugs.

They are not expensive and are reusable, so why not buy them now and take them every time you fly?

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