Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Airline Travel, Sudden Cabin Pressure Change, Ear Comfort Protection, 20080730we1252

During takeoff and landing, and even while traveling, sudden changes
in cabin pressure can result in ear pain.

Wearing expanding foam ear plugs can help buffer dramatic changes in
air pressure. Air can still enter and escape from the ear canal, but
at a much slower rate. In this way, a sudden drop or increase in cabin
pressure, may not even effect the pressure on the ear if the pressure
returns to normal again.

This technique may work for babies or small children, but safety,
advisability, and results of effectiveness are unknown (by me).

Quality ear plugs are usually available at hardware stores and drug
stores, as well as being available online.

I'm currently using Howard Leight ear plugs. I've used other brands
that seem to work about as well. When removing the ear plugs, it's
possible to keep them clean and fresh (slightly moist and not dry) by
wiping them with a Huggies Natural Care baby wipe (or similar product).

When choosing ear plugs, I usually select a product that has high
noise reducing capabilities. It seems that these are more dense, and
tend to be reusable longer.

Most ear plugs can drop the sound level by 30 decibles (db) or more.
This is a general figure. The frequency response while listening to
the ambient surrounding noises will generally be lower across the
entire spectrum of frequencies. It may be possible to still hear
people talking. High frequency noises will have trouble penetrating
the ear plugs. Lower frequencies will have less trouble.

Ear plugs can be very useful in other circumstances, venues, and
situations including:
• When at a live music concert, amplification of the music is usually
too loud to enjoy
• Reducing noise while traveling in a car
• While using outdoor machinery such as mowing the lawn, tilling
soil, operating a tractor, using a weed trimmer, using any device with
a small gas motor
• While using a vacuum cleaner
• When trying to sleep - for greater comfort, consider softer
earplugs for sleeping

Caution should be used when sleeping or engaging in activities to
ensure you can be alerted to any nearby dangers. For example, you
should be able to hear a smoke alarm.