Posted by Paco (18.104.22.168) on May 27, 2000 at 08:10:33:
In Reply to: Pain and flying -one more suggestion... posted by Bennie Sue on May 26, 2000 at 23:22:05:
I posted this before but could not find it, so...
The valsalva maneuver can be used on both ascent and descent to equalize the pressure in the inner ear. When you go up in altitude, the outside air pressure decreases and the air in your inner ear will usually equalize naturally, without pain, unless you have a sinus blockage, like from a cold. Descending is usually more painful because the valve that opens to equalize the pressure works more easily in one direction. To manually assist the valve, you can close your mouth, hold your nose, and and try to exhale. That exerts back pressure to open the tube and equalize the pressure. Pressure against the eardrum is what causes the pain, sometimes severe. On ascent, the pressure is exerted against the eardrum from the inside. As you descend, the pressure is exerted from the outside. I have read that the valsalva maneuver also affects return blood flow to the heart and can cause momentary dizziness. The ammonia tip is interesting. I assume that the person inhaled the fumes?
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