Ear Pressure Problems on Plane Flights

Old Jan 18th, 2008, 09:53 AM
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I have not done the ear candling, but as I posted my Dr. cleaned my earwax out with a syrynge with warm water. I can tell you for a fact it has helped my reduce pain level in my ears when in the air.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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A few years ago I was getting ready to go to Europe for a few weeks. My ear was hurting while at work so I went to the Staff Nurse to see if she recommended going to my Dr. since we were going to be out of the country. I would not normally run to the dr. in that situation but thought I would get an easily-accessible opinion. She looked in my ear, said it looked a little swollen, and gave me sudafed. It worked like a charm. In fact, any time I have some swelling in my ear (3-4 times a yr maybe) I take a sudafed (the real sudafed that you have to get from the pharmacist). Works great.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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My husband is a scuba diver and the old dive masters rely on a home made solution for their ears. Now of course they are dealing with water in their ears too, but also pressure.

Equal parts rubbing alcohol, baby oil, hydrogen peroxide.

You just drop it into your ears.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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I heard this really works.

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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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My husband is a physician and flushes his ears out with a rubber bulb syringe. I've never used the candling but my RN aunt has and swears by it. By the way, I take Sudafed 30 minutes before flying and it works fine. If I'm in the air for more than 4 hours, I take another one.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 03:52 PM
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When my son flew home at Christmas he was starting with a cold and I certainly wish I had known about ear planes. He told me his ear didn't pop and he was in dreaful pain during the flight and it didn't clear until the next day.

Thanks for a great question - learn something new every day.

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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 04:18 PM
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How do "ear candles" work?

Dear Cecil:
How do "ear candles" work? Recently my hearing became impaired, and I was advised that my ears were impacted with wax. A friend recommended that the wax could be removed if I stuck a candle in my ear and lighted the other end. To humor her, I accompanied her to a homeopathic-remedy shop. Ear candles were prominently displayed. An ear candle is a hollow paper cone impregnated with ordinary candle wax. The large end is about one inch in diameter. The other end is small enough to go into the ear. As I lay on my side with the candle in place, my friend lighted the other end. The candle burned slowly and smoothly, with (I was told) some wisps of smoke circulating downward to the small end. There was no discomfort or noticeable warmth. After about ten minutes she removed the candle and snuffed out the flame. Immediately my hearing in that ear was back to normal. The end of the cone had a considerable amount of earwax in it. The process was equally successful in the other ear. --Saxe Dobrin, Santa Monica, California

Dear Saxe:

Uh-huh. Not that I'd ever doubt the Teeming Millions, but I prefer to conduct my own experiments. Ear candling is the latest New Age fad, being to the 90s what colonic irrigation was to the 80s. Colonic irrigation was never a procedure I was inclined to investigate close up. But with ear candles I figured, how bad can it be?

Having rounded up a couple of MDs and a volunteer candlee, I went to my neighborhood new-age apothecary shop to buy ear candles. I discovered to my surprise that (1) they were 11 inches long--I'd assumed they were the size of a birthday candle--and (2) they cost $3.50 each. This gets you a hollow cone made of wax-impregnated cloth with a raw-materials cost of maybe ten cents, a profit margin that makes even ballpark hot dogs look like a deal.

Figuring that the MDs' medical education had probably been a little light in the ear-candling department, I also bought an ear-candling manual. In the "theory and research" section I read that "the low flame of the [ear candle] wick creates a slow vacuum which softens and pulls the old wax into the base of the candle." I had no idea what a slow vacuum was, but I was prepared to believe a candle might cause earwax to wick up.

I read on. "Our theory is that [various benefits] are possible because all the passages in the head are interconnected, allowing the candles to drain the entire system osmotically through the membrane of the ear. . . . All nerves have a thin coating of spinal fluid which can become polluted. The fluid in your body circulates 14 times a day in order to cleanse itself. . . . Our cranial bones become misaligned. . . . [Candling] cleans the lymphs within this structure as well as the cochlear hairs themselves." Whew, too deep for me. But the manual did have pictures, so even dopes could do it right.

The medical team consisted of Keith Block, a family practitioner with an interest in alternative medicine, and Cecil's good friend Clark Federer. Clark was a surgeon rather than an ear-nose-throat guy, but I meant to be prepared for any eventuality. Our subject was Pat, a 30-year-old male who'd had earwax removed via conventional medical treatment some years earlier.

First we peered into Pat's ears with an otoscope, the familiar flashlight-type examining device. The poor guy had enough wax in there to make his own candles. We put him on the table, lit the candle, and stuck it in his ear in the prescribed manner. Then we watched, struggling to suppress the thought that we should also be chanting and maybe sacrificing small animals.

When the candle had burned down to two inches we snuffed it and examined the treated ear with the otoscope. No change, except that possibly the wax was dented where the candle had been stuck in. Upon slicing open the candle stub, however, we found a considerable quantity of brown wax and whitish powder. The manual had the audacity to intimate that the powder was candida yeast extracted from the ear, conceding that possibly "1% to 10%" was from the used candle. The disappointed MDs were more inclined to say it was 100 percent, but just to be sure we burned another candle in the open air. When we sliced it open we found wax and powder identical to that in the first. Conclusion: it's a hoax. Ain't it always the way? Maybe we're not doing enemas anymore, but we're winding up with the same old stuff.


As an otolaryngologist with 15 years' experience, I have had more than one occasion on which a victim of ear candling has presented to my office with excruciating symptoms caused by melted wax adhering to the eardrum. This often necessitates minor surgery and puts the patient's hearing at risk. In addition to debunking the efficacy of ear candling, you should mention the inherent danger to hearing. --C. Christopher Smith, MD, FACS, Dover, New Hampshire

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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 08:25 PM
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Psst! Husband is sitting a few feet from me so I asked him, "honey, what do you think about ear candling?" His response: "what?" I repeated the question. His response: "what is that?" I explained. He shook his head, cackled, snickered and said "nah, that's weird." OK, there's your answer from a physician. You can send a check to me. We don't accept insurance.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 09:15 AM
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Wow, I got so many responses and how interesting it was to read all the comments and suggestions!
Lots of information to go over and some super suggestions! Yes, I use a nasal spray and drug myself up with the usual cocktail of decongestants but I did see some new and interesting things to look into, thanks all!
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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omg. Ear Planes are fabulous!!
My son had a sinus infection and had to fly from Portland Orgeon to Japan...we bought him EarPlanes ( a friend of mine swears by them) and he was completely pain free..

jeez, I sound like a tv commercial lol
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Old Jan 20th, 2008, 01:52 AM
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Yes, Ear Planes do help me and they have been a life saver but I am too chicken to take them out during the flight so I usually leave them in the entire time and of course I feel all plugged up, but hey, it is a lot more comfortable than the alternative (a horrible ear pain) so I can look at it that way!
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Old Jan 20th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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vladdie--I use Ear Planes on every flight I go on. I do take mine out during the flight though and am fine. Just make sure to put them back in before the plane starts to descend. I began doing this after I had a ruptured ear drum and they work wonders for me.
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 03:39 PM
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Hi Mms,
Yes, they do work for the most part for me and I think if I just keep doing my usuals, like taking a decongestant and using the ear planes, I should be okay. Thanks for all your help and to the others as well!

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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 05:29 PM
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Hocus Pocus what a hoot!
I suffered many earaches and infections from flying. Had to take steroids to bring down the swelling before a flight so my eardrum didn't pop. That year I was on four different doses of antibiotics due to ear infections from a lot of air travel. I never had ear infections before I started flying frequently.
I do use the ear planes and take a Benadryl or something similar 20 minutes before we take off and if it's a long flight (8+) I take one before landing. I started doing the ear candling about 5 years ago and haven't had an ear infection since. I wished I had known about it way before that. It's so inexpensive and tremendously helpful. You do need to read the instructions and do it properly. I always have someone help me because it is very awkward to try to do yourself. If you don't have the ear candle in the proper position you're just wasting your time. My friend told me her mother in law used to make her own ear candles for her daughter when she was a kid (20 years ago)
Here's a link for the ear candles I use. The website I don't know about, just punched in for Wally's ear candles. http://www.taoofherbs.com/products/3...EarCandles.htm
Plain Paraffin Ear Candles by Wally's Natural
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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I experienced severe problems several years ago when flying with a cold. The pain was intense and there was a definite hearing loss in one ear after that trip. I'm going on a business trip in a few weeks and I'm freaked out.

Ear-planes looks to be a definite possibility but what else would work best with them? I will also be taking Dramamine which knocks me for a loop so would prefer to not take anything that will increase the drowsiness. However, if that's the only way, I'll do whatever it takes.

Also, What is the difference between an antihistamine and a decongestant?

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Old Feb 21st, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 05:04 PM
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