Friday, October 17, 2008

Chewing Gum On An Airplane

True or False: Chewing gum on an airplane helps prevent ear pain while flying

Answer: True, but......

Chewing anything will help. It's the jaw movement and the swallowing action that actually does the job of helping to minimize pressure in the ear.

So, yes, chewing gum can help. But it's the action of swallowing that activates the muscle that opens the Eustachian tube. So letting a mint or hard candy melt in your mouth also works. So does yawning.

If yawning and swallowing are not effective, unblock your ears as follows:

Step 1: Pinch your nostrils shut.

Step 2: Take a mouthful of air.

Step 3: GENTLY, using your cheek and throat muscles, force the air into the back of your nose as if you were trying to blow your thumb and fingers off your nostrils.

When you hear the 'pop' in your ears, you know they've been unblocked.

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