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5 Summertime Tips for Healthy Ears

Experts explain how to avoid ear problems that are triggered by everything from swimming to loud music.

No. 5: Plane-Proof Your Ears

The next time you start to deplane, and babies and toddlers start screaming, this is a good thing! "Not equalizing pressure in the ears on planes is called barotitis," explains Rosenfeld. "This is not a problem when taking off, but it is when landing. Such a severe vacuum situation may be set up in the ears that a traveler may have severe pain, bleeding, or even perforation [of the eardrum].

"You want to chew, yawn, swallow -- anything to move the pressure around when landing," he adds. "If you have problems with this you can even take an oral decongestant before leaving."

Children can be especially susceptible. "Don't let your child remain asleep during landings," Rosenfeld says. "If they cry at the landing -- that is a good thing. It is equalizing pressure."

"A pacifier can also help kids with this," Maddern says. "Or give them some water to sip." Chewing gum is not recommended for toddlers, much less infants.

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Reviewed on July 02, 2007

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