Sleeping during takeoff and landing can lead to health problems: pressure drops are dangerous for eardrums and can lead to lingering problems. This was told by British pharmacist Angela Chalmers in an interview with Express.
“Rapid changes in altitude affect the air pressure in the ear. This causes a vacuum in the Eustachian tubes, which makes the ears feel stuffy and sounds muffled. Try not to sleep during takeoff and landing as you won't be swallowing often and this can lead to clogged ears,” the expert explained.
According to Medlineplus, if the ears are left stuffed up, it can create a number of health problems. We are talking about dizziness, ear infections, damage to the eardrum and even nosebleeds and hearing loss. While staying awake during takeoff and landing, passengers can plug their ears to equalize air pressure on their eardrums.
“Swallowing or yawning opens the Eustachian tube and allows air to flow in or out of the middle ear, which helps equalize pressure on both sides of the eardrum. If the Eustachian tube is blocked, the air pressure in the middle ear is different from the pressure on the outer side of the eardrum,” the doctors said.
Among the prohibitions there is one – you should not lean against the window when you want to sleep during the flight. And there is a disgusting reason for this. According to crew member Lindia Ferguson, who has worked in airlines for 24 years, the surface near the window is the dirtiest part of the aircraft, as passengers regularly cough and sneeze with their faces turned in that direction.
No one suffers from stuffy ears only tourists, but also airline employees. For example, Tom Tripp, a former aviation journalist and CEO of Boeing, once recounted a personal experience: “One day I was flying from Washington to Los Angeles with a very mild cold. I didn't have a fever and didn't feel particularly sick. However, my sinuses and inner ear had great difficulty equalizing the pressure on the descent to Los Angeles. In fact, one ear did not return to normal, and I almost cried from the excruciating pain when landing.
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