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Ailmemts & Remedies

Ears Popping when Flying

Introduction:
The ear consists of three chambers:

English: The middle ear : 1)Eardrum 2)Ossicles...
English: The middle ear : 1)Eardrum 2)Ossicles 3)Eustachian tube 4)Tensor tympani Français : Oreille moyenne : 1)Tympan 2)Chaine ossiculaire 3)Trompe d’Eustache 4)Muscle du marteau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 – skull
2 – ear canal
3 – pinna
4 – tympanum
5 – fenestra ovalis
6 – malleus
7 – incus
8 – stapes
9 – labyrinth
10 – cochlea
11 – auditory nerve
12 – eustachian tube

CLICK TO SEE

•The outer ear canal which leads up to the ear drum.
•The middle ear chamber behind the drum which is filled with air.
•The very specialised inner ear.

The air in the middle ear is constantly being absorbed by the membranes that line the cavity, so the internal pressure can easily drop, putting tension on the tissues there. Fortunately, air is frequently resupplied to the middle ear during the process of swallowing.

Usually when you swallow, a small bubble of air passes from your throat or back of your nose, through a narrow tube known as the Eustachian tube which is usually closed, into your middle ear. As it does this, it makes a tiny click or popping sound.

This action keeps the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum about equal. If the air pressure isn’t equal, for example if the Eustachian tube isn’t working efficiently or if pressures suddenly change, the ear feels blocked or uncomfortable.

The pocket of air in the middle ear is particularly vulnerable to the changes in air pressure as you go up in a plane.

Click to see picture

The higher the plane, the lower the air pressure around you, although inside the cabin you’re protected, to some extent, from these pressure changes. Pressure in the middle ear remains higher until the Eustachian tube opens up to allow the pressure to equalise. Until this happens the relatively lower pressure outside the middle ear pulls the ear drum and tissues of the middle ear outwards, making them feel very uncomfortable.

The eardrum is stretched and can’t vibrate properly, so sounds become muffled. When the Eustachian tube opens, air travels out from the middle ear, making a popping noise as pressure equalises.

During the descent in a plane, the opposite happens as pressure builds up outside the ear, pushing the eardrum inwards.

Abnormal pressure can develop in the middle ear, pulling in or stretching the ear drum, when the Eustachian tube is blocked for other reasons – as the result of a bad cold, for example, or a nasal allergy – or because it’s narrow as a result of childhood ear infections.

Treatment and recovery:
Flyers often experience what is referred to as ear barotrauma or airplane ear. This condition is caused by the change in pressure between the inside and outside of the eardrum that causes the eustachian tubes inside the ear to swell. The popping noise in your ear is the sound of the eustachian tube opening. There are some simple tips that can be used to pop your ears in an effort to ease the pain and discomfort associated with airplane ear.
The following can help to relieve the problem:

•Swallowing activates the muscle that opens the Eustachian tube, and you swallow more often when chewing gum or sucking sweets so try this just before and during descent.
•Yawning is an even stronger activator of the muscles.
•Avoid sleeping during descent, because you may not be swallowing often enough to keep up with the pressure changes.

The most forceful way to unblock your ears is to pinch your nostrils, take in a mouthful of air and use your cheek and throat muscles to force the air into the back of your nose, as if you were trying to blow your thumb and fingers off your nostrils. You may have to repeat this several times before your ears pop.

Decongestants shrink internal membranes and make your ears pop more easily. Ask your pharmacist for advice. However, you should avoid making a habit of using nasal sprays, because after a few days they may cause more congestion than they relieve.

Few more Tips to releave :

Eat Candy or Chew Gum
One of the easiest ways to pop your ears is to chew a piece of gum or suck on a piece of hard candy. This forces your ears to pop on purpose by allowing the muscles around your eustachian tube to open. The movement of the jaw equalizes the pressure between the inside and outside of the eardrum upon the opening of the eustachian tube.

Ear Plugs
Purchase earplugs that are specifically designed for flying. The earplugs restrict the flow of air into your inner ear, allowing it more time to keep up with the rapid change in pressure. Earplugs can be purchased at your local pharmacy or drug store.

Breathing
There is a special way you can breathe to release the pressure in your ears while flying. Inhale, and then gently exhale while holding the nostrils closed and the mouth shut. Repeat several times, especially during descent, to equalize the pressure between your ears and the airplane cabin.

Use A Decongestant
Purchase an oral or nasal spray decongestant. A decongestant can be used before, during, or after the flight to relieve any built-up nasal congestion, and to open the eustachian tube. For best results, use a spray decongestant 30 minutes prior to landing. If is best to take an oral decongestant 30 minutes to an hour prior to your plane taking off.

Tips For Babies
The best way to control the change in pressure between the inside and outside of a baby’s eardrum is to have the child suck on a bottle or pacifier during take off and landing. It is also important to make sure that a baby does not sleep during descent.

To learn few more Tips You may click to see :How to Keep My Ears From Popping While Flying

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/earspopping.shtml
http://www.eustachian-tube.net/EUSTACHIAN-TUBE.html
http://www.ehow.com/list_6821346_tips-pop-ears-flying.html

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ear-anatomy.png

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Health Alert

Fit Enough to Fly

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Families are scattered all over  the globe and they travel to stay in touch. Airplanes are safe, despite the high flying altitude, relatively lower partial pressure of oxygen, variable air circulation, low humidity, sustained periods of noise, vibration and turbulence.
…………….
The rapid changes that occur during a flight (typically during descent) can give rise to ear pain, a blocked feeling, ringing in the ears, giddiness, hearing loss or even rupture of the eardrum. These complications are more likely if the Eustachian tube (connecting the ear and throat) is blocked by allergy, colds, sinusitis or middle ear infections. Chewing gum and frequent swallowing during descent can help ease the discomfort.

Decongestant nose drops will clear a blocked nose. Air travel should be avoided for 10 days if there has been a recent ear surgery or tonsillectomy.

Women often need to travel during pregnancy — as part of their jobs, because of transfers or simply to head home to have the baby. Air travel during pregnancy is safe and poses no special risks. Mid pregnancy, from the 14th to 28th week, is the safest time. In the case of multiple pregnancy (twins), a history of premature delivery, cervical incompetence, bleeding or increased uterine activity (irritable uterus), flying is inadvisable. If you need to be elsewhere for the delivery, it is better to leave before the 36th week or use an alternative mode of transport.

Most airlines refuse to allow pregnant passengers after the 36th week because of the fear that labour may set in during the flight. It is better to carry certified medical documentation about the expected date of delivery.

During pregnancy,

• the seat belt should be fastened under the abdomen, not across it;

• an aisle seat is preferable to facilitate visits to the toilet;

• try to get out of the seat every 30 minutes and walk a short distance;

• if this is not possible, flex and extend the ankles.

Babies should, preferably, not fly till they are at least seven days old.

There is a 10-day ban on air travel (not prohibited but inadvisable) after a stroke, brain surgery, an epileptic seizure, eye surgery or ear, nose or throat procedures.

Even in normal people abdominal gas increases by 25 per cent during air travel. A three to four week gap is advisable after abdominal surgery even if it is a “keyhole” or laparoscopic surgery as gas is introduced into the abdomen during the procedure. This extra gas can expand and cause the sutures to give way.

A person with congestive cardiac failure (when the heart does not function properly) should be stable for at least 10 days prior to travel.

In the case of a heart attack the person should have been stable for three to four weeks.

After pneumonia or chest surgery, a person should wait for three weeks
. Even after this time they should be able to walk unassisted for at least 50 metres without becoming breathless.

Anaemia, with haemoglobin count less than 7.5 grams per decilitre, reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of blood. This can get critical during flights.

People with fractures can travel two days after the cast has been applied. In traditional casts air can be trapped between the cast and the leg. As this air expands during the flight, it can compress the limb and cut off blood supply. If a person needs to fly immediately, the doctor needs to be informed beforehand. A bivalved or split cast, which does not trap air, can be applied.

People with mental illness should be well controlled, on medication and preferably have a companion.

Diseases are spread from one country to another by infected travellers. In the recent swine flu epidemic, the spread of the disease could be plotted by tracking the flights out of Mexico (where the epidemic started).

People with open tuberculosis or measles should also defer travel.
If a person has an infectious disease, travelling should be postponed until recovery. Infected air keeps circulating in a plane and this will result in the disease spreading.

The economy class has little legroom. The edge of the seat can compress the veins at the bent knee.
Together with the forced immobility, blood pools in the legs and the feet swell. This can result in deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Sudden unexpected death can occur hours or days after travel.

Generally, try to drink plenty of fluids and balance any alcohol consumed with an equal amount of water. Walk around the airport while waiting. Remember, the most dangerous thing to do is to sit still with your legs crossed.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Earache (Ear Infection)

Whether it’s a middle ear infection, located deep in the ear, or swimmer’s ear, affecting the outer ear canal, an earache hurts. It’s most often a problem in children, but adults get earaches too. Though some conditions clear up on their own, supplements can speed up the healing process….click & see

Symptoms:

Throbbing or steady pain in ear; pain when pulling on lobe.
Pressure or itching in the ear.
A bloody, green, yellow, or clear discharge from the ear.
Muffled hearing; popping in ear.
Fever.
Dizziness.

When to Call Your Doctor
If earache is accompanied by fever over 101 F, stiff neck, severe headache, or seepage of pus or other fluids; or if the ear or area behind it appears red or swollen — it is likely an infection requiring antibiotics.

What It Is
An earache results from inflammation, infection, or swelling in the outer canal of the ear or in the space adjoining the eardrum, which is the thin membrane that separates the outer and the middle ear. Normally, the eustachian tube, which extends from the middle ear to the throat, drains fluids from the ear, keeping it clear. But inflammation or infection can irritate the ear canal or block the Eustachian tube, leading to the buildup of pus or other fluids and causing pain and other unpleasant symptoms.


What Causes It

Earaches are typically caused by harmful bacteria, viruses, or fungi, usually preceded by an upper respiratory infection or seasonal allergies, or moisture trapped in the ear. Other causes include excessive ear wax, sudden changes in air pressure, a punctured eardrum, or exposure to irritating chemicals, such as hair dyes and chlorinated water.

How Supplements Can Help
The supplements listed below can play a supportive role in healing earaches. They can be used in conjunction with antibiotics, pain relievers, and other conventional remedies for short-term treatment of mild to moderate ear discomfort. All severe, lingering, or recurrent ear pain, however, requires medical evaluation.

What Else You Can Do
Place a warm compress on the outside of your ear; use a heating pad or warm washcloth. Heat can bring quick pain relief and facilitate healing.
Never insert a cotton swab, which can puncture the eardrum, into your ear. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide as a cleaner; it can irritate the ear canal.
Herbal eardrops often bring rapid pain relief — within 10 minutes of administration. To make the application of drops more comfortable, warm the bottle under hot running tap water before placing the liquid in the ear.
Don’t smoke and avoid smoke-filled rooms, especially if you’re prone to earaches. The latest study to look at the link between secondhand smoke and ear infections reported that exposure to smoke can affect the ears. Children who lived in households with at least two smokers were 85% more likely to suffer from middle ear infections than those who lived in nonsmoking homes.

Supplement Recommendations

Garlic Oil
Mullein Flower Oil
Lavender Oil
Eucalyptus Oil
Vitamin A
Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Echinacea

Garlic Oil
Dosage: A few drops in the ear twice a day.
Comments: May be used alone or with mullein flower oil.

Mullein Flower Oil
Dosage: A few drops in the ear twice a day.
Comments: May be used alone or with garlic oil.

Lavender Oil
Dosage: Apply a few drops to the outer ear and rub in gently.
Comments: Can be used as needed throughout the day.

Eucalyptus Oil

Dosage: Add several drops essential eucalyptus oil to pan of water.
Comments: Bring oil and water to boil and remove from heat; place towel over head and pan and inhale steam through the nose.

Vitamin A
Dosage: 50,000 IU twice a day until symptoms improve; if needed after 7 days, reduce to 25,000 IU a day until symptoms are gone.
Comments: Women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should not exceed 5,000 IU a day.

Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Dosage: 1,000 mg vitamin C and 500 mg flavonoids 3 times a day until infection clears.
Comments: Reduce vitamin C dose if diarrhea develops.

Echinacea
Dosage: 200 mg 3 times a day until infection clears.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 3.5% echinacosides.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.