Anonymous asked in TravelAir Travel · 5 months ago

Airplane like driving in mountains ?

Is flying on an air plane like going up mountains such as air pressure. I live in the mountains in Gatlinburg I was wondering if an air flight is the same in air pressure. I’m afraid my ears won’t pop so I was wondering. 

5 Answers

  • Joseph
    Lv 7
    5 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Some people may experience discomfort in their ears as the pressure increases during the descent.  Usually eating hard candy, chewing gum, drinking liquids or moving your lower jaw from side to side will keep the pressure from building across your eardrum.  

    If none of those methods work pinch both of your nostrils and exhale sharply through your nose. Repeat as necessary. 

  • 5 months ago

    At least you aren't from a true "flatland region" like southern Florida.  (One guy I worked with moved from S. Florida to Oregon; he was always complaining about his ears popping merely from driving around Portland, which has only about a thousand feet of elevation range.)

    Flying on a commercial aircraft is not nearly as hard on the ears as driving around in mountains:

    1.  takeoff

    2.  cruising altitude

    3.  landing

    That might take 30 minutes or 16 hours depending on the length of the flight.  Also, the rate of change of cabin pressure is more smoothly altered.

  • Neil
    Lv 4
    5 months ago

    Generally cabin pressure is maintained at 8,000 foot equivalent.That's about three times the altitude of Gatlinburg.

  • 5 months ago

    People generally chew gum and/or swallow

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  • 5 months ago

    In a way, yes.

    The pressure in an aircraft at high altitudes is regulated to the equivalent of around 8000ft, once the outside pressure is lower than that.

    Just keep swallowing to help your ears clear, or chew gum, or take a decongestant tablet before flying if your nose / sinuses tend to get blocked up.

    You could also try holding your nose then try to inhale/exhale, to apply pressure changes in your nose - if that makes your ears click, creak or pop (or just feel the pressure changes), then you will be able to equalise pressure the same way during a flight, if needed. 

    It's a version of a Valsalva manoeuvre, often used to clear the ears when scuba diving (and why all proper scuba goggles are designed so you can squeeze your nose while wearing them!)

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