The Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) has published a new article with guidance on how to protect your ears and hearing while on a plane.
Noise levels on an airplane at cruising altitude is typically around 85dB, and exposure to this level of noise for more than eight hours a day can cause permanent hearing loss or temporary problems like tinnitus. Louder noises, such as those at 100dB, can cause damage after only 15 minutes per day of exposure. SYTA suggests that fliers wear hearing protection during takeoff and landing, and to choose seating away from noisier sections of the plane. However, if exposed to excessive noise during the plane (whether from plane equipment or a crying baby), resist the temptation to turn up the volume on your personal listening device and instead use noise-canceling earphones.
Other suggestions include staying awake during take-off and landing so that you can swallow and yawn to equalize pressure; avoiding flying when you have a sinus infection, nasal congestion, or ear infection; and using an over-the-counter decongestant nasal spray or oral decongestant pills 30 minutes to an hour before takeoff and landing.
Read more tips in the SYTA news item.