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Old Dec 28, 07, 2:41 pm
  #3
schwarm
 
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: SAN
Posts: 2,423
Originally Posted by flyymom0 View Post
4 Questions,
- How do they work?
- Are there any special ways to make them work?
- Can you use them on a 14 hour flight?
- My topic question
Thanks!
- How do they work?

For people with good eustacian tubes, the middle ear pressure adjusts to the outside automatically. For people with clogged eustacian tubes, the pressure adjustment in the middle ear doesn't happen right away.

The earplanes form a seal in the external ear canal. There is a hole in the middle of the plastic part that is filled with some sort of semi-permeable rock-like material. So, the earplane acts similar to a clogged eustacian tube, but on the outside of the eardrum. There is a small pocket of air on the inside of the earplane but on the outside of the eardrum that slowly adjusts to pressure changes, much as the middle ear (inside of the eardrum) does in someone with a partially-clogged eustacian tube.

- Are there any special ways to make them work?

Have to have a really good seal in the ear canal. After they get earwax on them, they don't form a good seal. So, only good for about 2 uses.

- Can you use them on a 14 hour flight?

Only use them during ascent and descent (and for a short period thereafter; e.g., wait until the aircraft doors are opened at the end of the flight).

- Do Earplanes really work?

Yes, I think. But they're a bit finicky; certainly not perfect. I don't think they work if the eustacian tube is totally clogged, only if partially clogged (which is usually the case in most people with just some allergies or the like).
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