Sleeping on a plane is normal for many of us. But we explain to you how dangerous this can be and what serious consequences this can have.
Whether Bali, the Maldives or Ibiza, for us it is usually on a plane for the holidays. We then bridge the sometimes long journey in the air with one or the other glass of sparkling wine, partly inedible food, the coolest movies and with sleep. However, few people know that this is not so harmless and can lead to serious damage.
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When the plane changes altitude, many people will feel their ears plugged because the pressure inside and outside the ears is not balanced. Usually yawning or swallowing can relieve discomfort.
But if a passenger sleeps on a plane, he or she cannot balance the pressure on both sides of the eardrum, which causes a blockage in the ear canal and a barotrauma to the ear.
Scientists have explained that a blockage of the ear canal for a long time could lead to an infection that causes fluid to build up in the eardrum, leading to hearing loss and pain.
That’s why sleeping on a plane is so dangerous
Excitement, stuffy air and the rhythmic sound of the aircraft engine make it easy for many passengers to sleep in the plane. Some enviable people even slumber in the land of dreams once the bird has left the gate. But most people have probably never heard that this can be very dangerous.
The pressure at an altitude of 13,000 meters is different from that on Earth. But our body manages well to compensate for this pressure. The decisive factor here is the take-off and the landing. As we climb steeply into the air or jet towards the ground, our body usually reacts to this rapid change in external pressure. In our middle ear, there is air, which is adapted to the external pressure of our surroundings. As soon as the ambient pressure changes – as is the case with take-off and landing – a pressure difference occurs in our ear. The body usually compensates for this automatically by opening the ear trumpet. In the event that the pressure equalization does not take place, we notice mild ear pain and consciously make the necessary pressure compensation. A sleeper does not get this and therefore cannot react appropriately.
The best tricks for pressure equalization in the plane
- Moving the lower jaw back and back
- Keep your nose and mouth and blow it in a controlled way
- Drink something and make a little slap
- Chewing gum
- In case of a slight cold: decongestant nasal spray or droplet
This can happen if you sleep on the plane
As a result, there may be pain and a feeling of pressure in the ear. In worse cases, it can lead to bleeding into the middle ear or eardrum or even tearing the eardrum or a membrane in the inner ear. That would mean a hearing loss for the flies.
Passengers who already have pressure problems with their ears or swollen sinuses are particularly affected. In the case of colds, it helps to take decongestant nasal spray or drop in advance. If you are really ill and even suffer from fever and limb pain, you should postpone your flight. And for all the sleeping hats, for which there is nothing more beautiful than sleeping the entire flight: especially during take-off and landing, it is so nice to look out the window and look at the world from above.