earplugs help flying

Do Earplugs Help When Flying? Everything You Need to Know

Do Earplugs Help When Flying? Everything You Need to Know

To make matters worse, as the plane ascends higher into the sky, you experience intense and persistent pain in your ears, that’s why you need earplugs to help with your flying. The people around you appear unaffected, but upon closer observation, you notice that some of them are wearing earplugs. This raises questions in your mind. Could earplugs possibly provide relief during flights? Is there something you’re overlooking?

Don’t worry, we’re here to provide answers. This article will explore whether earplugs can alleviate ear pain and discomfort while flying. Additionally, we’ll address common safety concerns related to the use of earplugs and offer guidance on how to manage them. If this piques your interest, continue reading to uncover more information!

Are Earplugs Effective In Providing Relief During Air Travel?

Indeed, earplugs are beneficial for alleviating discomfort while flying. Specifically, they address two primary challenges that often arise during flights: ear pain and exposure to disruptive noises.

To grasp the effectiveness of earplugs in tackling these issues, it is essential to comprehend the underlying causes of these problems. Airplane ear is a temporary condition marked by ear pain and diminished hearing, typically occurring due to pressure changes. When the air pressure swiftly alters, a discrepancy arises between the external pressure and the pressure in your middle or inner ear. Consequently, this disparity places strain on your eardrums, leading to discomfort.

Earplugs aid in mitigating the rapid changes in pressure within the inner ear, allowing your ears more time to adapt to the shifting conditions. As a result, you experience reduced discomfort during air travel, especially when combined with additional equalizing techniques such as yawning or gently blowing your nose.

When to wear them?

If your goal is to prevent airplane ears, it is recommended to wear them during takeoff and landing since these phases involve the most significant variations in external air pressure. However, if your intention is simply to create a serene environment, you may choose to wear earplugs selectively in noisy sections of the aircraft.

During takeoff, wearing earplugs helps regulate the rapid increase in air pressure, reducing discomfort and allowing time for equalizing your ears.

During landing, earplugs assist in managing the sudden pressure shift, helping alleviate pain and restore pressure balance in the inner ear.

When seated in noisy areas of the plane, wearing earplugs minimizes distractions from engine noise or ambient sounds, especially during long-haul flights when rest is desired.

Which Earplugs Are The Best?

Since there are many different types of earplugs, we considered these are the best ones:

1. Foam Earplugs

Foam earplugs are crafted from a pliable material, typically foam, which molds itself to the contours of your ear canal. When inserted, they expand to create a seal, effectively reducing sound. These earplugs are particularly useful during air travel to minimize ambient noise.

To properly use foam earplugs, gently roll them into a slender cylinder shape that can be inserted approximately halfway into the ear canal. Once positioned, release the earplugs, allowing them to expand and provide optimal coverage.

2. Filtered Earplugs

Specialized filtered earplugs are specifically designed to alleviate the impact of pressure changes experienced during flights. These earplugs, typically made of silicone, incorporate small filters or valves that effectively slow down the shift in air pressure. The outcome is reduced strain on the eardrums, resulting in diminished pain and discomfort.

The recommended usage of filtered earplugs varies by brand. Generally, it is advisable to wear them several minutes prior to takeoff and approximately 45 minutes to an hour before landing. Once the plane reaches its cruising altitude, these earplugs can be safely removed and carefully stored for future use.

3. Pre-molded Earplugs

Pre-molded earplugs, typically composed of silicone or rubber, offer greater reusability compared to foam earplugs. They are available in various sizes, allowing for a better fit within the ear canal compared to other types of earplugs.

Similar to foam earplugs, the primary purpose of pre-molded earplugs is to block out background noise. These earplugs are designed with a pre-formed shape, making them easier to insert into the ears, much like foam earplugs. After use, they can be washed and safely stored for future use, distinguishing them from disposable foam earplugs.

If Earplugs Help Flying, Is It Safe To Use?

While earplugs are generally considered safe, improper usage can give rise to additional issues. Here are a few aspects to be mindful of:

1. Ear Infections

Improper use of earplugs can increase the risk of ear infections. Reusing disposable foam earplugs or not sanitizing hands before inserting earplugs can introduce bacteria and dirt, potentially leading to infections. Discarding earplugs after each use and using hand sanitizer before handling them is important.

2. Diminished Hearing

While earplugs are effective in blocking ambient noise during plane rides, it’s essential to be mindful of their limitations. Wearing earplugs continuously may result in missing critical announcements during emergencies, and it can make solo travelers more vulnerable to petty theft. Remember to select earplugs that strike a balance between noise reduction and maintaining awareness of your surroundings.

3. Loss of Hearing

The primary purpose of earplugs is to safeguard your hearing, rather than lead to hearing impairment. Nonetheless, if earplugs make direct contact with your eardrums, they can result in lasting harm to your hearing. This only happens if you insert the earplugs excessively deep into your ear canal while wearing them, possibly in an effort to increase noise cancellation.


Earplugs provide valuable assistance during air travel, for equalizing air pressure or blocking out background noise. They are also considered a secure choice, particularly when you are aware of their potential risks. If you were unsure about bringing earplugs for your upcoming flight, we hope we have alleviated your concerns. As you can see, earplugs offer numerous benefits, and addressing their safety concerns is straightforward as well. Do you think earplugs help flying? Did it cover all the information you sought about wearing earplugs on a plane? If there’s a question we missed that you would like us to address, please let us know in the comments!

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