How Your Airplane Habits Could Be Harming Your Hearing
While typically routine, flying on airplanes provide a host of dangers to your health you may not know about. Frequent flyers may be at risk of damaging their hearing on board airplanes.
When traveling by air, after putting our luggage away and settling into our seats, many individuals tend to pass the time by immediately using earbuds to watch movies or listen to music. Although this is a convenient way to occupy oneself during lengthy flights, it can pose a risk to your hearing, as you may find yourself increasing the volume of your earbuds to compensate for the ambient noise in the airplane's cabin. Did you know that listening to 100 decibels for just 15 minutes can cause hearing damage? The potent combination of high-volume music and a loud surrounding environment – including the plane's engines – can put your hearing at risk, or even causes significant hearing harm if sustained for extended periods of time.
Here are some tips to help you protect your hearing while flying on an airplane:
- Wear noise isolation headphones. If you are taking a long flight, noise isolation headphones will protect your ears by reducing or eliminating ambient noises (such as the plane's engine, chatty neighbors, or crying babies) so you can listen to audio at a normal volume, or help you get some sleep.
- One smart-yet-inexpensive solution is to purchase ear plugs for your flight. Some ear plugs include built-in filters for regulating the pressure in your ears and prevent a feeling of fullness or pain while ascending and descending.
- "Pop" your ears by yawning, chewing gum or eating hard candy, or drinking something to better protect your ears from sudden changes in pressure.