Over-the-counter products such as nose sprays like Afrin can help relieve a stuffy head, nose, or ears if you need to fly. Make sure to put it in ziplock bag for security, but then use it when you are seated on the plane to reduce ear discomfort upon takeoff. Gum, mints, or any beverage will help clear your ears as well.
Simon I. Angeli, MD
Location and Office HoursUniversity Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine
1120 NW 14th
Miami, FL 33136
- AvMed Health Plan
- BC/BS of Florida/Health Options
- CIGNA HealthCare
- Humana Health Plan
- JMH Health Plan
- Neighborhood Health Partnership
- Preferred Medical Plan
- Staywell Health Plan
- United Healthcare
- Vista Health Plan
- WellCare HMO
- Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
- Jackson Memorial Hospital
- University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
How can I relieve stuffiness when flying?
Jill Grimes, MD, Family Medicine, answered
What causes protruding ears?
Arthur Perry, MD, Plastic/reconstructive Surgery, answeredProtruding ears are one of the most common abnormalities at birth. No statistics are available that fully define the occurrence of this deformity. It would be difficult to figure out, because there is no solid definition of what is normal and what is too much protrusion.
In 1881, the first operation to correct protruding ears was performed in New York City. In 2005, 27,000 otoplasties were performed in the United States, with 40% of the patients being men. Many men have this procedure because their hair doesn't hide their ears in the way women's hair does.
The framework of the ear is made of cartilage, a plastic-like material that can bend to the point of complete folding without breaking. During fetal development the cartilage of the ear folds into its final shape. In babies born with protruding ears, the portion of the ear known as the antihelix is not folded properly.
The ear cartilage of babies is very malleable. Just as we can mold the ears of a dog, it is possible to tape and shape human protruding ears. This molding must be performed within the first three months of life to be effective.
Find out more about this book:Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)
How do nasal polyps affect the sinuses?
Sanford Health answeredNasal polyps are usually your body's reaction to an adverse event that manifests themselves as bulges in the lining of the nasal tissue. Polyps pose several problems but most often are associated with reduced airflow through the nose when you take a nasal breath or they may swell and block the sinuses from draining properly. While they can often be treated with sprays and/or medications, in some situations, surgical intervention is necessary to remove the polyps.
See all Ear, Nose and Throat questions