Airplane ear is caused when the air pressure in your middle ear and the air pressure in the environment are not balanced; this unbalance causes a stress on the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and middle ear tissues of the ear. The Eustachian tube is the narrow passage, which helps the air pressure regulation in the ear. When the airplane ascends or descends, there is a sudden change in the atmospheric pressure and the Eustachian tube doesn't react quickly to the rapid environmental change and causes airplane ear.
The air plane ear can occur in one or both the ears and the common symptoms of airplane ear are feeling of fullness or stuffiness in the ear, discomfort or pain in the ear and slight to moderate hearing loss. If the airplane ear lasts for more than few hours then you can experience severe airplane ear symptoms like pressure in your ear (similar to being underwater), severe pain, ringing in your ear, vomiting, spinning sensation, moderate to severe hearing loss and bleeding from the ear, reported Mayoclinic.
You can prevent this airplane ear by following some preventive measures like yawning or taking deep swallows while take-off and landing of airplane. Drinking water or chewing gums will help the younger people whereas the babies can be given a pacifier or bottle. It is better not to sleep while the plane is taking-off or landing because sleeping helps to build up the pressure in the ears. You can also wear earplugs to avoid the problem.