Q. I read a recent column about excruciating ear pain while flying. I had this problem for years, until someone told me about EarPlanes. These are small, soft silicone filters that are inserted an hour before landing.
You can’t imagine the relief I felt on a flight from Copenhagen to Seattle. The plane descends very rapidly from 30,000 feet and it used to feel like torture. With EarPlanes, it was fine. They work better for me than the Ear Ease cups you described, and you don’t have to bother the attendant for hot water.
A. EarPlanes are silicone earplugs that contain a special pressure-regulating filter. They are supposed to moderate the rapid increase in pressure as the plane descends. After two uses, the earplugs should be replaced.
Ear Ease cups work differently to unblock clogged Eustachian tubes with heat. Both strategies are designed to equalize the pressure in the ear to reduce pain. These products are available online, at airports or drugstores.