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Why Do Your Ears Pop on an Airplane? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Why Do Your Ears Pop on an Airplane?. By Brittany T. Introduction.

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Why Do Your Ears Pop on an Airplane?

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Presentation Transcript
  • Ever been on an airplane, and had your ears hurt really bad? Have you ever heard a baby cry while your landing, while the mother frantically tries to calm the child down? Well, all of these answers you can find in my website. They all relate to the question, why do your ears pop on an airplane? What does it have to do with? Just read on and you’ll find out.
science page
Science Page
  • Why do your ears pop in an airplane? That is the question that most people ask while on an airplane and are experiencing pain in their ears.
  • Air pressure has a lot to do with it. Pressure is the exertion of force on a surface by an object.
  • While at sea level the air pressure is very high and the higher in altitude, you get the lower air pressure becomes, and in airplanes you go very high.
  • Altitude is the height of anything above a given planetary reference plane above sea level on earth.
more science
…More science

During ascend and descend there is a rapid change in air pressure. The middle ear is what causes discomfort during air travel because it is extremely sensitive to changes in air pressure. Normally, when you swallow, your ears make a pop because a small bubble has entered your middle ear your nose. It then passes through the Eustachian tube, a membrane-lined tube about the size of a pencil lead that connects the back of the nose with the middle ear. But since the air pressure is changing your middle ear is also experiencing changes in air pressure. To maintain comfort, the Eustachian tube must open frequently and wide enough to equalize the changes in air pressure. This is why some people chew gum, yawn, or suck on candy during air travel. All of these acts open the Eustachian tube to let the air bubble out and reduce the pain.

more science1
…..more science

It seems so simple to just open your mouth, right? Well, what if you had a cold or sinus infection? Not so simple then, huh?

Your sinuses are connected to your ears by the Eustachian tube, and if your sinuses are infected then that makes your ears even more vulnerable. For children, babies, or infants, the pain is more severe because their Eustachian tube is much smaller than teenagers or adults. Also they cannot intentionally pop their ears. To help, you might be able to give them a bottle or pacifier to suck on, or some cheerios to chew. This will allow them to open their Eustachian tube just like adults.

  • Force- A push or pull exerted on an object to make it accelerate.
  • Altitude- the height of anything above a given planetary reference plane, esp. above sea level on earth.
  • Equilibrium- a state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces.
  • equal balance between any powers, influences,
  • Eustachian tube- a membrane-lined tube about the size of a pencil lead that connects the back of the nose with the middle ear.
  • sinus infection- Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness that is of short duration, rapidly progressive, and in need of urgent care.
  • Eardrum- The tympanic membrane of the ear, or tympanum, the membrane that separates the middle ear from the external ear.
  • pressure- the exertion of force upon a surface by an object
  • middle ear- The middle ear consists of the ear drum and, beyond it, a cavity. This cavity is connected via a canal. The Eustachian tube permits the gas pressure in the middle ear cavity to adjust to external air pressure. The middle ear cavity also contains a chain of 3 little bones that connect the ear drum to the internal ear.
  • membrane- A very thin layer of tissue that covers a surface.
introduction to graph
Introduction to Graph
  • I had a “biggie” physics question that I had to do this PowerPoint on. My question was, “Why do your ears pop in an airplane?” I asked 20 adults this question and recorded their responses in a graph. On the following slide you will see how many people actually know the answer to this question.
related links
Related Links
  • http://www.entnet.org/healthinfo/ears/altitude.cfm
  • AAO-HNS- This website had a ton of information about the middle ear and altitude.
  • http://airtravel.about.com/library/weekly/aa061502a.htm
  • About- This website has helped me find information about how to unblock your ears and also a lot about air travel in general.
  • http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=60597
  • Medicine Net- This page made available a ton of cold and sinus information relating to air travel. It also did a wonderful job of explaining why your ears pop in airplanes.
  • http://wright.nasa.gov/airplane/pressure.html
  • NASA- This website gave me a ton of facts about pressure. It also had some really good diagrams explaining pressure.

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