There’s nothing like airplane take-offs to get a congested traveler curled up into the fetal position with head-splitting ear pain. Planes’ cabin pressure is tops among the many causes of discomfort while traveling. That’s because without travel earplugs a traveler’s ears have trouble equalizing the air pressure difference between the cabin atmosphere and the inner ear. The result is what physicians refer to as barotrauma: a condition experienced by roughly 25 percent of all air travelers.
Happily, travel earplugs are literally the great equalizer; they allow air to pass in and out in a safe manner, eliminating the discomfort caused by unequal pressure.