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Travel Tips

Expert Chats

The summer travel season is quickly approaching! Mass. Eye and Ear Glaucoma Specialist and Comprehensive Ophthalmologist Courtney Ondeck, MD, MPhil, and Associate Director of Audiology Meaghan Reed, AuD, CCC-A, recommend bringing the following items along on your next trip.

Regardless of the climate of your travel destination, the next time you head to the airport, make sure that your carry-on contains these three items to help you have a more comfortable flight.

Glasses

Even if you use contacts daily, it is best to wear glasses when you travel. “Airplane cabins are known to be dry so wear your glasses, especially for longer flights,” says Dr. Ondeck, who recommends bringing artificial tears if you must wear contacts. “The use of artificial tears can help prevent the contact from sticking to the surface of the eye and serve as a lubricant,” Dr. Ondeck explains.

Chewing Gum

We all know the feeling of pressure building up inside your ears as the airplane climbs to 30,000 feet. “It is completely normal for your ears to pop and there are a few ways to combat it,” says Dr. Reed. “Chewing gum, swallowing or yawning can help open Eustachian tube, which allows the pressure to equalize.”

If your ears are extra sensitive to clogging during air travel, Dr. Reed also recommends taking a decongestant before flying or buying ear plugs that can help regulate the pressure of the ear.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Airplane engines expel a lot of ambient noise and although it is loud, generally it is not dangerous to the typical passenger. “What becomes a problem is when people are wearing headphones trying to listen to music or a movie and continue to turn up the volume to hear over all of the ambient noises,” says Dr. Reed. “The loud volume coming from our headphones so close to our ears can be damaging.” She explains that the best way to prevent any issues is by using noise-cancelling headphones. They are able to block out the background noise so you can hear what is coming out of your speakers better and without turning up the volume too high.

About our Experts

Dr. Courtney Ondeck is a Glaucoma Specialist and Comprehensive Ophthalmologist. She sees patients at Mass. Eye and Ear, Main Campus. 

Dr. Meaghan Reed is the Associate Director of Audiology and specializes in hearing loss. She sees patients at Mass. Eye and Ear, Main Campus.

1 Comments

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    Judith Kypragora

    How important are noise-blocking headphones for young children, especially on long plane trips? My 3 year old granddaughter will be flying round-trip with us from LA to Corfu, for example. Thank you in advance.