Why and how you should protect your ears and your hearing when you’re flying
A long-anticipated vacation can take its toll on your ears before you even reach your destination – if you’re flying, that is. Learn how to protect your ears and hearing from that constant whirring sound in the cabin while you’re dreaming about your well-deserved vacation.
Living with a hearing loss
We've said it many times before, and we'll say it again: It's important to protect your hearing from loud sounds. That doesn't just mean construction, concerts or loud sports events. It means your next plane ride, too.
Sound levels inside a standard airplane can quickly reach the maximum noise level that your ears can take before the noise potentially starts to affect your hearing. That level is 85 decibels. At take-off and landing, the noise inside a plane cabin can reach as high as 105 decibels. When the plane is cruising at altitude, the noise drops to around 85 decibels. If you're in for a long haul, you may want to protect your ears.
Here's how to protect your ears from loud noise the next time you're flying.
1. Bring earplugs
Earplugs are a great way to protect your hearing, and it's a nice, soothing way to travel by plane. You can get earplugs at your local drugstore that are made specifically for flying. If you're unsure about which ones to get, you can find a list of the best earplugs for flying here.
2. Use noise cancelling headphones
Noise cancelling headphones will protect your ears and your hearing, while making your trip more comfortable. With noise cancelling headphones on, you get the added bonus of being able to hear music, radio, video - whatever you'd like while you're up in the air. Here's Forbes' list of the best noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones.
3. Book an aisle seat close to the nose of the plane
The quietest spot on the plane is the popular front rows, because this is the farthest from the engines. However, for good measure, you should know that the front galley is usually also where the crew prepares for meals service and chats during the quieter times of the journey. So there may still be some noise - just a different kind of noise.
Aisle seats are also several decibels quieter than window seats, so if you're not excited about the prospect of a view anyway, you should opt for the aisle. We can't make any promises about how loud your fellow travellers will be, though.
You may also want to consider taking the train instead?
Granted, that's not exactly a tip for what to do when you're flying. But if you have hearing problems, or just can't deal with all the noise inside the cabin, you could think about swapping a plane ride for a train ride. Especially if your destination is not that far away.
Whichever way you choose to travel, we wish you a wonderful journey!