It is the pressure changes that cuases the pain in your ear and this is something that quite a few people have problems with. There are certain things that you can do during the flight to help prevent the pressure from building up; a few examples:
Chew something during take off and landing - chappies or jelly babies normally work well
Try not top fly if you are feeling congested
Equalize your ears by closing your nose and mouth and then gently blow ear through your ears (Valsalva's method)
Another thing i would strongly recommend if this persits to be a problem, is that you have your middle ear functioing evaluated by an audiologist, just to make sure that you are able to equalise effectively. If you need a referral to someone in your area, please let me know and i will gladly refer you. My e-mail is email@example.com.
Please let me know if you have any further questions
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