A flight attendant went viral on TikTok for sharing a device that helps her pop her ears on planes.
She told Insider that she never boards a flight without the Eustachi, an Eustachian tube exerciser.
Changes in air pressure block your ears, and the TikToker told Insider the device always works for her.
CiCi's entire job revolves around flying.
As a flight attendant, she is constantly aboard planes, in the air. Cici, who asked Insider to omit her full name for privacy reasons, explained that about two years ago, she started having problems with her ears on flights. (Insider verified her employment as a flight attendant with a major US airline.)
"It just kept getting worse," she told Insider.
That's when she discovered a device called Eustachi that helps pop your ears, she said. Recently, she posted about it on her TikTok account @cici_inthesky, and her video gained more than 1.4 million views. The comment section filled up with notes from followers sharing painful ear stories and interest in the device.
@cici_inthesky Another product recommendation from a flight attendant. Go to CVS website for more details #cvs #flightattendanthacks #travelwithkids #airplanehack #travelproducts ♬ original sound - CICi
Why your ears may clog on flights
As a plane takes off, passengers experience a quick change in air pressure. According to the Mayo Clinic, pain in your ears occurs when the air pressure in your middle ear is out of balance with the surrounding environment's air pressure.
Your Eustachian tube, which is a passageway that connects the throat and middle ear, will attempt to open up and equalize your eardrums, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Sometimes, this tube has trouble opening, which is what makes your ears feel clogged and sometimes causes pain. It happens often to children and infants, who find popping their ears challenging because their Eustachian tube is small. In adults, if you happen to have a cold or congestion, this can also block the tube, according to the Mayo Clinic.
CiCi said her allergies were preventing her from popping her ears. She tried other tricks, like plugging your nose and blowing, swallowing, and chewing gum, but nothing seemed to work.
She said she ultimately went to a doctor, who prescribed her a device that would blow air through her nose and into her Eustachian tube. It cost $290 with insurance, so in search of a more affordable option, CiCi said she found the Eustachi, a similar product that retails for $60.
"I bought it, flew my next flight, and it totally worked," she said.
The device pumps air into your Eustachian tube
CiCi said the Eustachi is simple to use: you plug one nostril, hold the device up to your other nostril, push the button, and swallow at the same time.
Eustachi's website explains that this process uses air along with the body's natural exercise motion to open up the Eustachian tubes.
CiCi said she always tries other Eustachian tube-opening methods first, like swallowing, yawning, sipping water, and chewing gum. But if all else fails, she grabs her Eustachi.
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