General, Research, Technology

Why can a person paralyze during take-off?

Boarding a plane, everyone should beready for him to have an unpleasant feeling of stuffiness in his ear. The cause of this phenomenon is the occurrence of a large difference between the surrounding and intracranial pressure. As a rule, chewing gum helps to get rid of stuffiness in the ears, but what should a person do if he suddenly paralyzes one part of his face during take-off? It was this problem that a passenger of one of the American airlines had recently encountered and the pilots even wanted to make an emergency landing. The fact is that after seeing a passenger with a half-sagging face, the crew felt that the man had a stroke. Only now, the doctor among the passengers assured everyone that everything was fine with the person and helped him quickly cope with the problem.

Shot from the sitcom Mr. Bean

About an unusual and slightly frightening case wasnarrated in the scientific journal Annals of Internal Medicine. As soon as the cabin crew noticed a saggy person, they immediately asked the passengers if there was a doctor among them. Fortunately, doctor Alan Hunter appeared on board the aircraft, who agreed to examine the person in need. As it turned out, the face was paralyzed by a fairly young and strong passenger, who, despite the skin hanging on the right side of the face, was conscious and could clearly state his thoughts.

Paralysis of a face on an airplane

During a conversation with a doctor, he said that duringwhile taking off the plane felt a sudden pain in the right side of the head. This unpleasant feeling was accompanied by painful sensations and pressure in the ear, at the end of which the man's skin sagged, one eye closed, and saliva began to flow from his mouth. After hearing this, Dr. Alan Hunter realized that the man has no symptoms of a stroke in which the blood circulation in the human brain is disturbed, which can lead to death. But the passenger had obvious symptoms of facial paralysis.

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According to Alan Hunter, the cause of the suddenmanifestations of the disease became falling atmospheric pressure inside the aircraft during its take-off. This led to an increase in pressure in the middle ear of a man, which provoked the occurrence of problems with nerves on the right side of the face.

Usually facial paralysis is treated for weeks andeven for months. Almost everyone can face this problem, and prednisolone, which is also used to treat shock conditions for burns and injuries, is prescribed for its treatment. However, either due to the good health of the man, or due to timely help, the doctor who appeared on the plane eliminated paralysis in a few minutes.

Schematic representation of what happens to a person’s face with facial paralysis

In particular, he asked the cabin crew to givea man an oxygen mask, and the poor fellow himself to yawn or swallow saliva intensively. Thus, he helped a person quickly relieve pressure in the ears and eliminate the root cause of the unpleasant situation. After 15 minutes of exercise, the man said that because of this, he really stopped feeling pressure in the ears. After some time, he could already move the facial muscles of his face and, one might say, fully recovered.

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After landing, Alan Hunter spoke withreporters and said that having studied the medical archives, he found that such cases are not uncommon. True, facial paralysis rarely occurs when an airplane takes off, but when climbing to high mountains and diving to great water depths, this is quite a common occurrence.