Maybe you have experience it yourself? With a severe cold or sinus infection, air travel can be very painful. During landing you feel like a needle is going through your ear. The pain is so strong, and there is nothing you can do.
Coming home from Budapest a few weeks ago, this happened to me when we landed in Oslo. I got a cold during the trip, and it reminded me to never fly again while having a cold. Because the same happened some years ago, home from London.
Normally, I never have pain in my ears when I travel. It has just happened these two times I did fly with a severe cold. But why do you feel this pain when you travel with a cold? During a flight, the air pressure in the sinuses and middle ear must equilibrate with the cabin pressure inside the airplane. This pressure changes during take-off and landing. A cold can cause blockage in the Eustachian tube. This is the connection between the middle ear and the back of the nose, which maintains equal air pressure on both sides of the eardrum. However, when this is blocked the restricted flow of air can prevent the equalization, or equilibration of pressure. This result in pain.
Reading afterwards, I see that being in the air while having this condition can be dangerous and have some serious effects. Pain is not the only symptom that may occur when the Eustachian tube is blocked. When the pressure changes inside the middle ear, it may sometimes lead to vertigo, tinnitus, or hearing loss. If a doctor take a look at after you go through what I did, he will see bruises or even bleeding inside your ear.
I am happy that this time it went fine, and I still have my hearing. But the pain in itself is enough for scare me to stay away from flying next time I have a severe cold.
Have you ever experienced getting pain in your ear while flying?