Ear / Sinus Infections and Flying

Discussion in 'Support' started by Alue, Oct 20, 2018.

    1. Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I'm a frequent flyer and I feel a little silly making this thread, I know most of the techniques to clear my ears and fly safely with tinnitus, but I'm wondering if people have any experiences to share regarding flying while having sinus congestion or ETD.

      Has anyone had clogged ears or dizziness after flying? What about ear pain?

      I just took a couple flights after a head cold and ear infection. I had the ear infection last week and it was clear by Wednesday. I was unsure about flying, but I thought I would be okay because I was feeling better, doctor said my ear had healed up, and my nose was clear. During the flight I had a very hard time equalizing pressure despite taking pseudoephedrine, guaifenesin, and Afrin before the flight. On the descent my ears plugged up and my right ear stayed pretty muffled until I finally cleared it doing the valsalva maneuver gently. The odd thing was that I had zero pain with this. I had zero pain when I had the ear infection last week too. I would think pain would be the more serious sign of barotrauma to the ear. T is no louder at the moment thankfully, but I do feel a little dizzy. That's kind of how I felt last week when I came down with an ear infection, no pain, just very light headed and fatigued.

      The bad thing is I have to fly again on Monday. I really don't want to, but I have to fly again on Monday. Are there any other things I can try to clear out my Eustachian tubes? I've already tried nasal sprays, decongestants, steam, and expectorants.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    2. Red
      Crappy

      Red Member

      Location:
      Northeast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure (Headphones)
      Is your boss so unforgiving that you can't have a sick day?
       
    3. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      You may want to try a 20 seconds technique by a doctor on YouTube. Search youtYou with eustachian tube drainage and you will see it.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It's hard to explain.
      It's not my boss, he would be understanding. But it's not just like taking a day off. I would have to cancel a trip and it's for something important that can't exactly be rescheduled. It may not piss my boss off, but would make me look bad and would likely piss off other people above my boss and other colleagues that I depend on. Plus it's the weekend, so changing plans mid weekend is almost too late.

      I somewhat bought this upon myself. I shouldn't have flown home in the first place, it's not like I'm going to have a good or restful weekend at home now. I have not had a good couple of weeks with work stress, things not going well at work, and having ear infections.

      Is it the one where you move your hands up and down your throat massaging your throat? I'm willing to try anything, but I'm not getting my hopes up. My sinuses and Eustachian tubes are just seriously plugged up.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I wonder if a bullet would clear my sinuses.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    6. Red
      Crappy

      Red Member

      Location:
      Northeast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure (Headphones)
      1. Drink a ton of water
      2. Get out and walk and do some low impact, gentle exercise. Enjoy some nature
      3. Vitamin C and lots of sleep
      4. Can you get Earplanes in a larger size?
      5. Chew gum
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks. Exercise is a good point. I may try a neti pot too. Unfortunately, I have not been sleeping well. Didn't sleep well at all last night despite being home. Earplanes don't come in my size. The adult "large" size are too small for my ear canals so they're useless.
       
    8. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      This is the one on youtube. I have once read a success story of someone using this to drain the tube and the tinnitus began to subside. Give it a try. Nothing to lose.

      20 Second Miracle Technique for Instant...
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks. Might not be a bad idea to try if you can't equalize while flying. It might make me look crazy but I don't care.
       
    10. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      My T is spiking tonight. It began after I followed the first few steps of the method above: I pulled my ears and stuck my jaw out. I hope this is just a coincidence... Could it be that it is That easy to make T to become more shrill?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      So I've heard it can take months (up to six months) for your Eustachian tubes to clear up after in infection. Not good with the amount of travel I do. I can preform the valsalva maneuver, but it takes a little pressure then I hear it blow by when my ears open up. I know it's not good to put too much pressure into the valsalva maneuver.

      One question, if I had a perforated eardrum it would most likely be painful right?
       
    12. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      The spike seems to be gone now.
       
    13. Red
      Crappy

      Red Member

      Location:
      Northeast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure (Headphones)
      It's a sharp pain, yes. It feels like fluid is in your ear after.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Have you ruptured an eardrum before?

      I've had a lot of injections into my middle ear, but no rupture (knock on wood). I guess one silver lining is your ear equalizes easy after that until it heals. :sour:
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hmm. My right ear is warm, warmer than the left. I hope that doesn't mean the infection has returned...
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Just had another flight home. My ears cleared fine this time, but a few hours after the flight I started feeling pretty dizzy. I wish I knew what was going on. I thought the ear infection had cleared up, and my sinuses are clear.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    17. Samantha R

      Samantha R Member Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Geelong Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Alue
      It sounds like it is possible that you still have an ear infection.
      Did you take antibiotics and finish the full course?
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I did. I even had a doctor look at my ears afterwards and they were not inflamed anymore. He said it looks like the infection cleared up.

      You can laugh, but I just ordered a usb otoscope that plugs into your phone or computer. Going to the ENT or doctor just to see if your eardrums are still inflamed multiple times gets expensive. It's like a couple hundred dollars just to look in your ears.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I wonder if the ear infections can lead to vestibular disorders like Menieres and Hydrops and Labyrinthitus. I know more about sensorineural hearing loss than I do about vestibular problems. Besides taking antibiotics (which are useless if the infection is viral), is there anything you can do to avoid getting these disorders when you have an ear infection? The ENT told me it was likely a bilateral viral infection and not bacterial.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    20. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      It's not laughable matter. I have one and find it extremely useful.

      How does he know? It seems you need either blood/urine/biopsy to determine virus vs bacteria. Did he collect any sample from you?
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Just from patient history I think. I wasn't sick before I got the ear infections, I came down with a head cold and the ear infections around the same time. I saw an out of state ENT because I was on business travel. If things don't improve over the weekend, I may book an appointment for my regular ENT. I hate seeing so many doctors sometimes because it often feels like a waste of money, but what can you do?

      Do you know much about vestibular problems? Can an ear infection trigger vestibular disorders?
      The odd thing is, my T/H hasn't been affected by all of this.
       
    22. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Yeah I think it's a bit of a stretch. Sometimes if antibiotics don't work, the (hasty) conclusion is "it must have been a virus then". But perhaps the antibiotic wasn't targeted enough for the bacterial culprit.

      I mean, I don't know one way or the other, but I'd take that diagnosis with a grain of salt. It's a bit like blaming stress when you don't know what brought on a certain condition. Stress always fit and cannot be easily disproved.

      I use my USB otoscope fairly regularly, in particular to monitor my daughter's ear tubes. We use it as an early warning system to detect potential infections (she used to have so many of them that we decided to learn to spot them). In a few cases, the doctors told us "well it looks like it's the beginning on an infection - it's great that you caught it so early", so we were happy about the value it provided.

      I also monitor my ear drum where my stapedotomy occurred as well as possible wax buildups that I'd rather deal with earlier than later.

      No, unfortunately.

      I don't know, but I wouldn't be too surprised about it, especially if the infection reached the inner ear.
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I'm starting to wonder if the ear infections came back or if it's something else. I have felt this extreme fatigue since I got home. Slept all night last night, then after four hours of being awake I had to take a nap for several hours. Still don't feel very awake after that. That is very uncharacteristic of me. I'm generally an insomniac and I never take naps during the day. I'm wondering if it's something more than just an ear infection. I'm no longer sick either.


      What do you look for specifically? Just redness and inflammation? I guess if you get to know what it looks like under normal circumstances, you can easily tell when something is off. You could even take digital photographs and compare them.
       
    24. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      If you google "what does an ear infection look like through otoscope" and select the "images" tab, you'll see a lot of sites explaining what to look for & visual examples.

      In general yes, redness, bulging, fluid build up, sometimes pus. My daughter has ear tubes so we can see if the tubes are clogged or if there is fluid passing through them towards the outer ear. She's at the end of her "ear tube period", which means they are making their way out, and we can actually see it.

      Like you said, once you know what a healthy drum look like, you can detect a few things that are odd by comparison. We keep a history of "samplings" so we can see how things evolve with time.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks. I received it the other day and took a couple photos. Still don't know what's considered 'normal' but nothing looks super inflamed. My eardrums feel itchy now.

      I tried scheduling an appointment with my ENT, but they are booked till 2019.
       
    26. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Is it normal in the United States to have to wait for over two months to see a specialist?!
       
    27. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Depends on your area. But it's not unusual.

      I feel like I could just take a photograph of my eardrums and send it to a specialist to evaluate. The digital otoscope even has a bright light that you can adjust.
       
      • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

Loading...