Flying and Barotrauma

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (Archived Answers)' started by Kaelon, Jan 7, 2015.

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    1. Kaelon

      Kaelon Member Benefactor Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Boston, Mass.
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Muscle Spasms
      Dr. Nagler,

      My GP has successfully diagnosed and begun treating my Tinnitus as being at least exacerbated by Eustachian Tube Inflammation. I have been responding very well to antibiotics and prednisone for dealing with my inflammation/infection, even though because it's inner ear/middle ear, it's not particularly easy to fully diagnose. I have a follow-up with an ENT that specializes in Eustachian Tube disorders later this month, but in the meantime, I am feeling much better and seem to be responding well to the amoxicillin and prednisone regimen, with Tinnitus volumes going way down.

      As I posted here, I have a flight from Boston to DC for business, and back the following day. Because I'm evidently dealing with congestion/inflammation issues -- and these issues are making it challenging for me to pop my ears -- should I be concerned about potential barotrauma or problems with this short 90-min flight, for two consecutive days? What do you recommend I do to protect myself in advance of this flight? Or, alternatively, do you recommend I avoid flying until these inflammation issues are fully resolved?

      Thank you for your thoughts!
    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Congestion and inflammation are vague terms, so I am struggling with how to respond to your question in a meaningful way.

      If you have to fly with a "stuffy nose" and fullness in your head, I'd suggest an oral decongestant (pill) and a nasal decongestant (spray) as well. I have no particular favorites in that regard. I also suggest that you purchase a pair of EarPlanes, which are ear plugs with filters in them to help with pressure changes in the plane. They are available at Amazon and most drug stores. You insert them prior to take-off, and remove them at altitude. Then you re-insert them prior to descent, and remove them once the cabin door is opened at the terminal.

      Hope this helps.

      stephen nagler

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