Flying & Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by rogerg, Mar 28, 2011.

tinnitus forum
    1. rogerg

      rogerg Member

      After a five hour flight yesterday my t has spiked. It's noticeably louder and I'm not sure why. I had booked a seat away from the engines... I didn't use my foam plugs cos the noise wasn't intrusive.
      Maybe this settles after a while. I could use some words of comfort...:(
       
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    2. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      I wouldn't worry at this point - it's more than likely it'll revert back to the level you are used to. I have read about temporary spikes after a flight (pressure changes etc might be the reason) but that they would be permanent.. of course theoretically speaking anything's possible with the delicate mechanisms behind our hearing but I'd think it's extremely unlikely that you are facing a permanent change. I'd suggest you ask your doctor though, just to be on the safe side, and do report back if you wish.

      Try your best to relax somehow, if good music or masking tracks soothes you, try that. I hope everything goes well for you!
       
    3. rogerg

      rogerg Member

      I was too impatient it's returning back to normal. chamomile tea + one hour nap helped lots.
       
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    4. Jim
      Happy

      Jim Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Francisco
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      I have this little iPhone app called db Meter Pro. It measures peak, max and average all simultaneously. I measured the noise levels on a recent trans pacific flight on a Boing 676. During takeoff the measurements were 90, 100 and 106. During cruising the measurements were 82, 92 and 100. I also had a bad experience on flight a couple years ago. T spiked way up and did not come back down for a couple dayS. Since then I always wear ear protection when flying and have not had another spike.
       
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    5. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      *bought another iPhone app thanks to Jim's suggestion* And this wasn't the first one, Jim should probably make a list of his iPhone apps and post it to the general chat forum. :D

      By the way, I actually wanted to add that oftentimes I have thought that my tinnitus has spiked after being in a semi-noisy environment, like a shopping mall. But actually I have come to the conclusion that I only paid more attention to it after returning back home/quieter place. And quickly after doing something else than concentrating on it the perceived noise level goes down. I'm not implying though that this is the only way spikes work. Of course it's possible to have an actual spike for a longer time than what I described. Actually I have had a couple of those too, so yeah.. depends on the situation.

      But indeed I like to use ear protection/noise cancellation headphones when flying.

      And rogerg, I'm happy it was only a temporary thing. Hope you are feeling better today.
       
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    6. Rozier

      Rozier Member

      The fear of having made my tinnitus worse after a loud noise exposure, such as being on an airplane, had always forced me to focus on my tinnitus. Which did seem louder, but would return to it's average level once my attention was drawn to something else. It was for me as Markku said.

      Then it did get worse, much worse.
       
    7. Edmundphuss

      Edmundphuss Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Hi All,

      Hope we are all doing well?

      Anyway, can I ask who is working? How has work treated your T if they know?

      Also, does anyone do much flying with their job?

      Just interested as I have to travel a lot and this caused my issues. If the ENT says I can fly, it looks like I'm back to flying albeit less regularly and never with a cold again. ( Im not a pilot but must spend heaps of time on planes)

      Regards,


      John
       
    8. DezDog
      Angry

      DezDog Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2009
      Don't do a lot of flying but have done this past month, and off again Friday morning. I'm lucky that the whole sound environment acts more as a mask than anything, and that I don't get any pressure-related symptoms.
       
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    9. Petloy
      Happy

      Petloy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Guys! I will have a 3 hour flight this coming Jan 26, I need tips on a good decongestant I have a little bit of cold but it doesn't clog my nose during the day usually just after I wake up in the morning, and tips on what plugs to use...the noise cancelling headphones are out I tried it and It seems to spike my T, I also booked a seat in front of the aircraft, so any suggestions?

      Thanks
      Peter
       
    10. Gav

      Gav Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2004
      Hi Peter,

      I don’t know about decongestants, but whenever I’m on a plane I use my Alpine Music Safe Pro Filter plugs, which I’ve been carrying around permanently in my pocket and using for many years. I’ve also got a pair of Elacin ER-20’s as well, which look the same as the Alpine’s, but are a bit longer. I think they both block ~20-22db of volume.

      I’ve tried many other types of ear plugs on the market, but found the above two to be the best, plus they have the added advantage of looking quite discrete when in the ears. The foam ones (e.g. Mack’s) should technically block up to another 10db of volume, but it doesn’t sound like they do to me. I’m probably fitting them incorrectly, but the silicone plugs seem easier to fit and are more consistent.
       
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    11. Petloy
      Happy

      Petloy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Thanks Gav, I too got the Alpine Safe Pro, what attenuation do you use? The white, gray or gold protection?
       
    12. Petloy
      Happy

      Petloy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Thanks Gav, I too have the Alpine Safe Pro, what attenuation do you use when flying? The white, gray or gold protection?

      Thanks
      Peter
       
    13. Gav

      Gav Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2004
      I always use gold in every situation as they block the most sound, but still let me hear conversations happening around me. I'd choose higher rated tips if they made them though.
       
    14. Goofy
      Goofy

      Goofy Member

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      I am looking for advice on flying. I live in the US and will be going on a trip to Germany in about a month. I am worried about the long flight bothering my T. I have purchased a pair of noise cancelling head phones.
       
    15. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      I wouldn't worry too much. I've never heard of anyone's tinnitus getting permanently worse after flying. Temporary spikes are possible. No guarantees of course, tinnitus can be unpredictable. Noise cancelling headphones are great tho', and I think with them you don't have to worry about tinnitus getting worse at all.
      Which make and model do you have though? I've been thinking about investing in some. I do have pretty good in-ear-monitors (Westone UM2) which cut off outside noise pretty nicely but noise cancelling headphones would suit better in some situations.

      Enjoy the trip! Germany is nice.
       
    16. Goofy
      Goofy

      Goofy Member

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
    17. just1morething
      Benevolent

      just1morething Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma from airplane descent, noise exposure? ETD? TMJD?
      I personally had a lot of trouble with my ears, especially my left ear on descending. I actually got a ear infection and fluid in my left ear the last time I flyed. Other times my head would be plugged up for days. It was usually on the 2 stage flights (up down, up down) The long flights were always better for me.
      I always take decongestants, and was going to try Earplanes next time. I guess my advice was more about eustachian tube problems and not tinnitus, but they definitely could overlap some.
       
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    18. hulagirl
      Creative

      hulagirl Member

      Location:
      Las Vegas
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      When I was researching allergies and tinnitus, my allergist said to ALWAYS use a nasal antihistamine like Afrin, etc; before flying as it would reduce pressure in ears?? Just saying?? I always do this when I fly, and now I will look into some noise cancelling headphones...
       
    19. Goofy
      Goofy

      Goofy Member

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      I had a 10 hour flight to Germany a few weeks back and had seats in front of wings and engine. I wore some noise canceling head phones which helped with the noise levels. After wearing them for long periods did make my head hurt. My T spiked around the 7-8 hour mark and I was ready for the flight to be over. Then had a 3 hour drive after landing. My T did come down some after a couple days. The return flight was about the same.
      I just received my new pair of earplugs I ordered online. They are Music Safe Pro earplugs and have three different noise filters. Tried them a little today and seem comfortable. Will see how they do when I am around loud noises.
      http://www.earplugstore.com/alnasoearpl.html
       
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    20. Petloy
      Happy

      Petloy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Goofy, the Alpine Music Safe Pro are reliable, I only wished I'd used them when I had a long drive 4 days ago :(. I've been using them since last year and it is really effective and handy.
       
    21. Jason123
      Overworked

      Jason123 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2008
      I'm on holiday in Spain at the moment and had a bad experience on the way. Now I'm wondering what to do on the flight back.

      Never had any bad tinnitus-related experiences with flying before, but did something different on this flight. This year, I've been feeling that my ears are becoming more sensitive to loud noise. Even playing music at low/moderate levels at home feels like it's aggravated my ears. So for this flight I thought I'd wear these specially moulded plugs which I had made last October for music/gigs, with special filters.

      All seemed fine during the flight... until I got off two or three hours later. My left ear felt *blasted* and I was dizzy as if a bit drunk. Felt a bit nauseous too. That night, my left ear's hearing capability was reduced and it was screaming like never before. I was terrified this would be permanent, but thankfully folk on Twitter told me they'd had similar incidents and 'healed' afterwards.

      Someone else told me that it's possible that there was a difference in pressure between the end of the moulded plug and the inner ear, causing the problem. Would anyone else agree with this? I'm definitely not inclined to wear those plugs on the way home! Should I wear no plugs at all - or should I use Boots Bio Ears plugs which just block the ears altogether? :S

      Any and all help/advice very much appreciated, as the flight home is Friday. :) Thankfully the hearing loss reversed itself the day after the flight here, although my left ear remains louder than usual...
       
    22. Petloy
      Happy

      Petloy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Try the ear planes in a drug store...your molded plugs probably inhibits pressure changes which contributed to your problem.
       
    23. Jason123
      Overworked

      Jason123 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2008
      Thank you very much for replying! Sadly I don't have much earplug choice, out here in Spain, but can have a look at the airport. Tempted to wear no plugs at all, as I didn't notice any consequences last time I flew, in October. Hmmm...
       
    24. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      You probably don't need earplugs. The inside of the cabin isn't usually loud enough to cause any damage. Things are even better if you are seated in front of the plane.

      Happy travels,
      Markku
       
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    25. Jason123
      Overworked

      Jason123 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2008
      Thanks Markku! A fine forum you have here - I'm learning a lot already, such as the apparent fact that people have different kinds of tinnitus.

      We were right at the back of the plane on the way over and are in the same seats going back. Should I try to change? Then again, on EasyJet planes the engines are halfway along the plane...
       
    26. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
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    27. Jason123
      Overworked

      Jason123 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2008
      Thank you - that's very useful and reassuring. :) I'm having trouble working out how to change seats, but y'know what, we were also towards the back of the plane in October and I had no adverse effects. So I think I'm just going to go without ear plugs, suck that boiled sweet and maybe find a nasal decongestant to use before the flight!
       
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    28. Robert Fahey

      Robert Fahey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan, 2012
      Keep your mouth wide open during the entire descent, to avoid the pressure build-up. I had clogged, crackling ears for days after flying until a doctor advised that trick. It keeps your tubes open. It looks a bit silly, but it works.
       
    29. Jason123
      Overworked

      Jason123 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2008
      Thanks very much for the tip, Robert: will do.
       
    30. Jason123
      Overworked

      Jason123 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2008
      Well, thankfully I didn't experience anything like the bad issues on the return flight as I did on the flight there. Thanks again to those who offered advice. I didn't use a decongestant in the end, but did suck sweets and kept my mouth open during descent. Only had the usual 'tube clogging' feeling, which is still persisting today a little, but I can deal with that.

      It's worth underlining, I think, that it seems specially moulded earplugs like mine can cause quite dramatic issues on flights. I'm sure that can't be the case for everyone, or perhaps even most people, but it certainly was the case for me on that flight to Spain...
       
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