Flying & Tinnitus

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

?

Has flying worsened your tinnitus?

  1. Yes, temporarily

  2. Yes, permanently

  3. No

Results are only viewable after voting.
    1. EddyLee
      Tolerant

      EddyLee Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      • Like Like x 1
    2. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey all, I just posted on this about a month ago. My tinnitus came from barotrauma on a transAtlantic flight. Of course, we all now already HAVE tinnitus. But we certainly don't want to make it worse.
      Anyway, below is my previous post, which will show you what worked for me.
      If you are worried about eustachian tube dysfunction, have what is called a tympanic test from an ENT within a week before you leave. Will show if your tubes are working properly.

      And you can buy Earplanes at any drug store, or even at airports (although I would get them before I went to the airport). READ THE BOX first. There are very specific instructions on when to put them in and take them out. I used mine on the both the ascent and descent.


      Here is the rest of my original post:

      There is an extensive thread already here at TT on flying:

      Flying:
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/flying-tinnitus.1001/page-2#post-21420

      FYI: I flew recently and was scared witless, given I got tinnitus through barotrauma on a long flight. Robert Fahey, on this thread, gives a great piece of advice that I followed: Keep your mouth WIDE open during the descent, as it forces open your eustachian tubes. Yeah, you look pretty silly. You can explain what is happening to the person sitting next to you or not. :)

      Also: I went to the ENT a week before my flight and had both my E.tube function and my sinuses checked, to make sure I didn't have a hidden infection. I then dried my head out completely with Sudafed (decongestant) beginning 36 hours in advance. Dose yourself per directions on the package (I took one pill every 12 hours). Then, I used Afrin nasal spray about 30 minutes before take off and again as descent began.

      And: I used Earplanes plugs, as someone else here suggested. Follow the directions on the box; read them in advance. You take the Earplanes out when you reach cruising altitude and then can pop in foam plugs or use noise cancelling headphones to cut the noise from the plane. Put the plugs back in about 30 minutes/one hour before descent. Again, follow directions on the box. However, I think it did say to put them in an hour before descent, which doesn't make sense on a short flight. My flight was two hours and I put them in about 30-40 minutes before descent. Do not take the Earplanes out until the plane lands, is at the gate and the cabin door is opened, which is when the plane will completely equalize. Don't freak out if your ears hurt while the Earplanes are in... they are just a little uncomfortable. If you have small ear canals, like I do, buy the ones for kids.

      Finally, if you really are freaked out about flying, consider asking your doctor for just a couple anti-anxiety meds to calm you down. A .25 mg Xanax did it for me; it's not enough to knock you out and asking for only two pills, one for the flight over and one back, should not cause the physician any worries. Or you, for that matter. Or if you are a natural meds person, find a natural relaxing supplement.

      By the way: The above routine might be a little more than you need if you are not pressure sensitive, as I am. But I will tell you it worked for me.
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. silenceISgolden
      Breezy

      silenceISgolden Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1995 or so
      good post lady Di, although I personally try to go the natural route whenever possible. *warning, everyone is different, please know 'you' before trying any natural remedies because of cross interactions, possible allergic reactions etc*

      I've had really good results with goldenseal as an alternative for sudafed.

      Kava Kava if you can get past the taste is a good relaxer. There are others.

      ladyDi does your pressure sensitivity extend to weather changes? Since my plane trip induced T spike I'm much more sensitive to weather changes
       
    4. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Lady Di and All, Thank you so much for this info. It tells me that there are measures to take to avoid the barotrauma and not make t permanently worse. This gives me more confidence for the flight. Thank you SO much! I have had t for 3 months now, brought on by a local anesthetic. My whole world has changed. The plane ride is me moving back home to the UK (from California) so I can rest my ears, and heal, and hopefully get back to playing music again. So your answers mean a lot.
      Thanks, Everyone.
      Lisa
       
    5. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Thanks, @Silence. And yes: My tinnitus is super sensitive to weather. I now can tell a storm is coming before I see dark clouds on the horizon, as my ears start ringing as the barometric pressure changes. Others here at TT have said they are weather sensitive, too. It's annoying, but at least I can say: Hey, its just the weather. It will pass. And it does.

      And good luck, @Lisa88. It will be OK. One of the most devastating things, when I first got my tinnitus, was thinking: I never will be able to get back on an airplane again. I love to travel. My husband and I were coming back from a dream trip to southern Tuscany, Rome and Paris when I injured my ears last May. But I did a lot of research over the months, talked to my doctors and put together a plan that I tested on a two-hour flight this past Christmas. I was a little nervous when we first took off. But as I realized I was going to be alright, I felt like I was soaring like an eagle. It was incredibly liberating. I bet you will feel the same way. Look out the window as you head back to your homeland and marvel at the beautiful clouds, the sea below, and how lucky we all are to be alive in an age where so much is possible.

      You will find a way back to music, too, I am sure. Just don't give up. Find doctors and others who can help you. You may have to change some things (I mean, so now when I fly, I have to do this whole ritual, including holding my mouth open during a descent). But you can have the life you love.

      By the way, in closing, Lisa: Let me share with you this amazing affirmation that Mary, a good friend of mine, gave me last November when I was telling her how afraid I was to fly over the holidays. She is an amazing person: a flight attendant for 25 years, a survivor of a cerebral hemorrhage like myself, a triathlete and marathon runner. What a gift she gave me. I printed out this paragraph below and carried it with me on my trip. I now pass it to you. Blessings.

      I'm so proud of you for conquering your fear heads on. No worries, just breathe and relax. You will be ok. Think of an eagle flying high, spreading its wings without fear. Just make the experience a new one. If you see children on your flight draw in their excitement. Flying is the most amazing thing. I love breaking thru the clouds and experiencing the beauty, love and power of God. Every flight I do I always find time to look out the window and feel his energy and feel blessed. You will be fine. Have a fantastic trip.
       
    6. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Lady Di. Thank you. You are amazing. And very brave. I am still so new to t at 3 months still with sleepless nights, and hoping it will diminish in this first year a little. But at least I know now I can get home. I will follow your directions to a t. Pardon the pun :) Thank you so very much. x
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    7. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      And Yes, I intend to find my way back to music. I have to. It is who I am. Thanks again :) x
       
    8. EddyLee
      Tolerant

      EddyLee Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Just want to update with a good news that there is no change to my T after 3 hours of flying. I did use earplanes and it's great as i didn't feel any ear pain or blocked where i usually will (y)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Ah, @EddyLee. That is wonderful news. Thanks for sharing! Did you take any decongestants, sudafed etc? Or was it just the earplanes that did the trick?
       
    10. EddyLee
      Tolerant

      EddyLee Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Yes i just use the earplanes before the plane take off, remove it when the plane reach maximum cruising altitude which is when the safety belt can be remove and then wear it again about 1 hour before landing. It actually blocks the airplane noise too so if you want you could wear it in the whole journey but i find it better to remove when reach maximum cruising altitude as it's more comfortable.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. Linda Marie

      Linda Marie Member

      Location:
      San Bruno, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/10/2013
      Hi everyone, my T started in Dec. 2013 and I am also terrified to fly. I'm going to Arizona about an hour 1/2 flight. There are so much suggestions like wear plugs, don't wear plugs, sit in front, etc. Is there any really sound advice. Going in another week. btw I'm the nervous type. Thanks to all of you
       
    12. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Special earplugs called earplanes are used, particularly for the descent. You can get these at any drugstore. They regulate the pressure. I would not use the solid moulded earplugs for ascent or descent as this could have an adverse effect on regulating pressure to the eardrum. Don't fly with a cold or sinus infection if you can help it. It has been suggested to take afrin nasal spray before descent. Plus a decongestant 30 minutes before descent. Although not sure which oral decongestants are safe to take re t. Sit in front of the wing, so engine noise is not too loud. It has been suggested to keep your mouth open during descent. On a lot of flights though these days, they start the descent an hour before landing. Most people flying with t have no problems. If a spike occurs, it is usually only temporary. If you have ETD problems along with t, i.e. usually have pain on descent, and severe blockage after plane has landed, the above steps have been known to help avoid any further damage or t sounds.
       
    13. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Just an add that noise cancelling headphones are a good bet also. But not during ascent or descent.
       
    14. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      I just went on a flight two weeks ago (first time since onset of T one yr ago) and I found the noise (et al) didn't bother me a bit. In fact, the engines sounded like white noise to me (put me to sleep). Maybe I'm just lucky like that...
       
    15. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      My t competes with white noise. So not looking forward to my flight at all.
       
    16. iAzra
      Hurting

      iAzra Member

      Location:
      Croatia
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma, Stress, Nose hit
      So earplugs are OK during ascending or descending but head phones only while up?

      Are this earplugs OK for ascending and descending?
      mol_7800.jpg
       
    17. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I would not use earplugs for ascending and descending or headphones. The pressure needs to be regulated to the eardrum. "Earplanes" for ascending and descending are a special type of earplugs that could be used to do this. You can find them in any pharmacy. Either use those for ascending or descending, or no earplugs at all. For cruising, it would be OK to use noise cancelling headphones etc.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    18. Linda Marie

      Linda Marie Member

      Location:
      San Bruno, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/10/2013
      I am going to travel as well for the first time next week - 1/2 hour flight. I am a bit concerned as well. I'll but the EarPlanes but not certain I will be able to sit in front of the engines. Assuming the best time to put them in is descending. Shall I take them off once we land?
       
    19. seal

      seal Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      I never take mine out.. but the biggest pressure issues while flying come while landing. So regular ear plugs should be taken out while landing, the ones you have are especially made for regulating the pressure, so I wouldn't take the earplanes out.
       
    20. rickycyh

      rickycyh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      just wondering if this will make it worse....
       
    21. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      I have had tinnitus for over 10 years now, and I have flown many times with it. It has never been a problem. My only suggestion is to pack some ear plugs for yourself in case your seat is near one of the engines... the noise from that can actually exceed 90 dB. Depending on the length of your flight, that might be a problem. The air pressure changes weren't a big deal either, just pop your ears.

      But as I've said above, I've never had a problem with it at all. I always enjoy flying actually. The only thing that makes me concerned would be to have a cold and get on a plane and not be able to pop my ears. That freaks me out a bit.

      My great uncle was a military helicopter pilot and then transitioned to planes and then flying commercial airliners for many years. He said that tinnitus is extremely prevalent in aviators. His words to me were "I don't think I've ever met a pilot whose ears did not ring that had been flying for a long time."

      Needless to say he has tinnitus as well. He claims his has not gotten worse over the years and oddly enough does not have poor hearing despite his advanced age (85 now).
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    22. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey all: I know, I know... I am supposed to be on a board break. But something unexpected has come up. And I really could use some of the good advice I know I will get from the Tinnitus Talk community:

      So: I love to travel. As some of you know, the major factor that triggered my tinnitus was barotrauma on a long-distance plane flight from western Europe to the states last May. Also, the fact that I was in a remote part of Italy for much of the trip and don't speak the language (so couldn't easily seek medical attention) didn't help.

      I pretty much expected to be grounded for life, which really depressed me. But after consulting with my doctors, we came up with a plan that made flying easier on my ears and didn't aggravate my existing tinnitus. I successfully took a two-hour plane flight during the Christmas holidays.

      Now: I just got an opportunity yesterday to go to Peru (from Miami), at a price I can afford, and see Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca city. This is a long-held dream of mine. I truly want to go. Also, I will be with a tour (not the way I normally travel), so at least there will be people there who know the country and speak better Spanish than me.

      My questions:
      Can I handle the six-hour flight, plus then a short one-hour hop from Lima to Cuzco? I actually am pretty confident I can do it, given my success at Christmas. I know we have a flying thread and have read tips from some of you who fly long distances for your jobs. Any other suggestions welcome.

      And: can I handle the altitude, at least tinnitus-wise? I live at sea level. Cuzco, where we first stop, is at 11,500 feet, with Machu Picchu close to 9,000 feet.
      I plan to talk to my doctors about this as well, but need to get some answers soon, as I must give my travel partner a response.

      Thanks so much. I feel taking this trip will really empower me, but I also don't want to take unnecessary risks.
       
    23. DebS

      DebS Member

      Location:
      Ohio, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Can your doctor advise you? Sounds like a wonderful trip...my brother and 2 of his sons are going to Machu Picchu in April. They are SO excited!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    24. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Travelling (both flying and rallying around in the mountains changing altitudes) has never been an issue with my tinnitus. Make sure you pop your ears frequently if you are undergoing rapid altitude changes. The only problem I can ever imagine would be flying if I had a severe cold which would limit my ability to pop my ears. In that case I would just cancel the flight. But other than that I think you will have no problems whatsoever. Pilots frequently have tinnitus and change altitudes literally on a daily basis.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    25. Cher69
      Fine

      Cher69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      20/5/2013
      Oh Ladydi - live life go for it - but I understand you concern's - I hope someone on here can help answer your question so you can go have an amazing time - much love xx
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    26. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Go for it. Life is too short to be held hostage by T, a sound (be it an annoying one for some). It is not like you are sure to have a problem. Your last flight showed that you can take the barometric changes in ascending and descending with the plane. Like others say, just make sure you pop the ear by constant yawning or chewing/drinking action. That is what I did on all my transpacific flights since T. The duration of the flight shouldn't be an issue. Just the adjusting of barometric changes during ascending/descending that we have to be worried out. Bring nasal sprays to make sure the nose not plugged up. Bring some meds for cold decongestion so you are prepared for the worst case scenario. I don't even care about the worst case scenario. It happened on my last trip to the Orient. I was sick for 10 days and on the return flight even nasal sprays and decongestion meds didn't pop my ears properly. I couldn't hear well for days upon the return as if the ears were wrapped in a cocoon for a few days. T of course was really loud during the period. But I live by a new motto now and won't let T dictate my life. I just let time take care of itself and it did within the week. It is a personal decision and I choose to enjoy my life regardless of T.
       
      • Like Like x 3
      • Hug Hug x 1
    27. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      A hug for each of you. Thanks for your encouragement.

      You are right, Billie; like you, I don't want T to run my life. I also figure, what's the worst that could happen? I could get tinnitus?? Oops, I already have it!
      More than the flight, am worried about the four days 9,000-plus feet. The highest point where I live is 16 feet, so my ears and e.tubes don't get a lot of practice with altitude.
       
    28. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      You will be fine. It will be good for your soul to get out of the flat lands! :)
       
    29. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Update: I have decided not to go -- but NOT because I am letting T run my life. When I took a closer look at the itinerary and learned more about the area, I realized the trip was not put together very well (there was a reason it was such a "great opportunity" price-wise). We would have less than 24 hours, straight off the airplane, to acclimate before we would be spending two nights in Cuzco, which is much higher than Machu Picchu. Everything I read said this wasn't nearly enough time, and we would be setting ourselves up for high altitude sickness -- which would be nasty, with or without tinnitus.

      So I considered it a dream to be rescheduled, not abandoned, when I can do it with a more reasonable acclimation schedule.

      Thanks again for your support. See you in a couple months. Be well, all.
       
    30. Djurov

      Djurov Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2014
      Coca leafs are very good for high altitudes as they make du aware and alert, aswell as increase your oxygen intake. Thats what the incas use when working up in the altitude of the mountains!

      I ladie i talked to said that she´s heard that some people have been cured from flying, their tinnitus simply went away ? Wish this is going to happen to me when im heading towards spain to work :)
       

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