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. citigirl13
      Happy

      citigirl13 Member

      Location:
      North Yorkshire, England
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/1/14
      I did have a great trip, thank you. I would honestly recommend everyone go to see the Barcelona Cathedral Sagrada Familia before they die - it should be considered one of the wonders of the world. It is the most beautiful and moving sites in the world and almost brought me to tears. I would not be able to describe it to anyone, but if you ever get a chance you should go.

      I must admit I felt so happy after I had flown the first time. I was nearly shaking as we were taking off and had to hold my mum's hand for support. I feel so glad to have "reclaimed" my life as you said. I would have been gutted if I hadn't gone because I had such a lovely time and felt so relaxed. The air conditioning in the room was loud too so I didn't hear my T when I was in the room, so I didn't think about it as often. I almost didn't go, especially after reading some comments online, but now - I honestly feel more in control. My T is here, but that doesn't mean it can control me.

      Again, thank you @LadyDi. Your advice really helped me and brought me encouragement, so thank you.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    2. washashore
      Fine

      washashore Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Massachusetts
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Flew this weekend for the first time with T. I used earplanes, which I found to be quite uncomfortable. They say 20db protection, but they didn't seem to block any sounds to me. Regardless, I don't think flying had any impact and would consider flying without plugs.
       
    3. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey @washashore: Earplanes definitely aren't comfy. Fortunately, you don't need to keep them in for the whole trip. Once you are at cruising altitude, you can take them out and put in regular ear plugs, or use noise cancelling headphones, for noise protection until the descent.

      Also, try kid's Earplanes. That's what I use. Definitely more comfortable.

      If you do decide to fly without Earplanes, be careful about using ear plugs for noise protection. You definitely should not have regular ear plugs in during the descent, and I wouldn't put then in for the ascent, either.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. washashore
      Fine

      washashore Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Massachusetts
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Thanks @LadyDi. I actually did use noise canceling plugs for a decent on one flight because it was a smaller and louder plane. How would I know if that caused a problem? I'm having a spike but I don't think the flight caused it... Or maybe it did... Too many things to keep track of with this condition.
       
    5. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      @washashore: Yeah, I know. We can over-think these things. I am a little nutty about flying because I got my T on a plane flight.

      If your flight caused a spike because of the noise, it should go away soon. And using plugs on a descent wouldn't cause a spike. The danger is that plugs can keep your ears from naturally equalizing the pressure as the plane descends, putting pressure on your ear drum. You would know it because it's painful. Worse case scenario, you rupture or tear your ear drum. The Earplanes allow you to equalize naturally because there is that little hole in the plug. They just slow the process down, giving your ears more time to adjust. As I understand it, anyway.
       
    6. washashore
      Fine

      washashore Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Massachusetts
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Thanks @LadyDi

      You're a great source of info and support.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    7. iAzra
      Hurting

      iAzra Member

      Location:
      Croatia
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma, Stress, Nose hit
      They give to you some faom plugs on sam plains (smaller, noisy ones) so I think they are safe to you at all time, otherwise they wouldn't be handing them out?
       
    8. MikeA
      Musical

      MikeA Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      I have taken nearly one hundred trips involving flights since T onset. Never noticed a change following any flight. And I nearly always sit near the back of cabin where there tends to be more open seats. I'd suggest wearing comfortable headphone at cruise and chewing gum to help equalize pressure during decent.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. peter1974
      Balanced

      peter1974 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Flying for the first time since I got T on next Wednesday. A little nervous ,will use ear planes for landing and take decongestant and painkillers prior to flight. Having reactive T so perhaps my ears will spike...
       
    10. peter1974
      Balanced

      peter1974 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Came back last week from my first week flying. Used nasel decongestants and took paracetamol before the flight. On the trip there I used only earplanes on landing. However my tinnitus ear did ache on taking off. So coming back I used them for the whole flight and it was better. Only thing was the warplanes expand at altitude and it made my ear canels a little sore. Did not get any spikes or ear issues at all.
       
    11. Rachel Murray
      Amazed

      Rachel Murray Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam, NL
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      Hello, I have high frequency tinnitus in my left ear and low frequency tinnitus in my right ear - I am flying next week for the first time since I have low frequency tinnitus - I have done it with high pitch tinnitus but not so strong as it is now.

      I am worried of flying with the low frequency tinnitus as it is very sensitive to engines and other kind of low strong sounds.

      Has anyone flied with low frequency tinnitus before? How did it go?

      Thank you!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    12. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Rachel I'm curious how will you go as I haven't been on the plane ever since this started!
      Good luck!
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    13. Rachel Murray
      Amazed

      Rachel Murray Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam, NL
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      @valeri Thank you! I am very nervous as even before having the first signs of tinnitus or any other problems in my ears, I always had lots of pain with the pressure.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    14. citigirl13
      Happy

      citigirl13 Member

      Location:
      North Yorkshire, England
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/1/14
      Hiya.

      There is a thread already about flying with T if you search in the box. I posted there myself when I flew with T - and everything was perfectly fine, no increase in T whatsoever - and a lot of people give great advice.

      I too had pain due to pressure because of landing. On the thread I was told about these earplugs you can put in your ears which help regulate the pressure. I used them on a recent flight and they worked really well - I had less pain in my ears than before T! I would advise using those. They are really easy to use, just read the instructions on information on the thread about them. There are lots of helpful hints about flying with T.

      Good luck!
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 2
    15. Rachel Murray
      Amazed

      Rachel Murray Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam, NL
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
    16. Balthazar

      Balthazar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/13
      Yes I have several times and have been absolutely fine. I have noise induced tinnitus btw.
       
    17. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hi Rachel: I have posted (or basically, re-posted a long thing I wrote on flying awhile ago) several times, because this question keeps coming up. Its a biggie for me, as barotrauma that happened during a long air flight caused my tinnitus. I have high-frequency T, not low, but you mainly want to protect your ears from the noise (which isn't overwhelming, but enough to require some protection.) Its usually quieter towards the front of the plane, if you have a choice.

      Also, sounds like you have pressure/pain issues with your ears, as I do/did.
      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. Also, be aware that Earplanes will give you some protection from noise... about 20 db. But you will be more comfortable if you take them out at cruising altitude and put in foam plugs.


      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 and/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.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 2
    18. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      I've had tinnitus for some 15 years and never worried about flying. Well, until the last few years. My T was always manageable and low but about 3 years ago I think allergies or something started making them clog up more.

      Since then I've made sure to do like the above poster... dry out the nasal passages and keep on my allergy meds and if I feel my ear being blocked even just a little bit I cancel my flight and find another avenue of travel. Better to spend a few extra hours of travel than a lifetime of pain.

      With that said, before the allergy issues I flew no problem at all. Stick of gum was all I needed an no harm was done to my T. This includes everything from 1 hour flights to 14 hour international flights... I guess the distance doesn't matter so much as it's always the ascent/descent that is painful on the ears.

      Best of luck on your flight!
       
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    19. Rachel Murray
      Amazed

      Rachel Murray Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam, NL
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      @russiancarl Thank you! I'm going on Tuesday. Pretty nervous! I will let all know how it went.
       
    20. Rachel Murray
      Amazed

      Rachel Murray Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam, NL
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      @LadyDi thank you, wonderful advice! I'm flying on Tuesday.
       
    21. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Sure thing! I know anything that can mess up your ears more becomes incredibly scary for the tinnitus sufferer. I was and still am the same way since I've gotten it. And yet, here I am with worsened T despite all the safeguards.

      Just remember to bring earplugs for the trip especially if noise and low rumbling noises from the engine will affect you. Maybe bring two pairs? I know they have ones just for noise reduction and like the other poster said they have ones to keep your ears open on ascent/descent... not sure if those reduce noise too. Sorry not too knowledgeable on that!

      Have fun on your trip~
       
      • Useful Useful x 1
    22. Rachel Murray
      Amazed

      Rachel Murray Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam, NL
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      Update: no problem with flying - my five noises (ringing and fridge engine in the left ear and vibration, rumbling and car engine in the right ear) are exactly the same before and after the flight! No problems also during the flight - no need for ear plugs or nose drops.
      Next saturday, my birthday, I'm flying again - this time I'm not so worried as I know it didn't get worse (I know, worse than what I have now is difficult...).
      Thank you all for your advice and care, you are amazing!
       
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      • Hug Hug x 1
    23. Ben Jubel
      Wishful

      Ben Jubel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/05/2013
      The first day after I got off the plane it was okay. It's now day 3 on my vacation, my tinnitus has spiked and the frequency has changed.

      I have had tinnitus in my right ear for a year now and I habituated to it. But now I am scared and don't know what to do. Will this change be permanent or temporary? :(
       
    24. Ben Jubel
      Wishful

      Ben Jubel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/05/2013
      Have you guys experienced spikes in tinnitus after a airplane ride?
       
    25. Asian

      Asian Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4 weeks
      I am sorry for your trouble Ben. I am somewhat in a similar situation. I went my friend's birthday party 2 days ago and have been having a spike since then. The air conditioner at his place was so powerful that it might have created some air pressure difference in the room and my ears felt somewhat plugged. Moreover , the loud clapping and singing for about 20 minutes might have added to the spike I have now. Weird isn't it? Never thought these minor things are so significant to T. I am wondering if it will settle down. But I have read that most spikes do settle in a few days. Good luck to you
       
    26. Ben Jubel
      Wishful

      Ben Jubel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/05/2013
      It's now been four days and just recently the tinnitus has been extremely loud. I am really scared and don't know of I can live with this new challenge .
       
    27. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey @Ben Jubel: If you scroll back through this thread, you will see I have posted a lot on flying and tinnitus. But this sounds like a different situation, since you were three days off the airplane before this happened. Did you wear ear protection on the flight? If not, might want to do that next time. Scroll up on this thread and you'll find what I do to prepare for and during a flight. Its kind of overkill but hey, brings me peace of mind.

      As to your problem, one question: Is the place where you are now at a significantly different altitude from where you live? I live at sea level Florida and was in the North Carolina mountains earlier this year. My ears felt funky most of the time there. When I returned home, I was fine.

      Also: Try taking some NAC (N-acetyl cysteine). You can find it in most good health food stores. It is an amino acid that helps protect the neurological system and often is used in large doses for sudden noise exposure. It often quiets my spikes. Take 1800 mg the first night, then 1200 mg daily the next two days.

      Here is a looonng TT thread on NAC: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/n-acetylcysteine-nac.395/page-3#post-63530

      It doesn't sound like you are having ear pain or that you feel fluid in your ears. You can "pop" your ears, yes? If these statements all are true, my guess is you are just having a spike and you will be OK. Hope my suggestions help; want you to enjoy your vacation.
       
    28. Ben Jubel
      Wishful

      Ben Jubel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/05/2013
      I am in hawaii ladyD :( my home is in California. It could be the elevation or sea level.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    29. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      If so, it will go away when you get back to your home port. I know my ears were fine when I returned home. I know how unnerving sudden loudness can be. But try not to worry, take some NAC and enjoy your time in beautiful islands. Remind yourself that you are not going to have to live with this forever, its only at this moment.
       
    30. Ben Jubel
      Wishful

      Ben Jubel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/05/2013
      To be honest... It seems like I have some more hearing loss in my tinnitus ear. From time to time it feels stuffy and muffled. : /
       

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