Is It Safe to Fly with Chronic ETD (Eustachian Tube Dysfunction)?

Discussion in 'Support' started by sigridcornelia, Sep 9, 2019.

    1. sigridcornelia

      sigridcornelia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 17, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Combination of stress, anxiety, a cold and a flight.

      My tinnitus started 1 year and 3 months ago after I took a flight while having a cold and fever. There was no option for me to not take the flight.

      I was experiencing a lot of pain during the descent. Before tinnitus I used to have a lot of pain as well so this was nothing new to me. The problem is that since that flight I’m suffering from ETD in daily life. Before tinnitus and that flight, I only suffered from it during descent on a flight. I have the feeling of clogged ears, popping and crackling 24/7. I can equalize pressure by doing Valsalva maneuver, sometimes easy, sometimes it takes a while for my ears to pop. But my eustachian tubes are not completely blocked.

      I went to my ENT for treatment. He gave me Nasonex at first and later he gave me Dymista. This because my eardrums were retracted and I produced a lot of mucus. Besides that, the hearing test showed a loss of almost 30 dB in both ears.

      After one year of using the nasal spray and a NetiPot, I had to come back to my ENT. He said I produced less mucus and that my sinuses looked clear. Also he did another hearing test and it showed that my hearing returned to perfect. No hearing loss anymore. But still I suffer from ear pressure, popping and crackling sounds while swallowing or moving the jaw. My ENT told me that probably my eustachian tubes aren’t properly working, but the tympanometry was perfect. Therefore I shouldn’t worry about this, he said. In his opinion I can get on a plane, and I’ll be fine. The descent will probably hurt like hell, but it shouldn’t cause any damage now that my ears are clear. There is no fluid built up in my ear, my sinuses are clear and the tympanometry is perfect.

      Still I am worried. Before tinnitus I didn’t experience ear pressure throughout the day, and I didn’t feel the need to constantly equalize pressure. But I did use to experience a horrible pain during the descent on a plane, always. So that’s why I’m wondering if it is indeed safe to fly now that I have chronic ETD on top of this. I’m wondering if there are people with similar problems, if they went on a flight with chronic ETD, and if they always used to have a lot of pain during descent before they developed chronic ETD.

      My tinnitus is manageable by the way. It doesn’t seem to spike that often. Only due to hormonal changes, fatigue and stress. So I’m not that worried about my tinnitus. I’m worried my eardrum will rupture or my middle ear will get damaged because of the pressure.

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