Noise-Induced Tinnitus and Flights, Tips for Flying?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Fangen, Nov 14, 2016.

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    1. Fangen
      Monday blues

      Fangen Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Stockholm, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2nd, 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (loud concert for 1h)
      Hello guys!

      I know this topic have been discussed previously, however some threads aren't really answering my questions so I will ask them here.

      As I have noise-induced tinnitus, is there anything specific I should be thinking about prior to flying?
      I am going to Malta on a company trip, the flight is around 4 hours (direct flight).
      So far I have bought flight earplugs to reduce the pressure (I am not sure if they have any db reduction but will carry normal plugs with me for the flight and for any loud environments since we are like 200 people in the company). Will also carry gum with me since I read that it can help with the pressure. I will not use headphones unless anyone have good arguments for why, so I will try to let my ears be as natural as they can.
      I have not flown after getting T so I can't remember if the airplane is loud or not, but is there any reason to be worried?

      If anyone have general tips, or just want to share your thoughts if you have flown with T, please share it!
      I am a bit worried about spikes or increase in volume but I guess I am just scared/concerned since I haven't experienced flights for two years and never thought about risks with flying until after T.

      Thank you!
       
    2. Julien87
      Balanced

      Julien87 Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud sound (concert)
      Hi Fangen, I also have noise-induced T, I took about 20 flights since the onset and never had any problem. Well, actually I had one small problem after one flight though, but it was a very special case: the three seats of my row were empty and I simply laid on it to sleep, with my head laying on the third seat. I shouldn't have laid my head in horizontal position like I did, because then my right ear became blocked for about one hour. But it did not cause any permanent issue.

      Flights never affected my T. I used to fly without any protection, but I'm becoming more careful with time in everything I do, and now when I take flights I use earplugs for periods of 30 minutes in order to rest my ears for some time (I don't keep the plugs for all the flight because I find it uncomfortable and the sound is not very loud). I'm not sure it's necessary though.

      And I don't use gum but I know it can help. Especially in the minutes after taking off. Me I just simulate chewing by moving my jaws during these few minutes, it has the same effect :)

      One situation that can be dangerous is when the crew lets you wait at the exterior of the plane before boarding (generally, when it's boarding time, you use a corridor that directly connects the airport to the plane, but in some cases they let you wait outside the plane and ask you to take the stairs leading to the plane entry doors). If it's the case, protect your ears because you may hear the sounds of jet engines from nearby planes, and they can be very loud.
       
      Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Don't worry Fangen, flying is highly unlikely to make your tinnitus worse. Worrying about it however probably will. Everything you have said is pretty much spot on. If you can pick a seat try and sit as far forward as you can; the more forward you are the quieter the noise from the engines will be. The noise depends on the type of plane you'll be on, they vary greatly.

      3 months ago I went on 6 flights as part of my honeymoon. I simply used passive noise reducing, over ear headphones, to reduce the cruising volume. The quietest plane I went on was a double decker airbus. It was so quiet that you didn't need anything at all (I still used the headphones however, for watching TV, as it was a 12 hour flight. I just had them on the quietest setting).

      The smaller Boeings were the loudest, especially during take off. But again, I just used earplugs during takeoff and it was fine.

      The only issue I had was during the fifth flight to LA, where my eustachian tubes were a bit mucusy; probably because of my allergies or a slight cold. During landing I couldn't equalise the pressure in my ears because they were blocked (I can normally do this voluntarily, as I have learnt to control the muscle) and this lead to a bit of ear pain and temporary hearing loss, because of the blocked tube. I fixed this by taking a hot shower, inhaling the steam and then doing the valsalva manoeuvre.

      The noise is definitely not worth worrying about. If it irritates you you can use your earplugs, just make sure you don't use non flight ones during landing. Flight plugs reduce noise anyway so I'd recommend just using those for the entire flight if required.

      If you develop a cold the day of the flight I recommend inhaling steam with Vicks in, and/or taking some decongestants.

      The main thing is to enjoy your trip and not to worry.
       
    4. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      I agree with this. On the whole the cruising noise is not that loud. It is kind of on a par with cruising down a motorway/freeway, on a noisy surface.
       
    5. Capricornus
      Inspired

      Capricornus Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced/Stress
      I flew yesterday, and three days before that, and it was no problem. My T is also noise induced. I wore airplane plugs during the whole flight.
       
    6. Fangen
      Monday blues

      Fangen Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Stockholm, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2nd, 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (loud concert for 1h)
      @Ed209 @Capricornus @Julien87

      Thank you all for your answers! I feel much safer now, I was not to worried but I guess you want to have as much info as possible to calm down the nerves :) Since it is a company trip, I don't know how much they are able to cater to where I want to sit or what kind of plane it is (we will charter a full plane), but I'll ask the person in charge and see how much they can do. Even if I sit in the back, I am sure it should be fine.

      Also, glad (or depends why you are here of course!) to see you again Ed! I hope you had a wonderful honeymoon and from what I hear, it seems that you really enjoyed the trip! Very happy to see you back (hopefully you're here just to check in and not because you're having a hard time!)
       
    7. Stew
      Confused

      Stew Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      It depends on your tinnitus. I used 33db earplugs and Bose Noise cancelling headphones. It keeps it simple and easy.
       
    8. Fangen
      Monday blues

      Fangen Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Stockholm, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2nd, 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (loud concert for 1h)
      I don't own any noise cancelling headphones, but I have a ton of plugs though!
       
    9. Stew
      Confused

      Stew Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      The Bose headphones are the best, but pricey - worth it for me. If you travel a couple of times a year i recommend you get them. Bose QuietComfort 25 over the ear Noise Cancelling Headphones. It really reduces the engine hum to nothing. Combined with the ear plugs and you can fly 20 hours with no problems. I have done it a few times.
       
    10. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Hi Fangen, my honeymoon was awesome. Thanks for asking.

      I check in every now and then :)

      I just try and help where I can and join in with the odd discussion here and there. I hope you are doing well and dealing with your tinnitus in a positive way.
       
    11. Fangen
      Monday blues

      Fangen Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Stockholm, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2nd, 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (loud concert for 1h)
      I think my boyfriend have some Beats that are noise cancelling, will check how good they work. I fly rarely, my last trip was 2 years ago :) But it will of course be of interest to buy a pair if I start traveling more!
       
    12. Fangen
      Monday blues

      Fangen Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Stockholm, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2nd, 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (loud concert for 1h)
      Glad to hear that you had a great time!
      I have been dealing pretty well, still a bit scared to new stuff that you've done before but loud places that you're unfamiliar always makes me cautious. Maybe a bit too much but I will try to enjoy the trip despite having to work two days haha :D
       
    13. Fangen
      Monday blues

      Fangen Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Stockholm, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2nd, 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (loud concert for 1h)
      Just an update:

      Came back home yesterday and had used regular ear plugs with Beats by Dr Dre Studio Headphones with NC. The flight was around 3,5 hours. The headphones really helped with blocking the motor sound out even though the ear plugs of course helped a lot too. I didn't notice any pressure on my ears (I was a bit scared since there has been a lot negative posts about NC here before), maybe it was due to the earplugs blocking a lot of things.

      On my flight back I didn't use the headphones too much, that was both because my friend was talking and also because the headphones seemed to amp up the T, in the sense that it felt like the NC headphones was just adding more "eee" on top of my "eee". The tone seemed to be rather loud and it was just awful to listen to.
      Got home and felt that the T was a bit aggravated, same thing this morning as well. I got a bit worried but I am sitting at work and don't seem to notice any change. I think I was rather tired and perhaps suffering from reactive T due to all the noise from the plane and the passengers. So far, I think I've done an OK job and the flights doesn't seem to have changed.
      I also measured the level with my phone and it was between 75-79 db, give or take a few. Having earplugs on would have been enough but it was a comfort to have the NC headphones to really block the lower frequencies.
       

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