Roller Coaster Rides Could Injure Your Ears

Discussion in 'Support' started by jazz, May 15, 2014.

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    1. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      With summer almost upon us, it is time to think about entertainment, especially family entertainment. Roller coasters have always been a favorite of mine, but I've not ridden one for several years. Recently, I found this 2010 article about a case study of a 24-year-old male whose roller coaster ride resulted in an ear barotrauma--which, as we know, can precipitate tinnitus. The authors note the likelihood of getting such an injury are low, but it is wise to be cautious and always face forwards. Turning your head can result in ear injury.

      Ride safely, everyone!:)

      Here's an excerpt of the article, which can also be found here:

      In one of the first case studies of its kind to be reported, doctors from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit discussed the treatment of a 24-year-old man who suffered ear barotrauma after riding a roller coaster that reaches a maximum speed of 120 miles per hour within four seconds.

      Ear barotrauma occurs when there is a quick change in air pressure that affects the eardrum and pressure in the middle ear. The condition often occurs during scuba diving, air travel, or being near explosives.

      In the case reported by Henry Ford Hospital doctors, the patient's head was turned during the ride. Thirty-six hours after the ride, the man reported feelings of pain and fullness in the right ear. A physical examination revealed damage to his right ear, including a swollen ear canal and an inflamed eardrum. The eardrum was not punctured.

      The patient's left ear was fine, suggesting that his right ear endured the full impact of the roller-coaster motion while his head was turned, doctors reported. Study researcher Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, MD, chair of the department of otolaryngology at Henry Ford Hospital, and colleagues estimated that the patient's right ear was exposed to about 0.6 pounds per square inch -- a measurement used to gauge pressure -- when the roller coaster accelerated. The patient did not receive treatment and his symptoms cleared up within three days.

      The case study was presented April 30 at the Triological Society's 113th annual meeting, part of the Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings in Las Vegas.

      "As rollercoasters continue to push the envelope of speed, otolaryngologists need to be aware of this new cause of barotrauma to the ear," Yaremchuk says in a news release. "Based on our research, we recommend that passengers remain facing forward for the duration of the ride to not let the full impact of acceleration hit the ear."

      ...

      "This was an unusual situation, where the rider turned his head at just the right time to experience the full force of acceleration against his eardrum," says Yaremchuk in the news release. "It would be highly unlikely to do this multiple times in a row, but roller coaster riders should be aware of what they can do to prevent barotrauma from occurring."​
       
      • Informative Informative x 3
    2. Thanks for letting us know about this.
       
    3. 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
      Interesting, I'm a huge fan of roller coasters.

      Need to remember to keep my head straight looking forward :)

      Thanks jazz!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. Stan B
      Relaxed

      Stan B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Alexandria, VA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      Greetings all:

      So, just to follow up on the topic of roller coasters, I have been invited to Hershey Park on June 14th, and I'm kind of leery of accepting the invitation because I know the park has 12 roller coasters and the crowd that I'm with will want to ride all of them, probably multiple times!

      Has anyone in this group ridden aggressive roller coasters with active T? Did it make the T worse? Did you wear ear plugs on the ride?

      I would probably wear earplugs anyway, but I'm wondering if all of the jostling and loops on the coaster has aggravated anyone's tinnitus to the point where they regret doing so...

      Thanks,
      Stan
       
    5. SarahR

      SarahR Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      I've got questions on this too.. my favourite place is Disneyland and I'm scared to go in case it sets off my T at a higher leel.

      Will wearing earplugs (foam probably the only option - I wouldn't want hard plugs in with the possibility of getting them knocked) cause any issued with the changes in pressure?

      I don't know whether to be more scared of the screaming kid next to me, the mechanical noise/vibrations or changes in pressure!
       
    6. Stan B
      Relaxed

      Stan B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Alexandria, VA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      Sarah, after talking with my ENT, she said to enjoy all of the roller coasters and I didn't have to wear earplugs! I was kinda surprised to hear that, but I'm going to take her word for it. I'll let you know what happens after this weekend!
       
    7. Bob dylan

      Bob dylan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Hello form, I have tinnitus and my dad wants to take the family to an amusment park. Before having tinitus I really loved rollercoasters, but now I am scared that if I go to the amusment park it will become worse because of the load environment.

      I am wondering if anyone who's been to an amusement park with having tinitus , wear ear plugs? Would they get lodged in your ear canal from the pressure? Or get knocked out from the wind?

      I would love for any reply.

      I don't want to be that guy who just sit a stares at everyone having all the fun not being able to go on the rides.

      Thank you.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    8. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Wear ear plugs, they will not fall out if you have inserted them properly, I have been to amusement parks and worn foam ear plugs and they have not hindered my enjoyment at all, even on the roller coaster.

      You will be fine, enjoy!

      Rich
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Bob dylan

      Bob dylan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Thank you so much for the reply, thought I would be the only one.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      I trust ENT' as far as I can spit!
       
    11. Joshua

      Joshua Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      More depressing news. I love going on the Cyclone in Brooklyn, have to cross that off my list, at least for this year. Maybe once I habituate, I can pop a couple of earplugs in and enjoy myself but now it's still too new and I'm still too paranoid.
       

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