Tinnitus Months After Airplane Flight

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by chamre, Nov 18, 2017.

    1. chamre

      chamre Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi, everyone. I'm a 23 year old male. Retrospectively, I think I may have had a very mild form of tinnitus for most of my life - since I was young, I remember hearing a low tone when I lay in bed at night - but only if I concentrated on it, and it disappeared completely with the slightest background noise. Later on, in my teenage years, I noticed more of a high-pitched tone - maybe it was due to hearing damage (but that would surprise me, since I never listened to music very loudly, nor very often) - but it was still completely unnoticeable whenever there was any background noise.

      Anyways, this June, I was on a plane flight. It went perfectly fine, my ears were popped successfully, I experienced no pain or discomfort in my ears whatsoever. But the next morning, I woke up with quite loud ringing in my ears, noticeable even above the sound of the fan. This was very unusual. In the weeks after, I did notice that my right ear sometimes felt kind of weird, and one day I did have an odd, slightly painful sensitivity to sharp noises. And the ringing remained. I think it may have gotten a tiny bit better over time, but it's still audible over a fan, which was never the case before the plane flight. Sometimes I'll wake up and it'll sound a little different, or there'll be a slightly different additional tone that goes away the next day.

      While it would suck if this stayed with me forever, it's tolerable. Mainly I'm really worried that if I go on another flight, it would get worse. That would be bad. And I probably will have to go on another plane flight sometime in the next year or so.

      It's quite odd. I'd been on plane flights before and I never had ringing in my ears after. One time I even had a severe sinus and ear infection on a flight and wasn't able to fully unpop my ear after coming down till the next day, and that didn't give me tinnitus. So why would a perfectly uneventful flight do that to me?

      Does anyone else have experience with this kind of spontaneous plane-induced tinnitus? It seems like the kind of thing that would go away with time, but mine doesn't seem to be. I'm thinking of seeing a doctor about it.

      EDIT: One other odd thing is - after doing some maintenance on my laptop in August, it started producing more noise. Obviously it's still very quiet since it's just a computer, but some of the noises are high-pitched, almost like my tinnitus. Since then, I've noticed that some days, after using the computer and turning it off, my tinnitus will "mimic" the sound of the computer to some extent.

      EDIT2: To provide even more thorough information: After I begin to drift off to sleep, but before I've entirely lost consciousness, it "turns off". When I wake up in the morning, there's almost a split second after I regain awareness before it "turns on" again. In the mornings it tends to be more faint, but by the late evening it becomes more noticeable. It varies from day to day whether/how much I can notice it outside, with the car on, etc. It's consistently unnoticeable when I'm engaged in conversation or in a place with lots of talking or, say, running water.
    2. Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      Hi, was it a long flight?
    3. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      You could wear 3M Peltor X5A muffs or Bose 35 noise cancelling headphones. Many people on this forum fly while wearing hearing protection and are fine. Keep in mind that small turboprop planes (that have propellers) are much louder than regular planes, so you might want to avoid turboprop planes.
      I remember that other people on this forum had described similar symptoms...
      • Like Like x 1
    4. AUTHOR

      chamre Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      It wasn't terribly long. It was a ~4.5 hour flight from Cincinnati to San Francisco. Two weeks later I had two flights in one day, both about two hours long, and both with no adverse effects or ear pains/problems.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

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