Hearing management

Posted by: Shanna | 2007/11/26


Painfull ears when flying

I experience so much ear pain when flying that I avoid air travel at all costs.
I am fine on take off and fine during the flight but from the time the pilot announces the descent I am in trouble.
I can actually feel the fluid moving around in my ears and the pain is excrutiating. I can not avoid sobbing like a baby. By the time the plane lands my ears are completely blocked. They usually remain blocked for about a week to 10 days and it's most unpleasant.
This only seems to be a problem when I travel to the coast. Returning to JHB is not as bad.
In the next xouple of weeks I have to fly to the coast and am dreading the painful & blocked ears which will ruin my stay.
Any suggestions ?
My left ear is always slightly blocked and my doc says there is fluid behind the eardrum which would need cortisone to clear it up ..... but I am diabetic & cortisone is out of the question

Expert's Reply


Hearing Expert

Dear Shanna

It is the pressure changes in your ears that causes the pain. Your Eustachian tubes might not be releasing enough air and then pressure builds up that causes discomfort. You can do a few things while ascending and decending - try to equalize the ear by closing the nose and mouth and gently blowing through the ears, or try to chew something like jelly babies. You could also consider the use of decongestive medication before the flight. All these options should be discussed with your doctor though. It might also be advisable to see an audiologist and Ear, nose and throat specialist to evaluate the functioning of your Eaustachian tubes. If you don't know of any ENT's or Audiologists in your area, please let me know and i will gladly refer you (

Feel free to let me know if you need any further information

kind regards
Izabelle Pieterse

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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