Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
134 Doctors are Online

Acute ear pain when flying. Done mastoid operation in childhood. Can you explain this?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 325 Questions
My wife had a mastoid operation when she was a child. Whenever she flies she experiences acute pain in that ear when the plane descends to land -ie when the pressure increases. This is a serious inhibitor to us flying. Can you explain this (is this standard experience ? ) and is there anything that can be done ?
Many thanks
Posted Tue, 2 Oct 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Rajeev Chavda 45 minutes later
Welcome to XXXXXXX
I am happy to answer your query, the condition of airplane ear, medically known as ear barotrauma, occurs when the pressure inside of one eardrum is different than the other. The Eustachian tube is a canal in the ear that allows air to flow into the middle ear to balance pressure. The fast descending and ascending that takes place in air travel causes air pressure to change at a pace more rapid than the ear can handle. For your wife who's experiencing it can take an antihistamine, oral decongestant or decongestant spray. To treat the condition without medication, you can use a maneuver called valsalva to force the air from the ear. Hold the nose shut while forcing air through the nose as though you were blowing it. prevention of airplane ear can be attained by yawning or taking XXXXXXX swallows during the descent or ascent of a flight. Avoid sleeping when a plane is taking off or landing; sleeping allows pressure to build in the ear. Wearing ear plugs and filtering them during the flight helps relieve pressure. Hope I have answered your query and kindly revert for any clarifications. Thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an ENT Specialist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor