Is driving over a height safe after having a middle ear surgery?

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Posted on Mon, 10 Jun 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: How high an elevation is safe to drive after having middle ear surgery where anvil stirrup bone etc are replaced by prosthesis to improve hearing. As in driving over a mountain.
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Answered by Dr. Abhishek Sharma 1 hour later
Hello XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing to XXXXXXX
You have given a short history, but I will try to explain--
1.It is important that "when" the ear surgery was done. If it has been 6 months then it is safe.
2.Why surgery was done--like if it was middle ear disease with foot plate intact and no fenestration was done then it is safe,,,but if the fenestration operation is done due to otosclerosis or other disease then you have to be very cautious.
This is the most important reason and point, which you must be aware of that FENESTRATION SURGERY, was done or not.
The high altitude matters if there is sudden ascent and if fenestration surgery is done otherwise if you are driving or going by road and no fenestration surgery is done then it is safe and you can go up hill but just take care of cold.
3.How you are going to the high altitude---if driving then it is quite safe as there will be slow ascent,, but if by flight then have to be cautious.
4. You must not be suffering from cold during the drive, if yes then take oral and nasal decongestant.
5. Keep chewing during the ascent or descent.
6.If you feel sudden pressure in ear you can stop the vehicle and wait for some time then move ahead.

'Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help"

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Answered by
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Dr. Abhishek Sharma

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 1110 Questions

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