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Suggest treatment for cloudy ears

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Posted on Sat, 26 Jul 2014
Question: Hi I have cloudy ears.. what can I do to solve this issue? Can I get on an airplane just fine with cloudy ears?

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Answered by Dr. Polash Sannigrahi (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Air travel not advisable,risk of Otitic barotrauma

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXX,

Thanks for your query.

A. Cloudy ear is indicative of Otitis media (infection/inflammation of the middle ear) or Serous Otitis media (Otitis media with Effusion/Glue ear). In this condition, the middle ear cavity gets filled with serous fluid.
Local examination of the ear along with tests like Audiometry & Tympanometry will help in clinching the diagnosis & determining the degree of infection/ inflammation.
Depending upon this, further steps for management can be taken.
As you have already started using nasal spray, the congestion will be controlled but the underlying cause needs to be managed with a course of antibiotics & anti-inflammatory agents.
So, it will be better to visit an ENT specialist for complete clinical evaluation.

B. There is a connecting tract between the nasopharynx & middle ear (known as Eustachian tube) which helps in maintenance of equal pressure between the middle ear & nasopharynx in cases of high altitude flying (air travel) as there occurs a pressure difference between the air in middle ear & the air in external environment during ascent or descent.
Any pathology in the ear (like cloudy ears) or nasopharynx (like common cold) leads to un-equal pressure between the nasopharynx & middle ear causing symptoms like fullness in ear, severe pain and in extreme cases, rupture of ear drum.
This is known as Otitic barotrauma.
Based on the above mentioned reason, airplane travel is not advised in the presence of an active pathology in the ear.

Once the condition is under control, your treating Doctor can certify you fit to undertake an air travel.

There is no need to worry, you will be fine.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Answered by
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Dr. Polash Sannigrahi

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 3353 Questions

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Suggest treatment for cloudy ears

Brief Answer: Air travel not advisable,risk of Otitic barotrauma Detailed Answer: Hello XXXXXX, Thanks for your query. A. Cloudy ear is indicative of Otitis media (infection/inflammation of the middle ear) or Serous Otitis media (Otitis media with Effusion/Glue ear). In this condition, the middle ear cavity gets filled with serous fluid. Local examination of the ear along with tests like Audiometry & Tympanometry will help in clinching the diagnosis & determining the degree of infection/ inflammation. Depending upon this, further steps for management can be taken. As you have already started using nasal spray, the congestion will be controlled but the underlying cause needs to be managed with a course of antibiotics & anti-inflammatory agents. So, it will be better to visit an ENT specialist for complete clinical evaluation. B. There is a connecting tract between the nasopharynx & middle ear (known as Eustachian tube) which helps in maintenance of equal pressure between the middle ear & nasopharynx in cases of high altitude flying (air travel) as there occurs a pressure difference between the air in middle ear & the air in external environment during ascent or descent. Any pathology in the ear (like cloudy ears) or nasopharynx (like common cold) leads to un-equal pressure between the nasopharynx & middle ear causing symptoms like fullness in ear, severe pain and in extreme cases, rupture of ear drum. This is known as Otitic barotrauma. Based on the above mentioned reason, airplane travel is not advised in the presence of an active pathology in the ear. Once the condition is under control, your treating Doctor can certify you fit to undertake an air travel. There is no need to worry, you will be fine. Take care.