Are you taking a vacation soon or going on a trip that involves air travel? Perhaps you are doing some scuba diving while you’re away! Either way, you will find these tips helpful for avoiding a painful and dizzying sensation in the ear. Avoid airplane ear this year with this advice!
What Is Airplane Ear?
Airplane ear is the nickname for ear barotrauma. It is a condition in which the air pressure in the Eustachian tubes does not match the outside air pressure. Our Eustachian tubes connect the back of the throat to the middle ear, helping regulate air pressure within the ear. If the surrounding air pressure changes and our Eustachian tubes do not adjust fast enough, it can cause an imbalance and pain, the condition called ear barotrauma, or airplane ear.
It can happen due to a change of pressure in the air or underwater, so it actually applies to swimmers or divers too.
Symptoms of Airplane Ear
How do you know you have airplane ear? A primary healthcare provider or an audiologist can ultimately help you know for sure. However, it entails these symptoms:
- Ear pain
- Ear feeling clogged
- Clogged hearing
- Rarely, it could result in a ruptured eardrum, which causes fluid to leak from the middle ear.
These symptoms overlap with those of an ear infection. Check out this post to see how they compare and if either applies to you.
Treating Airplane Ear
Airplane ear is temporary and lasts only as long as there is a pressure difference between your ears and the outside. You can treat it immediately with decongestants or corticosteroids (anti-inflammation medication.) If you have a ruptured eardrum, see a healthcare provider as soon as possible; it is best to go to the ER.
Preventing Airplane Ear
Airplane ear is relatively easy to prevent, particularly on an airplane. When the plane takes off or prepares for landing, you can swallow, yawn, drink, blow your nose gently, or take a decongestant to regulate your ear’s air pressure. With that in mind, bon voyage!
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.