Why Do I Get Pain In The Ears When Flying?

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Why do I get pain in the ears when flying?

ear pain flying

After the pain of booking flights, airport parking and long check-in queues, many travellers experience another kind of pain – an ear pain upon take-off or landing.  This pain is called aeroplane ear, ear barotrauma, barotitis media or aerotitis media – referring to the involvement of the middle ear.

The sensation is often described as ranging from an increasing pressure or fullness to a sharp piercing pain.  It occurs when there is a significant pressure difference between the middle ear and the outside environment.  It is most commonly felt during times of rapid pressure change (usually when the plane is taking off or landing), but can also cause discomfort during more gradual ascents or descents (such as when driving up or down a mountain).

 

There are many ways to help with the discomfort experiences during flights, some of which you may do without even realising it!  These include:

  • Swallowing, yawning, chewing gum or sucking on sweets are effective in opening the Eustachian tubes into the middle ear and provide quick relief.
  • Equalising the pressure by gently blowing through your nose while keeping your mouth and nostrils closed – this is called the Valsalva manoeuvre and is often used by divers!
  • Special earplugs that slowly equalise the pressure can help – your audiologist can advise exactly which style and size would be best for you.
  • Some medicines can help reduce pain while flying. Decongestants work by decreasing inflammation in the sinuses and can be taken either as a nasal spray or oral tablets.  However, they should not be used frequently or if you have other medical conditions.  Speak with your doctor or audiologist about your best options.
  • Surgical options, such as the placement of grommets, can benefit frequent flyers with severe ear pain. It is best to speak with your audiologist to make sure you have explored all your available options.

Ear pain while flying can be worsened if you have a cold, congestion, ear or sinus infection.  If possible, try to avoid flying if you are unwell and try to stay awake during ascents or descents.  Some people find their allergies can be triggered on flights due to being in a small space with many other people.  In these cases, anti-allergy medicines can be taken prior to the flight to keep any reactions at bay, reducing ear pain from inflamed sinuses.

If you have any questions about flying with hearing aids or relieving ear pain while travelling, be sure to speak with your independent audiologist.

 

About Sounds of Life

Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist.  We offer affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands including Siemens, Signia, Phonak, Starkey, Unitron, Resound, Bernafon, Oticon and Sonic Innovations.

Contact Us today on 1300 744 432

 

 

What Are The Common Signs Of Hearing Loss

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What are the common signs of hearing loss

hearing loss cinic brisbane

 

“Have you seen Tim?”

                “About 3 o’çlock”

 

 

 

 

 

Does this seem familiar?  Hearing loss can affect your life in a multitude of ways, ranging from simply a mild inconvenience to severe impacts on social, psychological and physical well-being.  Detecting and dealing with hearing loss early is very important, but what should you be looking for?

Many people suspect they may have a hearing loss after friends and family tell them they may have a hearing loss!

There are many signs of early hearing loss, some subtle and some obvious.  These include:

  • Asking other people to repeat themselves
  • Answering questions inappropriately
  • Other people appear to be muffled or mumbling, even if you can seem to hear them
  • Struggling to follow conversations in groups or noisy environments
  • Avoiding social situations, sometimes without realising why
  • Straining to hear high or low notes in music
  • Trouble hearing children or women (they have higher pitched voices)
  • Always putting the phone up to one ear or feeling like one side hears better than the other
  • Needing the TV or radio volume up higher than most people
  • Other people saying you’re speaking very loudly or shouting without you noticing
  • Difficulty hearing someone in another room
  • Problems following spoken directions
  • Ringing, buzzing or humming in the ears
  • Avoiding phone conversations, preferring text, email or instant messaging

Many people with mild hearing loss find ways to compensate, such as always facing the person speaking or emailing rather than calling.  Over time, these compensation methods become more entrenched as the hearing loss progresses.  The emotional and psychological impacts can include stress or annoyance at not being able to hear others, embarrassment or anxiety at having to deal with other people, or even withdrawal from friendships and social situations.

There are other factors that may increase risk of hearing loss such as family history, certain medications or medical conditions or exposure to loud noises.  If you suspect that your hearing may not be what it used to be or what it should be, don’t delay in making an appointment with a qualified independent audiologist for a comprehensive assessment.  The sooner a loss is detected and attended to, the better for your future hearing.

 

About Sounds of Life

Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist.  We offer affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands including Siemens, Signia, Phonak, Starkey, Unitron, Resound, Bernafon, Oticon and Sonic Innovations.

Contact Us today on 1300 744 432