I was on a 4-hour flight yesterday, and was unable to equalize pressure in my left ear during descent (I was healthy; no cold or sinus problems so don't know why this occurred). Anyway, it became pretty painful. I tried everything-swallowing, moving my jaw, yawning etc and nothing helped. Finally I obtained some relief from pinching my nostrils, holding my mouth closed and exhaling-at which time I heard a squeaking sound from the left ear. Anyway, we landed and I couldn't hear very well; every time I swallowed or yawned I heard a cracking sound from the left ear. Here it is the next evening and the hearing is better but I still get the loud crackling every time I swallow and I'm still having some discomfort.
So...at what point should I give up and see the doctor? How can I tell if I've ruptured an eardrum? Any advice would be appreciated.
I have experienced same problem with ear pain whilst flying, it hurt's. I would recommend seeing your doctor just to make sure you have not ruptured your ear drum. You should not allow any water in the mean time to go into that ear, so be very careful when your washing your hair and don't go swimming until you've had it checked out as you may get an ear infection which could lead to further problems. Please go and see your doctor for a proffessional opinion
All the best to you and hope you feel better soon.......
Hi Billymash, and thanks for your reply. I did go see my doctor a couple of days later; she said the eardrum was not ruptured but that there were several areas of "haemorrhage" (bleeding) on the upper half. Nothing was prescribed, and I was told not to fly or dive into a pool for at least a week.
At this point, it's been almost 2 weeks, and I've been having tinnitus in that ear accompanied by mild dizziness and periodic mild headache for almost the entire time. No ear pain though. I can still function but find it disconcerting-especially since I want to participate in cycling and skiing but am reluctant to do so while dizzy.
I'm assuming this is now an inner ear issue, which I have no previous experience with. Do you or anyone else have any ideas as to how long this will last? I'm not on any medications or anything else that could cause tinnitis.
Hi starfish 81
Glad you went to see your doctor and that your ear drum is not perforated. Hopefully it will be better for you once the haemorrhageing has healed. Did your doctor think that it was an inner ear problem ? if so he/she should refer you to an ENT specialist. This should not worry you but it would not hurt to see one as they will know for sure.
Hope you are totally better soon and can enjoy your activity's again.
Hi Billymash, and thanks for your good wishes. I called my doctor but he's off all week and I dislike the associate, so I'm going to try something "alternative": I'm getting a craniosacral treatment in a couple of days. I have a great deal of trust in the practitioner and apparently these's anecdotal evidence that this sort of treatment can help with head and ear issues. Will post once the treatment is complete; maybe it will give some hope to others out there.
P.S. Agreed it would be a good idea to see an ENT. However, this being Canada with it's "universal" health care system, the wait list for specialists is 6-12 months just for a consultation
Last edited by starfish81; 10-06-2008 at 06:18 PM.
Reason: added a P.S.
Hope the craniosacral treatment works for you. I have tried something similar and it is quite relaxing, provided of course that they dont talk to you while they are doing their thing. I even gave accupuncture a go which is quite an interesting experience especially if you dont like needles, which i dont. It did'nt have any effect for me but i have no fear of needles anymore, so at least something came good of it. Hopefully your situation will improve because it is a recent development which needs to repair itself naturally.
Hi Billymash; thanks for asking. I had the craniosacral Tx a couple of days ago, and I must say it improved the headache situation dramatically. The practitioner said one side was really "out of whack" and corrected it. I also ended up making a doctor appointment that same day because--and I forgot to mention this in my last post--a week after the in-flight experience, I had a garage door come down on my head. Long story short, after running a few in-office checks, the doctor thinks the dizziness/headaches are from the whack on the head and not the eardrum damage (both eardrums look fine now). Didn't say much about the tinnitus, but I'm hoping that it goes away on it's own within a few weeks. Shall keep you posted.
I've also had acupuncture Tx and dislike needles, although once they're all placed I end up so relaxed that I practically fall asleep on the table. I think with any alternate Tx (or conventional, for that matter) it helps greatly if you trust the practitioner.