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patulous eustachian tube after a flight

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Old 11-06-2009, 05:43 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4
wali2009 HB User
patulous eustachian tube after a flight

i would like to briefly submit my ear problem. On Oct. 26 i have taken a flight which has lasted less than two hours. Right at the taking off i have experienced a sensation of aural fullness, reduced ability to hear and a slight pain especially in my left ear (when i got on the plane i had a mild cold)
Today, ten days after my flight, my condition is getting better. Nonetheless, i am still experiencing similar problems in my left ear. In particular I have a permanent sensation of aural fullness and i can hear my own voice in a distorted way (autophony can vary during the day). Both these sensations disappear when I lie down.
Given the symptoms my ENT doctor has diagnosed a patulous eustachian tube (but did not do any exams). Due to the presence of catarrh in my middle ear he has also suggested to take a cortison based medicinal for about one week.
I had already experienced a distorted hearing of my voice in the past, the first time many years ago, but it has always lasted a few seconds and has happened very seldom.
I am supposed to fly to the United States (from Italy) within four days and i wonder if my recovery could be impaired by such a long flight. Has anyone experienced any similar situation?
any advice will be very appreciated

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Old 11-18-2009, 10:40 PM   #2
meghan leigh
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: philadelphia
Posts: 5
meghan leigh HB User
Re: patulous eustachian tube after a flight

that's interesting- i've found that my chronic (4 years now) patulous eustachian tubes feel GOOD flying, rather than worse. (the same with scuba diving- the added pressure seems to hold the tubes closed.) i also find it interesting that he diagnosed such an unusual condition without an exam... a doctor can view the lax state of the opening of the e tube with a scope.

hopefully your recovery will be much, much shorter than mine! good luck.

Old 11-20-2009, 12:43 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4
wali2009 HB User
Re: patulous eustachian tube after a flight

thank you very much for your reply!
i have just come back from my trip to the united states. the flights have not caused any troubles to my ears this time. actually, when i got off the plane which brought me from nyc to frankfurt, for the first time after almost one month, my ear was just perfect: no autophony at all. unfortunately, this only lasted a couple of hours, till i got on the second plane which brought me back to italy.
my doctor said i might suffer from patulous eustachian tube after he noticed that the autophony disappeared when i bent my head forward or when i lie down.
he suggested me to use otovent, a small device that should equilibrate pressure in my ears, but i have the feeling that i can do better without.

Old 11-20-2009, 06:21 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 11
OhMyEars HB User
Re: patulous eustachian tube after a flight

Originally Posted by wali2009 View Post
he suggested me to use otovent, a small device that should equilibrate pressure in my ears, but i have the feeling that i can do better without.
I've done research on this Otovent thing - I called the company who makes it - and it will actually make the PET worse as it is designed to keep the tube open. It's for people/children with chronic ear infections whose tubes do not open and drain properly. Clearly, this device would make it worse for us. I can't imagine a doctor recommending this product to someone with PET.

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