Are you a tinnitus sufferer whose symptoms get worse every time you fly? If so, let’s go over a few tips to help manage your symptoms and reduce your stress the next time you head out to Eppley Airfield.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing or other noise in one or sometimes both ears. Many conditions can cause tinnitus, including, but not limited to:
- Hearing loss
- Earwax buildup
- Middle ear infection
- Head or neck injuries
- Certain medications
- Ménière’s disease
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
- Blood vessel disorders
Additionally, many factors can worsen tinnitus, including flying for some.
Why Can Flying Increase a Ringing in the Ear
Many of us have experienced clogged or plugged ears when we fly, particularly on takeoff or landing. That is because the quick changes in air pressure put a strain on the eardrum. The condition is commonly referred to as airplane ear.
For many people, symptoms are mild and resolve themselves quickly or can go away when you do things like chew gum or yawn. However, in more severe cases, people can experience tinnitus, vertigo, intense pain and moderate to severe hearing loss. If you already have tinnitus, airplane ear can exacerbate your symptoms.
Another issue is that flying can be a stressful and loud experience for many. Stress has been known to exacerbate tinnitus symptoms, and loud noise can put additional strain on your ears.
Managing Tinnitus on Your Next Flight
Thankfully, there are many things you can do to manage your tinnitus and make your next flight more relaxing and enjoyable.
You can take steps to minimize your noise exposure by wearing noise-canceling headphones, specifically during takeoff and landing. If you don’t have headphones, earmuffs can work. However, avoid using earplugs because they may actually intensify your tinnitus.
You can minimize the likelihood of airplane ear by chewing gum or frequently yawning or swallowing during ascent and descent to keep your Eustachian tubes open.
You should avoid flying if you are congested. If you must fly, ask your doctor about taking decongestants before your flight.
Lastly, it’s essential to take steps to reduce your stress levels if you fly. Download some podcasts, movies or TV shows you’ve been meaning to watch, or bring a relaxing book or game that you can focus your attention on during the flight.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment to have your tinnitus evaluated, call Ear Specialists of Omaha & Bellevue today.