Ear Ache After Air Travel
The air pressure in the middle ear is usually the same as the air pressure outside of the body. The Eustachian tube is a connection between the middle ear and the back of the nose and upper throat.
Ear barotrauma is discomfort and possible damage in the ear due to pressure differences between the inside and outside of the eardrum. When an airplane climbs or descends, the air pressure in the environment changes rapidly, and your Eustachian tube doesn’t react quickly enough.
Swallowing or yawning opens the Eustachian tube and allows air to flow into or out of the middle ear, keeping the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum equal. If the Eustachian tube is blocked, the air pressure in the middle ear is different than the pressure on the outside of the eardrum. This causes barotrauma.
Many people experience barotrauma at some time. Barotrauma commonly occurs with altitude changes, such as flying, scuba diving, or driving in the mountains. If you have a congested nose from allergies, colds, or an upper respiratory infection, you are more likely to develop barotrauma.
and Ear discomfort or pain in one or both ears
and Hearing loss
and Sensation of fullness or stuffiness in the ears
and Physical examination-Otoscopy of Ear
and Hearing Tests
and CT Scan of Sinuses
Medications recommended may include:
and Decongestants taken by mouth or by a nose spray
and To ease discomfort, you may want to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen
Self Help: Valsalva maneuver
With your drug treatment, your doctor will instruct you to use a self-care method called the Valsalva maneuver. To do this, you pinch your nostrils shut, close your mouth and gently force air into the back of your nose, as if you were blowing your nose. Once the medications have improved the function of the Eustachian tubes, use of the Valsalva maneuver may force the tubes open.
Surgical treatment of airplane ear sometimes becomes necessary. The surgeon may make an incision in your eardrum (myringotomy) to equalize air pressure and drain blood or fluid.
Severe injuries, such as a ruptured eardrum or ruptured membranes of the inner ear, usually will heal on their own. However, in rare cases, surgery may be needed to repair them
and Acute ear infection
and Hearing loss
and Ruptured or perforated eardrum
Headache and Nose Bleed after Air Travel:
Bleeding from nose, severe headache can occur in Baro trauma of Sinuses. It is caused by a difference in air pressures inside and outside the cavities
Barosinusitis is characterized by inflammation of one or more of the paranasal sinuses. Inflammation is caused by a pressure gradient, almost always negative, between the sinus cavity and the surrounding ambient environment.