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Old 12-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
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Airplane Ear?

I realize this has nothing to do with cooking, but has anyone here been diagnosed with this?

It was the strangest thing. I picked up a cold while in Las Vegas and decided to take a decongestant before boarding the flight home. Everything was fine during the flight but, as we were landing, I noticed my wife tapping me on the arm. I guess she had been talking to me but I wasn't responding to her (ok, granted, that in itself is not that unusual among married men).

It wasn't just her. I couldn't hear other people talking around me at all. The only sounds I could hear was anything high pitched. Yesterday, things were a little better, but still not anywhere near normal. So I went to the urgent care, and was told I had "airplane ear", which is caused by the Eustachian tube collapsing on itself due to a pressure imbalance. The doctor also said it was probably caused by taking the decongestant before getting on the plane, and that it would most likely clear up in a day or two.

Strange what he said about the decongestant being the cause, because all of the reading I've done since recommends taking a decongestant before flying in order to prevent it.

Anyway, my hearing is somewhat back as of this morning, but what a weird couple of days this has been.

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Old 12-28-2013, 05:51 PM   #2
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Glad your hearing is back to normal. Must have been a bit scary.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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Oh yeah. Sad you had to experience it, Steve, but it happens to me everytime I fly. I'm pretty much deaf for the first couple days after we land, then it's OK, then deaf again for a couple days after we get home. I can't scuba dive because my ear canals are too small, and I can't equalize the pressure, so I have to stick to snorkeling. Check out EarPlanes, they're screw-in plastic plugs with ceramic baffles that equalize the pressure, and they help a bit. You can get them at Walgreens, they have a generic version too.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
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Horrible, I hope it clears soon.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
Check out EarPlanes, they're screw-in plastic plugs with ceramic baffles that equalize the pressure, and they help a bit. You can get them at Walgreens, they have a generic version too.
Thanks for the advice. The doc mentioned those, too, so I will give it a go.

I really hope this doesn't become a recurring problem. I fly quite a bit, and it would be awful to have deal with this after every flight. I can't imagine how you do it.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Thanks for the advice. The doc mentioned those, too, so I will give it a go.

I really hope this doesn't become a recurring problem. I fly quite a bit, and it would be awful to have deal with this after every flight. I can't imagine how you do it.
I always tell DH I'm deaf for a few extra days. What he doesn't know I don't have to listen to.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:41 AM   #7
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Steve, both Poo and myself have had this problem since birth. The first time I flew with him, I kept my fingers in his ears as we were landing and stuck a solid wad of cotton in mine. It was all I had on hand. Like you, Poo flies a lot and carries the ear plugs all the time. Instead of passing out headphones, the airlines should be passing out ear plugs. They really make a difference.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:44 AM   #8
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I've had this a couple times while flying. I now take a single sudafed (the real stuff) and haven't had a problem. I find it interesting the advise that the doctor gave you, but he obviously knows more than I do.
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