Flying with a ruptured ear drum.

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    Jul 26, 2013 9:01 AM GMT
    A week ago I had a bad ear infection and ended up with a ruptured ear drum. Spare ya the details but it was sick, still have the infection but no more pain just plugged solid. Anyway just wondering if anyone here has flown shorty after having the same thing and how it was? Like I said no pain now but don't wanna get up in the air and cry like a little girl lol.icon_redface.gif
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    Jul 26, 2013 11:08 AM GMT
    What did your doctor say about you flying with a ruptured eardrum?
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    Jul 26, 2013 2:13 PM GMT
    Chew gum, plug nose and blow for take off and landing "and I think you might b ok". Lol. Didn't seem too concerned really but not sure how confident I am in his opinion. First time ever that I've been kinda nervous about a flight, still have a few days till I leave so hopefully it heals/clears up fast.
  • BillandChuck

    Posts: 2024

    Jul 26, 2013 2:17 PM GMT
    Take this advice from career flyers. MAKE CERTAIN you are checked and specifically cleared by a specialist BEFORE YOU FLY AGAIN. Gum chewing and all helps with pressure for the normally resilient eardrums; HOWEVER, a ruptured or traumatized drum which is not fully healed is far more sensitive. Your sense of hearing (in that ear) is vitally at risk. The doctor who gave you that advice (unless there's more that we are unaware of) is at minimum malpractice, if not criminally negligent.
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    Jul 26, 2013 2:51 PM GMT
    Haha, that was the "specialist" hence my searching on google and posting here. Not in Canada right now, in a small country in SE Europe. It's been about a week since I have seen any blood, and pain is fairly minimal so ya idk. See how it is tues (suppose to leave wed am)
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    Jul 26, 2013 6:39 PM GMT
    Cj84 saidA week ago I had a bad ear infection and ended up with a ruptured ear drum. Spare ya the details but it was sick, still have the infection but no more pain just plugged solid. Anyway just wondering if anyone here has flown shorty after having the same thing and how it was? Like I said no pain now but don't wanna get up in the air and cry like a little girl lol.icon_redface.gif


    No, almost did this past week. I started feeling really bad with a cold, and then this terrible soar throat and my right ear was completely stuff, by the 4th day I knew something was terribly wrong. I was scheduled to fly to Ft. Lauderdale on the red eye from SFO, but decided to go and see my doctor. Good thing I did, she immediately noted that I have a impacted right ear bacterial infection, put me on antibiotics for the next 5 days and told me I could not fly, it would cause serious problems on my ear. I canceled my business plans and now home still recuperating its been already my 4 day with antibiotics and feeling much better, but the ear is slowly draining. I am also using the Neti-Potti to flush my sinuses as well.

    Best of luck man, it sucks.
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    Jul 26, 2013 6:44 PM GMT
    you can fly with a busted eardrum but you are going to have to be active in clearing your ears. i work in a hyperbaric chamber, we go both up and down in pressure. the best thing is to plug your nose and clear your ears as often as you can to stay above the pressure curve, that will save you a lot of pain and annoyance in the long run. as soon as you feel the pressure shift, start clearing. otherwise ull possibly have some pain during descent.
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    Jul 26, 2013 6:53 PM GMT
    I would suggest taking a train or bus instead the air pressure is going to cause you pain.
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    Jul 26, 2013 7:04 PM GMT
    If you have an ear infection don't fly and don't go underwater. Hurts like a bitch but only hours afterwards. If your flight is like 3 hours you might be able to get out of the airport before it hurts. It won't make you cry though... Or at least I didn't
  • Suetonius

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    Jul 26, 2013 8:14 PM GMT
    Cj84 saidHaha, that was the "specialist" hence my searching on google and posting here. Not in Canada right now, in a small country in SE Europe. It's been about a week since I have seen any blood, and pain is fairly minimal so ya idk. See how it is tues (suppose to leave wed am)
    Probably no help to you, if you have already flown (how about giving us an update after your flight, with all the gory details?) but for others - try not to fly, but if you must, try taking some degongestant pills and using a degongestant nasal spray before, during, and just before landing. Easy in the US, but lsts of drugs sold over-the-counter here in pharmacies is not available in some parts of europe without a prescriptions.
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    Jul 26, 2013 8:32 PM GMT
    Try starting to take a nasal corticosteroid, take a decongestant prior to the flight and constantly equalize the pressure as much as you can during take off and during descent.

    You can try "Earplanes" - I just used them a week ago and they seemed to work well for me. They help alleviate the pressure in your ear when you fly.

    Former Flight Attendant here who had serious ear issues after flying with a head cold ONCE. It's been years and it's never been the same... be careful.
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    Jul 26, 2013 8:41 PM GMT
    I have a terrible time whenever I fly. I'd be careful. Maybe call your doctor in Canada (if you don't have much confidence in the other doctor). You don't want to risk loosing your hearing or worse.
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    Jul 26, 2013 9:27 PM GMT
    Zelosh saidIf you have an ear infection don't fly and don't go underwater.


    If, however, you find yourself doing both of these at the same time, your ear will be the least of your problems.
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    Jul 27, 2013 1:07 AM GMT
    Awesome thanks for all the input guys, ya I have decongestant, ear drops and nasal spray Prob gonna make the wrong decision and still take the first flight anyway and see how it is but at least now its and informed poor decision. Lol
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    Jul 27, 2013 5:02 AM GMT
    If your eardrum is currently ruptured you should be fine as there will be no pressure on it since it has a hole. If it is healing that is different. Can't help you there.
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    Jul 27, 2013 5:45 AM GMT
    ouch, I had a ruptured/perforated ear drum from some clown who car crashed into me and while looking at the damage, then sucker punched me in the right ear and drove off...you could say, "hit and run", I fell to the ground in the middle of an intersection, I had to go to hospital in ambulance because my equilibrium was total off and couldn't drive. I also couldn't hear for a week after, I lost some of my hearing after this incident and now have pressure problems on planes, if I don't chew gum on take offs and descending's, then I get a painful blast in my ear.

    Because there is literally a hole in your ear drum, I would recommend not flying at all until somewhat healed. The cabin pressure could blow a hole again once it starts the healing process and you could be in major pain on the plane without medication

    I would be interested to know your story on how you managed to bust your eardrum, hopefully, not from loud music
  • hebrewman

    Posts: 1367

    Jul 27, 2013 7:02 AM GMT
    i've been a flight attendant for a few decades and i can tell you from personal experience this is NOTHING to screw around with. about 15 years ago, i flew a 1 day trip with a terrible case of seasonal hayfever. i was grounded for a month because i could not get my ear to equalize. once this happens, it will never fully resolve. i call in sick whenever i feel that slight pressure building in my inner ear. i strongly suggest you do not fly. just my two cents worth.
    AAron
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    Jul 27, 2013 7:11 AM GMT
    scruffLA saidouch, I had a ruptured/perforated ear drum from some clown who car crashed into me and while looking at the damage, then sucker punched me in the right ear and drove off...you could say, "hit and run", I fell to the ground in the middle of an intersection, I had to go to hospital in ambulance because my equilibrium was total off and couldn't drive. I also couldn't hear for a week after, I lost some of my hearing after this incident and now have pressure problems on planes, if I don't chew gum on take offs and descending's, then I get a painful blast in my ear.

    Because there is literally a hole in your ear drum, I would recommend not flying at all until somewhat healed. The cabin pressure could blow a hole again once it starts the healing process and you could be in major pain on the plane without medication

    I would be interested to know your story on how you managed to bust your eardrum, hopefully, not from loud music


    That would b a double hit and run?? Not loud music, was swimming/jumping into water (not from very high) and assumed I just had water in my ear. 3 days later started to leak blood n nasty stuff, felt like I was getting poked in the ear with a pen repeatedly. Not bad now just plugged and annoying. No prescription required for anything here so ill prob b "well medicated" if it starts to suck too bad. That's like plan C though, should b fine w out it.
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    Jul 27, 2013 7:04 PM GMT
    Cj84 said
    scruffLA saidouch, I had a ruptured/perforated ear drum from some clown who car crashed into me and while looking at the damage, then sucker punched me in the right ear and drove off...you could say, "hit and run", I fell to the ground in the middle of an intersection, I had to go to hospital in ambulance because my equilibrium was total off and couldn't drive. I also couldn't hear for a week after, I lost some of my hearing after this incident and now have pressure problems on planes, if I don't chew gum on take offs and descending's, then I get a painful blast in my ear.

    Because there is literally a hole in your ear drum, I would recommend not flying at all until somewhat healed. The cabin pressure could blow a hole again once it starts the healing process and you could be in major pain on the plane without medication

    I would be interested to know your story on how you managed to bust your eardrum, hopefully, not from loud music


    That would b a double hit and run?? Not loud music, was swimming/jumping into water (not from very high) and assumed I just had water in my ear. 3 days later started to leak blood n nasty stuff, felt like I was getting poked in the ear with a pen repeatedly. Not bad now just plugged and annoying. No prescription required for anything here so ill prob b "well medicated" if it starts to suck too bad. That's like plan C though, should b fine w out it.


    I believe new divers experience this, may have something to do with the sudden change in pressure, barometric air pressure on a high platform, then suddenly into a crushing under water pressure, you could also have a touch of swimmers ear, water trapped in the inner ear canal (this is what ear wax is for, to help keep water out), if it feels plugged, try OTC swimmers ear drops.

    people make the mistake all the time using Q-tips to clean there ears. DO NOT USE Q-TIPS AT ALL in your ears, my guess you are using these to clean the wax out, putting them in to far, you may have pushed some water and wax into your inner canal, maybe why it still feels plugged

    Try this, and follow directions, it may dislodge whatever you have stuck in there, The best way to clean your ears is to take a tissue and drape it over your finger, and anywhere you can reach with your finger

    swim%20ear%20drops1.jpg
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    Jul 27, 2013 10:44 PM GMT
    Found something similar its basically just an alcohol/white vinegar based drop. Used it for a few days and deff got stuff moving but started to hurt. Now I'm on some oil based one that seems to helping somewhat. Thanks for all your help/advice guys.
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    Jul 27, 2013 11:17 PM GMT
    i flew with a messed up ear once (not sure what it was, ruptured? infected?). the take off and landing were one of the most painful things ive endured
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    Aug 03, 2013 7:38 AM GMT
    Well, I made it home and my head didn't explode icon_smile.gif Thanks again for all the advice here and my inbox. Wasn't exactly fun but I was expecting a lot worse, hadn't cuddled w my dog for over a month so I was coming home regardless lol. Went to the doc as soon as I got back and its healing fine just a very small hole left which prob helped a lot. Hearing gets better daily too, pretty sure when I am finally done w the drops it'll b back to normal. Have a great one guys icon_wink.gif
  • hebrewman

    Posts: 1367

    Aug 03, 2013 8:55 AM GMT
    thanks for the update. glad we all could assist.
    now, cuddle w/ the pup. dog cuddles are the best!!