Patient Comments: Eustachian Tube Problems - Altitude and Air Travel

Did air travel or a change in altitude cause your Eustachian tube problems? Please share your experience.

Comment from: PattyC, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I've had problems in the past with flying, so I'm always careful about using the special ear plugs and chewing gum and candy to keep my ears open. Last week, I made the mistake of sleeping through the landing and my left ear became very painful and I couldn't hear. I did have a mild cold at the time. The pain eventually subsided, but I still can't hear (10 days now). I've tried everything and I've never had the problem for this long, so off to the doctor I go. I will never sleep on a plane again.

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Comment from: clb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I can no longer fly or hike in high altitude due to my eustachian tube problems. The tubes work, but the side effects are hard to deal with. I have stuffiness (and lack of some hearing), hearing my pulse in my ears, especially at night; and last time there was some problem with one ear that developed hard black stuff until I could barely hear out of it and had to get it removed.

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Comment from: Rick, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 08

I'm a 68 year old man and I can't say I ever had a problem with my ears plugging except for colds, altitude changes, etc. I'm a professional singer and have been for 45 years. Just in the past 6 months, I have found, if I sing for an extended time, it's down to an hour now, my right ear especially, will plug up! It's like having a cold. It turns my vocals into loud buzzing in my ears! Both ears are, now, being affected. If I plug my left nostril and snort very hard, my right ear will pop and my hearing returns to normal! But it doesn't last if I continue singing. I have a doctor's appointment soon and I plan to ask him if there's anything that can be done. I have a guess what may be contributing. When I sing, since my jawbone is right next to my eustachian tube, I believe, it gets irritated and swells shut! That's why popping my ear is only a momentary relief. I hope the only solution doesn't boil down to giving up singing!

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Comment from: Trisha, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 05

Travelling through the mountains made my stuffy ear problem worse. Many years ago I suffered for nine years with a plugged up left ear that started in April and caused me to have violent vertigo and vomiting and then in the fall when it got cool the ear unplugged and my hearing returned to normal and no more vertigo. I was later diagnosed with allergies to grass and mold. I went on injections and the problem stopped for twenty five years. Then I got a flu shot and the problem started again. I was tested for allergies again and was told I'm not allergic to anything. My left ear is now plugged up with mild hearing loss for almost two years now. Some days it is better but if the weather is very hot and humid I have to take Claritin to function. By the way for everyone I know who has a similar problem, it is always the left ear.

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Comment from: PP, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 12

The first time I went on a long-distance flight was in 1998. That was the first time I experienced air-pressure problems. I was told it was a normal occurrence and it would clear up once I landed. Now, 15 years later, I am still dealing with this. I went to an ENT specialist three times and he irrigated my ears (which I just read is the wrong way to go about it). It only worsened my situation. I am planning on going for a more thorough scan this week. I hope I am not too late.

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