Summer holiday planned? Things you should know when flying with tinnitus…
Before you proceed to the tips and useful information provided in this blog post, I would like to reassure you that most people with tinnitus don't experience any adverse effects on their condition whilst flying. However, in the unlikely situation that you do, it is most likely only going to be temporary and minor.
To make flying a pleasurable experience, we have constructed a list of helpful tips on how to make the trip more comfortable:
- Avoid using earplugs during a flight. When you seal out background noise, your tinnitus may become more pronounced.
- Sit in the front of the plane where the engine noise isn’t as loud. Anywhere in front of the wings will be an advantage.
- Swallow and yawn as much as possible. This will open the Eustachian tube and allow air to enter the middle ear. When outside air pressure changes, the Eustachian tube supplies a bubble of air and the ears pop. When this happens, air pressure has been equalised.
- Chew gum or suck on a sweet. It will cause you to swallow more often and help equalise the air pressure during take-off and descent.
- Stay awake during descent. Descent is the part of the plane ride where you have a harder time adjusting to the pressure changes. Your Eustachian tube and ears don’t adjust as well when you are sleeping so it’s important to stay awake.
- Try to avoid flying if you have a cold or upper respiratory infection as it can make it more difficult for your Eustachian tube to operate.
- A nasal decongestant may be helpful. Even if you are not suffering from a cold, this may help keep those airways and tubes open for better pressure release.
- Leave your hearing aids in place as you may find them particularly helpful during a flight.
- Make full use of the entertainment offered on the flight. Listen to music or watch the inflight film as they help to take your focus away from your tinnitus. If you tend to get nervous when travelling by air, the entertainment may also help you relax. Avoiding stress and worry helps to minimise the effects of tinnitus.
(Tips provided by the British Tinnitus Association)