Is It Safe to Fly With an Ear Infection?

Is It Safe to Fly With an Ear Infection

When flying with an ear infection, it may be challenging to balance the pressure in your ears with the pressure inside the aircraft. As a result, you can experience a bilateral ear infection or an eardrum infection.

Let us give you some helpful tips on avoiding ear pain during flight and if it is safe to fly with an eardrum infection. 

How does flying impact the ears?

Suppose you have an ear infection or another medical condition like tinnitus or balance impairment. In that case, being on an aircraft can influence your ears in a few ways that could cause complications.

The pressure inside the cabin is slightly different from what we are accustomed to in our daily lives, which is one of the major problems with air travel. With the exception of smaller airplanes and helicopters, most passenger aircraft are pressurized, but the air pressure inside is a little lower than typical. The air pressure surrounding your body decreases as the flight takes off. Your ears may experience issues since the middle ear contains little air.

Your middle ear’s air will be pressurized more than the air in the surrounding chamber. The Eustachian tube will consequently need to be used to discharge some of the air. Hence, your ears can pop while this takes place.

The pressure will alter again in the other direction as the plane descends. As the flight progresses, the cabin’s air pressure will rise until it surpasses that of your middle ear. Air must be sucked in through the Eustachian tube to restore pressure equality. 

Flying with an ear infection can be an uncomfortable and painful experience. Air travel can cause changes in air pressure, leading to air bubbles in the ear and even affecting the eardrum. When flying with an ear infection, the risk of experiencing ear pain or discomfort increases significantly. 

ear infection

Flying with an ear infection

Ear pain during a flight can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience for anyone, but it is particularly challenging for those with an eardrum infection. There are several strategies that you can use to avoid ear pain during a flight:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated before and during the flight. This can help to prevent the mucous membranes in the ears from drying out, which can cause pain and discomfort. 
  • Consider using special earplugs or pressure-regulating earplugs designed to help equalize the air pressure in your ears. These devices work by opening up the Eustachian tubes, allowing air to flow freely and preventing pressure build-up in the ears. 
  • Practice swallowing or yawning frequently during takeoff and landing, as this can help to regulate the pressure in your ears. 
  • Consider using decongestant medication before the flight, as this can help to reduce inflammation and open up the Eustachian tubes. By following these strategies, you can minimize the risk of ear pain during a flight and make your travel experience much more comfortable.

Consult Dr. Peter Baptista before flying with an ear infection.

If you are looking for an expert in treating eardrum infections, Dr. Peter Baptista Jardin is one of the tops in the field of ENT. 

He uses unconventional methods to treat various ear, nose, and throat conditions. Dr. Peter uses a holistic, specialized treatment approach to ensure the best outcomes and has helped several patients with ear, nose, and throat conditions.

Book your appointment today!

Dr. Peter Baptista

 Dr Peter Baptista Jardin

European Board Certified ENT Doctor In Dubai

Dr. Peter Baptista Jardin is an ENT specialist with a special interest in treating sleep apnea. He is a revered expert in Spain for performing the first ever robotic transoral surgery in 2011, and the only series of hypoglossal nerve stimulation proved revolutionary for obstructive sleep apnea treatment worldwide. He currently serves as an ENT doctor in Dubai’s Al Zahra Hospital.