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What you will find here
What is this condition?
Why do your ears get blocked in an Aeroplane?
Who is more likely to get Aeroplane Ear?
What can you do during the flight to prevent blocked ear?
How can you prevent very young children from getting aeroplane ear?
How can you unblock your ears after the Flight?
When should you visit a Doctor?
What is Aeroplane Ear?
Pain in the ear, popping ear, blocked ear during air travel is the most common medical problem faced by flyers. Aeroplane ear is the better known name for Barotitis media or Aerotitis media. Aeroplane ear or Barotitis media is the condition where there occurs damage to the ear due to difficulty in adjustment of the air pressure between Middle ear and External ear
Why do your ears get blocked in an Aeroplane?
I have to go into a bit of physics for a proper explanation. Please excuse the science Lecture! As you know according to Boyle’s Law : The pressure and the volume of an enclosed mass o gas are inversely proportional. When the plane rises in the air, there is a progressive decrease in air/atmospheric pressure. Basically at 18,000 ft above sea level, the air pressure is half that at sea level.During the rise through the atmosphere , as the pressure falls ,a particular mass of air in an elastic structure expands .Similarly during descent, the air contracts and the volume of cash decreases.
So what happens in the ear during Flying?
Imagine your ear is made up of 3 rooms.The outermost part of the ear which connects the entryway with the other rooms is the external ear.This is the part involving your ear canal. The ear drum separates your external ear from the middle ear, where the small bones (malleus, incus, stapes), which help transmit sound live.The ear drum is somewhat flexible and can move with change in volume of air in the middle ear. Two windows oval window (covered by stapes footplate) and round window (covered by round window membrane) connect your middle ear and the inner ear.
The inner ear has your hearing and balance apparatus It’s called the labyrinth. A tube connects your middle ear with the part of your oral cavity behind the nose (nasopharynx) .It’s called the Eustachian tube.Easily the most important structure which helps keep up the normal air volume inside your middle ear. It’s through your Eustachian tube that air enters or exits to equalise air pressure between outside atmosphere and your middle ear.
What happens during Ascent?
Air pressure outside falls. Middle ear pressure falls. Air in your middle ear expands (following Boyle law) This excess air pushes the tympanic membrane outwards to its natural limit.This is normally followed by escape of air through your Eustachian tube. Movement of the ear drum may be restricted due to scarring (previous infection).This may cause ear pain during ascent.
What happens during Descent?
Air pressure outside rises. Middle ear pressure rises. Air in your middle contracts and volume decreases (Boyle law). The ear drum moves inwards. (retraction). The opening of your Eustachian tube must be opened to allow air from the nasopharynx to enter and adjust the volume.The Eustachian tube will open with swallowing movement. If this mechanism fails (if you fall asleep, or have a cold), or is delayed, the increasing pressure difference closes the naspharyngeal end of Eustachian tube.When the pressure difference is more than 90 mm,Hg, your tubal dilator muscles are unable to open the Eustachian tube and it stays locked.The ear then feels blocked.
Barotrauma occurs during flying due to:
1) Very rapid air pressure changes.Sudden ascent/descent. 2) Blocked Eustachian tube.
It may also occur in:
Hyperbaric oxygen chamber
Decompression and compression chambers
Who is more likely to get Aeroplane Ear?
Anybody who has some nasal or Nasopharyngeal problem which blocks the Eustachian tube.
Acute infection in the nose.
Chronic infection in the nose
Malformation of nose
Sleeping during ascent or descent
Small narrow Eustachian tube; infants toddlers.
How will you know whether you are developing aeroplane ear?
Symptoms ( most common)
Discomfort in the ear
Ear Muffled hearing
Blocked ear/fullness of ear
Excruciating pain in ear
Severely blocked ear
Ringing, buzzing sound in ear (Tinnitus)
Severe Hearing loss
Spinning sensation (Vertigo)
Bleeding from ear
If you have any of the severe problems.Or if the symptoms persist even after …..hours “check..
What will your doctor See?
An ENT surgeon may do an otoscopic examinations to see your ear drum.
Signs on otoscopy:
Invaginated/retracted ear drum
Congested ear drum
Solitary or multiple blood filled blisters on your ear drum
Signs of serous otitis media
Ruptured ear drum, with blood clot.
Otoendoscopy may also be done where you will also be able to see these findings along with your doctor.
Are there any long term complications ?
Rarely the ringing sound in ear or tinnitus may be permanent.
If inner ear barotrauma occurs hearing loss may not improve
What other tests can you do?
Pure tone audiometry; to check your hearing and rule out inner ear barotrauma Tympanometry:To check the air pressure in the middle ear.and find out if there is any fluid.
Aeroplane ear:How to prevent it during flights
Don’t fall asleep during flying, specially during ascent or descent.
Avoid flying if you are having a severe cold.If emergency then use a Nasal decongestant spray just before takeoff and landing.Also take a decongestant orally, before getting on the .Dont use over the counter sprays .They may cause even more problem in the long run.
Take plenty of chewing gum so that you can actively help in Eustachian tube opening during flight.The chewing and swallowing movement helps to open Eustachian tube.
Try Valsalva maneuvre.This is a pressure equalizing technique which helps to pop the ear.You can try this if repeated swallowing and yawning doesn’t help.
Pinch your nostril, take a mouthful of air,close your mouth and try to gently direct the air into the back of your nose.Imagine you are trying to blow your nose gently. You should feel a pressure buildup.But do not let the air out.If you hear a pop you will know the ear is unblocked.
What can young children do to prevent aeroplane ear?
Very young children have difficulty during fflying.Often you will find them irritable crabby , pulling at their ears and may also cry incessantly. This is because the Eustachian tube in infants and very young children are not mature enough to handle the extreme change in pressure.
But you can help them too.
Dont let them fall asleep.
Play with them.
Carry a few pacifiers so that the suck and swallow reflex constantly works.
Talk to your baby doctor whether a decongestant oral medicine is advice able for your child.
A plain saline nasal drop given just before take off and landing helps to increase the swallowing movement and equalise pressure effectively.
What can you do to unblock the ear post flight?
Continue the Valsalva maneuvre/pressure equalizing technique
Normally it’s self healing and gets better within a few hours to few days.
If symptoms are uncomfortable and persists , or the ear doesn’t pop you should visit a doctor specialised in ear diseases
If your nose is blocked , avoid forceful nose blowing and take steam through your nose.This helps to relieve nasal congestion and open up the Eustachian tube.
What your doctor may advice?
Nasal spray; decongestants/steroids
Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs for relieving pain
Once medication have improved Eustachian tube function Valsalva maneuver helps to force open the blocked tube.. Surgery is rarely needed.
If fluid in the middle ear persists even after 3 months myringotomy (incision in the ear drum) is done to drain the fluid.
If the perforation in ear drum does not improve after 3 months tympanoplasty to repair the ear drum may be needed. I hope next time you are flying you will be carrying some chewing gum or hard candy with you.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below to let me know how your ears fared this time.
Through ivf to conceive girl baby what should be sperm count or egg quality or what precaution should patient taken pl tell me. Or any food changes.
My period got delayed by 4 days, I am worried checked the pregnancy test kit. It shows negative, Wht to do.
If my partner has a history of herpes and genital warts and is not currently having an outbreak of either warts or herpes,can I contract either of the STDs from oral sex?
Rehabilitation of the pelvic floor:
Muscles: rehabilitation was done using the Tanzberger exercises, given by german Physical therapist, renate tanzberger. The Participant was made to sit on a swiss ball (approx. 68-70cm in diameter), with the hip And the knee flexed to 90o and the feet Properly placed on the ground. The Participants were explained in detail about The pfm. The landmarks were explained by Making them sit on a firm surface (chair) And by making them feel for the contraction And relaxation of the gluteal, anal and the Vaginal muscles.
1. Exercise: Rolling the ball Forward: The participant was asked To roll the ball forward towards the Knee without lifting off the feet and Keeping the lumbar spine erect. While rolling, contraction of the Pfm was to be done and while Returning, relaxation.
2. Exercise 2-back to back sitting: The Participant and the therapist sat on The swiss ball back to back. The Participant was asked to pull the ball Towards the knees which do not Move and this activity was restricted Or slowed down by the therapist who Tried to pull the ball in opposite Direction. This brings about the Isometric contraction of the pelvic Floor muscles. The participant was asked to contract the Pelvic floor muscles (50 contractions for Each exercise) while exhaling and relax While inhaling. Treatment was given for 4 Weeks, 3 sessions per week. Each session Continued for about 20-30 minutes Depending upon the fatigue level of each Individual subject with sufficient rest break In between each exercise.
Hello, I am breastfeeding now to my 6 six months baby. I had a unprotected intercourse last night and now I am worried about taking any emergency contraceptive pills which may impacts milk production. Could anyone suggest any best pills during breastfeeding which will available in Indian market. Thank you very much for your time. Regards
Hi my wife gave a birth to baby on 20 days back only its a normal delivery. My question is when can we start the sex after the delivery.
I and my gf was intimate on 11th july and there was hardly any penetration or ejaculation. But due to safety I gave her unwanted 72 within the next 6 hours. Her last periods was on 29th june and due date is 28 or 29 th july. Will she have a normal period and is there any chances of pregnancy. Please reply I am in great tension.
If ejaculated in underwear and some of it landed on pubic hair then wash penis once with water in the process underwear became wet and the opening of pant, my question is if someone sits on that wet pant with just their underwear can she get pregnant?
I was having vaginal candiasis before 10 day. I took tablet course fr 5 day by gynecologist. Can I have intercourse with my bf. Now? Or I should wait fr some more day?
It has been 15 days of my intercourse with my partner we had protected sex and I do not find any early sign of pregnancy. Can I be pregnant? I feel so scare if I got pregnant. Cause I do not want to. Help me please.
Hi i am 23 I have Pcos and last in 2014 December I conceived via hmg amd hcg shots but later during 7th month lost my pregnancy due to IUGR. Also I am having thyroid (normal now) Again I am trying to conceive. My doctor gave me clomifene citrate from day 3 to 7. Hmg injections on day 3 and 5. On day 11 I was having a 16mm follicle in right ovary and 19mm ovulated follicle in left. (Ovulation occurred from left ovary without hcg) I want to know if 16mm follicle will rupture at the same time or within 24hrs of each other? My doctor said there are chances of 16mm follicle to rupture till next day. Is it possible?
Hello doctor I wanted to know if primon n and primolut n are used for delaying periods? Are they both the same tablets?
I am 35 years old woman .i want to know what expense would get on opt. for tubal realisation procedure.Please tell.
How long we should wait after miscarriage to try again ? I had two miscarriage.In both cases heartbeat was missing.
Pcos: here is all that you must know about it!
Polycystic ovary syndrome (pcos) is a common hormonal disorder amongst women in their reproductive age. The symptoms of pcos being seemingly unrelated to each other, are often overlooked and remain undiagnosed. It is commonly termed as pcod (polycystic ovary disease) in which the there is an imbalance in the women’s hormones. As the name suggests, multiple cysts are formed in the ovaries that are pearl-sized (2-4mm), fluid filled and may contain immature eggs.
Whom does it most commonly affect?
Pcos most commonly affects women of reproductive age (14-45 years of age). In ceratin cases, pre-pubertal girls may also be affected by pcos.
What are the common symptoms of pcos?
Pcos, being a syndrome, is defined by a collection of signs and symptoms. The symptoms may vary from one individual to another. In case you observe two or more than two of these symptoms, make sure you undergo a thorough medical examination. Common symptoms are:
- Irregular scanty or missing menstrual periods
- Infertility such as ovulation dysfunction
- Excess or unwanted body or facial hair on the body
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- Weight problems, often leading to weight gain around the waist
- Skin problems such as skin bags, darkening of skin and acne
What causes pcos in women?
The exact cause of pcos is still not known, however, there are hypothesis suggesting a few of the common causes such as;
- High level of insulin
- Increased production of androgens
- Family history
- Environmental pollution and radiations
How can pcos be diagnosed?
Pcos symptoms affect more than 20% of the indian women and still remain undiagnosed at times. For an effective diagnosis, you may report of,
- Irregular periods in the past
- Tests revealing high levels of specific hormones
- Ultrasound showing polycystic pattern of the ovary
What are the possible complications of pcos?
Commonly reported complications of pcos include:
- Heart and blood vessel problems
- Sleep apnea
- Uterine cancer
- Heart diseases
How can pcos be managed?
Once diagnosed, the treatment of pcos may differ from an individual to another. However, a few tips to manage/ prevent pcos are:
- Exercise regularly. Include activities such as aerobics, sports and brisk walk to your daily routine.
- Eat healthy. Include foods that are low in refined carbohydrates as it helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Also add foods rich in antioxidants, green vegetables super grain and fruits to your daily diet
- Avoid excess of junk foods, spicy and oily foods and sugary diets.
- In case you smoke, it is best recommended to quit smoking.
- Avoid stimulants. Beverages such as coffee, that act as a rich source of stimulating compounds, have been found to increase insulin production.
- Keep stress away. Combat this depression by engaging yourself in activities such as opting for bubble bath, watching an old favorite movie, reading a classic or meeting friends who could be good company.
The doctor may prescribe you will relevant medications to treat the complications, in case any.