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Old 06-13-2018, 12:23 AM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is offline
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Medical Question: My Ear After a 2 Flights

Monday I had to fly with a cold/bronchitis thing, and I thought my ear drum would burst during landing on my outbound flight. It really hurt, and the sense of pressure was intense. Today, I returned home and the same thing happened during landing. Now I can't hear out of that ear in any meaningful way. If I plug my good ear, I can vaguely hear a distant murmuring instead of voices. I feel dizzy. If I move my head, I hear crackling. My ear feels full and there's a sense of pressure that extends from my ear into my right sinuses.

What to do? I've tried Sudafed, nasal spray, fluids, massage. Any other suggestions on how to make my ear feel better? Is this a "go see a doctor thing" or a "give it time" thing?

You are not my doctor. Thank you.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:30 AM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
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Have you tried the ear popping trick. Hold your nose and blow hard you will feel it in your ears. If you don't have an infection it might clear up the stopped up feeling. Sometimes I do it and I can hear a glurgly sound.
But, wait. It might hurt really bad if it is infected. Maybe you better not do it. See your doc.

ETA vertigo is scary I get it if my ear is infected. So again, Doctor for you.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 06-13-2018 at 12:32 AM.
  #3  
Old 06-13-2018, 12:31 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Itíll clear, in time. Until then itís annoying as all hell. I hope it doesnít get painful, Iíve had that a few times. Not fun.


Oh, sorry... canít hear me?

ITíLL CLEAR, IN TIME. UNTIL THEN ITíS...
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:38 AM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
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Do you know what Similisan is. It's otc ear drops. Homeopathic. It might help.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:46 AM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Your escutcheon tube (tube that joins the inner ear to the nasopharanx) was swollen shut and would not allow eqalisation of pressure to the middle ear, so pressure built up inside the inner ear. With lower jaw manipulation or Becka's blowing method above, you can sometimes open up the tube to release the pressure but sometimes you can't. In any case it will equalize on it's own over a few days.
  #6  
Old 06-13-2018, 12:54 AM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I had a similar problem in one ear recently, also following air travel, and tried a bunch of things, and here is what finally worked. An acupuncturist told me to jump up and down 10 times then drop my chin to my chest and slowly roll my head to one shoulder, my back, the other shoulder, and back to the chest. I forget how many times she said to roll it, and I don't know what the jumping did, but it worked.

I should note that I also had this problem many years ago, only in both ears, my head felt like a total block of wood, and a doctor gave me some kind of shot. When I had this problem more recently I actuallky went to a doctor, who had no idea what kind of shot. But going forward, as I bitched about this, about every third person I talked to told me, "Oh yeah, I had that once, I went to a doctor and got some kind of shot, cleared it right up," so I don't know.

Anyway, the gist of this is, I went to a doctor, what she suggested (Flonase) did not work, I went to an acupuncturist who suggested the above, and that did work. Or maybe whatever I had going on just ended at that particular time. I figure it can't hurt.
  #7  
Old 06-13-2018, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Do you know what Similisan is. It's otc ear drops. Homeopathic. It might help.
Nothing homeopathic has ever helped, beyond a possible placebo effect.
  #8  
Old 06-13-2018, 04:59 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Do you know what Similisan is. It's otc ear drops. Homeopathic. It might help.
Oy vey. Beck, you probably think that "homeopathic" means "natural" or "made from plants" or "from the wisdom of the ancients" or something like that. The intent is good; the information is bad.

What it means, in its current incarnation, is distilled water being sold as medication. The idea behind modern homeopathy is that water "catches" the properties of stuff dissolved in it (this is called contagion): same as water becomes sweet if we dissolve sugar in it, salty if we dissolve salt, it also takes up the properties of anything else dissolved in it (say the homeopaths). Even without going into the whole pisspot about dilution making the contagion stronger (because as anybody who's ever used it knows, super-diluted bleach is stronger than bleach directly from the bottle), it also means that, according to homeopaths,

every time a fish cums,

the whole of the oceans acquires the properties of fish cum

and every time a fumarole blows,

the whole of the oceans acquires the properties of arsenic and other heavy metals and of sulphurated compounds and starts smelling like rotten eggs.

Which if true would give the oceans a really bad case of multiple personality disorder, poor thing.
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Last edited by Nava; 06-13-2018 at 05:03 AM.
  #9  
Old 06-13-2018, 05:35 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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I think I'd check in with a doctor. A couple of days ago I read an article about why you shouldn't fly with a cold, and they mentioned perforated ear drums as a possibility.

The symptoms include:
ear pain - you have
possibly drainage of fluid
dizziness - you have
ear noise or buzzing - maybe you have?
hearing loss - you have

With the exception of leaking puss, you have almost all the symptoms. That one might be coming, since I've known several people who said it hurt, hurt, hurt, then it suddenly burst and actually felt a bit better when the drainage started. If it hasn't yet burst, a doctor might be able to keep it from doing so.
  #10  
Old 06-13-2018, 07:51 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is online now
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OP, if I were in your shoes I'd be visiting an urgent-care clinic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Do you know what Similisan is. It's otc ear drops. Homeopathic. It might help.
Wow, I can't believe you're actually recommending this on a site dedicated to fighting ignorance. Let's take a look, shall we?

Here's Similisan. Active ingredients, according to their website:

Chamomilla 10X - sensitivity to drafts, soothing
Mercurius solubilis 15X - fullness, sensitivity to cold
Sulphur 12X - itchiness, sensitivity to water

The principles of homepathatic dilution state that a dilution of "1X" means that the active ingredient is diluted with water to 1/10 of its pure state. a dilution of "2X" means dilution to 1/10 performed twice in a row, i.e. the active ingredient is present at 1/100 of its pure state. So:

Chamomilla is present at 1/10,000,000,000 of its pure state.
Mercurius solubilis is present at 1/1,000,000,000,000,000 of its pure state.
Sulphur is present at 1/1,000,000,000,000 of its pure state.

At this point you may wish to review metric prefixes.

A few drops of water poured in your ear weighs a few milligrams. Which means one dose of this stuff contains femtograms of chamomilla, and attograms of Mercurius solubilis. Fentanyl is in the news for being super-deadly in small amounts, and a typical therapeutic (i.e. medically useful/non-deadly) dose is 50-100 micrograms. Absent any results from documented drug trials of Similasan conducted in accordance with FDA-approved protocols (and there aren't any), there's no reason to believe it would have a physiological effect any different from that of pure water.
  #11  
Old 06-13-2018, 08:05 AM
Hermitian Hermitian is online now
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Next time if you have to fly when you have a cold, I would recommend taking a pseudoephedrine before you take off.

NOT over the counter Sudafed. You need the stuff behind the pharmacist's counter.

It reduces the swelling in your nose and Eustachian tubes and you will less likely have this problem.
  #12  
Old 06-13-2018, 08:27 AM
ZonexandScout ZonexandScout is offline
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If this is a regular thing for you, you might want to purchase a eustachian tube exerciser. The one I have is by Eustachi. To use it, you take a mouthful of water, insert the unit in the nostril matching your clogged ear, hold the other nostril closed, and then swallow the water. It puts some air pressure on your eustachian tube and can really do the trick most of the time. Sometimes it doesn't help at all. It's not at all painful. (Note: I have no interest in any company that makes or sells these units. I make no recommendations for any particular brand. I am not a doctor, though this was suggested to me by my friend, who IS a doctor.)
  #13  
Old 06-13-2018, 09:06 AM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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I'd say see a doctor immediately. It may be an ear infection, although I would expect an infection to be causing more pain. Ear infections can lead to permanent hearing loss if not treated. It may also be something as simple as impacted ear wax, which a doctor would be able to remove easily.
  #14  
Old 06-13-2018, 09:45 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Don't mess around with ears, baby. Get to a doctor. There's lots of stuff that you can do to make it worse if you don't know what the problem is.

ETA: But first, see if your new hearing changes your answer to "Laurel or Yanny?"

Last edited by ZipperJJ; 06-13-2018 at 09:46 AM.
  #15  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:37 AM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
Next time if you have to fly when you have a cold, I would recommend taking a pseudoephedrine before you take off.

NOT over the counter Sudafed. You need the stuff behind the pharmacist's counter.

It reduces the swelling in your nose and Eustachian tubes and you will less likely have this problem.
I did.

I will go to urgent care.

Thank you everyone.
  #16  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:59 AM
Riemann Riemann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Wow, I can't believe you're actually recommending this on a site dedicated to fighting ignorance. Let's take a look, shall we?

Here's Similisan. Active ingredients, according to their website:

Chamomilla 10X - sensitivity to drafts, soothing
Mercurius solubilis 15X - fullness, sensitivity to cold
Sulphur 12X - itchiness, sensitivity to water

The principles of homepathatic dilution state that a dilution of "1X" means that the active ingredient is diluted with water to 1/10 of its pure state. a dilution of "2X" means dilution to 1/10 performed twice in a row, i.e. the active ingredient is present at 1/100 of its pure state. So:

Chamomilla is present at 1/10,000,000,000 of its pure state.
Mercurius solubilis is present at 1/1,000,000,000,000,000 of its pure state.
Sulphur is present at 1/1,000,000,000,000 of its pure state.

At this point you may wish to review metric prefixes.

A few drops of water poured in your ear weighs a few milligrams. Which means one dose of this stuff contains femtograms of chamomilla, and attograms of Mercurius solubilis. Fentanyl is in the news for being super-deadly in small amounts, and a typical therapeutic (i.e. medically useful/non-deadly) dose is 50-100 micrograms. Absent any results from documented drug trials of Similasan conducted in accordance with FDA-approved protocols (and there aren't any), there's no reason to believe it would have a physiological effect any different from that of pure water.
It's important to distinguish untreated pure water from "Aqua 5C", which is pure water droplets succussed in a pure water solution with 5x100-fold dilutions. The former is used to wash dirty ears, the latter is the homeopathic cure for drowning.

Last edited by Riemann; 06-13-2018 at 11:01 AM.
  #17  
Old 06-13-2018, 11:34 AM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isamu View Post
Your escutcheon tube (tube that joins the inner ear to the nasopharanx) was swollen shut and would not allow eqalisation of pressure to the middle ear, so pressure built up inside the inner ear. With lower jaw manipulation or Becka's blowing method above, you can sometimes open up the tube to release the pressure but sometimes you can't. In any case it will equalize on it's own over a few days.
Nitpick, the eustachian tube is in the middle ear.
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  #18  
Old 06-13-2018, 11:52 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isamu View Post
Your escutcheon tube (tube that joins the inner ear to the nasopharanx) was swollen shut and would not allow eqalisation of pressure to the middle ear, so pressure built up inside the inner ear. With lower jaw manipulation or Becka's blowing method above, you can sometimes open up the tube to release the pressure but sometimes you can't. In any case it will equalize on it's own over a few days.
Another nitpick: OP says his discomfort began during the descent/landing phase of his flight. Cabin pressure was increasing during this time, which means that his inner ear, being unable to equalize, is now at a slight vacuum rather than at elevated pressure.
  #19  
Old 06-13-2018, 12:21 PM
Musicat Musicat is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Do you know what Similisan is. It's otc ear drops. Homeopathic. It might help.
So might water, and it's cheaper.

Similasan *

Even the manufacturer doesn't claim it works.
Quote:
* Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence.
  #20  
Old 06-13-2018, 02:27 PM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
OP, if I were in your shoes I'd be visiting an urgent-care clinic.



Wow, I can't believe you're actually recommending this on a site dedicated to fighting ignorance. Let's take a look, shall we?

Here's Similisan. Active ingredients, according to their website:

Chamomilla 10X - sensitivity to drafts, soothing
Mercurius solubilis 15X - fullness, sensitivity to cold
Sulphur 12X - itchiness, sensitivity to water

The principles of homepathatic dilution state that a dilution of "1X" means that the active ingredient is diluted with water to 1/10 of its pure state. a dilution of "2X" means dilution to 1/10 performed twice in a row, i.e. the active ingredient is present at 1/100 of its pure state. So:

Chamomilla is present at 1/10,000,000,000 of its pure state.
Mercurius solubilis is present at 1/1,000,000,000,000,000 of its pure state.
Sulphur is present at 1/1,000,000,000,000 of its pure state.

At this point you may wish to review metric prefixes.

A few drops of water poured in your ear weighs a few milligrams. Which means one dose of this stuff contains femtograms of chamomilla, and attograms of Mercurius solubilis. Fentanyl is in the news for being super-deadly in small amounts, and a typical therapeutic (i.e. medically useful/non-deadly) dose is 50-100 micrograms. Absent any results from documented drug trials of Similasan conducted in accordance with FDA-approved protocols (and there aren't any), there's no reason to believe it would have a physiological effect any different from that of pure water.
Hey, I was trying to get her a bit of relief for over night. She's been to the doctor now so it doesn't matter. If a placebo works it works. Home remedies have a long history, most are woo, I know this. Some folks need to be doing something, anything, to help themselves. That's all I was saying.
  #21  
Old 06-13-2018, 02:37 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Hey, I was trying to get her a bit of relief for over night. She's been to the doctor now so it doesn't matter. If a placebo works it works. Home remedies have a long history, most are woo, I know this. Some folks need to be doing something, anything, to help themselves. That's all I was saying.
Advocating for homeopathy here at the SDMB garners as much positive notice as advocating for the moon landing being a hoax or endorsing holocaust denial.

Just so you know . . .

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Old 06-13-2018, 03:39 PM
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Regardless of the nonexistent active ingredients in Similasan, I'm not sure that dripping even pure water into a possibly infected ear is more likely to be helpful than harmful. When I've had ear infections, the doctor warned me not to get water in the ear while showering until it was cleared up.
  #23  
Old 06-13-2018, 04:34 PM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Advocating for homeopathy here at the SDMB garners as much positive notice as advocating for the moon landing being a hoax or endorsing holocaust denial.

Just so you know . . .

Gotcha. I am not a an advocate of homeopathy. I woulda went the the ER that night. I am a bit of an alarmist when it comes to health. I was trying to give Sunny Daze an easement thru the night.
  #24  
Old 06-13-2018, 07:41 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
G I was trying to give Sunny Daze an easement thru the night.
A nonpossessory right to use and/or enter onto the real property of another without possessing it? How would that help?

Oh, maybe you mean a state or feeling of comfort or peace. Never mind . . .

  #25  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:49 PM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
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Yeah, I kinda/sorta made up that usage of the word.
  #26  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:53 PM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Originally Posted by outlierrn View Post
Nitpick, the eustachian tube is in the middle ear.
Ya got me. Wikipedia says it:

"is a tube that links the nasopharynx to the middle ear. It is a part of the middle ear."
  #27  
Old 06-14-2018, 01:46 AM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Another nitpick: OP says his discomfort began during the descent/landing phase of his flight. Cabin pressure was increasing during this time, which means that his inner ear, being unable to equalize, is now at a slight vacuum rather than at elevated pressure.
It goes both ways. I bet you anything that the OP had pain during ascent too. The pain is just stronger on descent. I don't know why but I guess that the same membranes are being flexed again (a second time) in such a short period of time.
  #28  
Old 06-14-2018, 05:41 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
I did.

I will go to urgent care.

Thank you everyone.
So how did you make out?
  #29  
Old 06-14-2018, 07:33 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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So how did you make out?
Hopefully it doesn't need to be HOW DID YOU MAKE OUT?

Regards,
Shodan
  #30  
Old 06-14-2018, 08:17 AM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isamu View Post
It goes both ways. I bet you anything that the OP had pain during ascent too. The pain is just stronger on descent. I don't know why but I guess that the same membranes are being flexed again (a second time) in such a short period of time.
Yeah, sometimes eustachians close up more after use, maybe just because your cold medicine is wearing off.

There's something in scuba diving called "reverse squeeze". Normally if your tubes are giving you trouble, it's at the beginning of a dive. This is annoying, but not a big deal, since you can always abort the dive if you can't get your ears to equalize. But sometimes, your tubes get problematic at the end of the dive when you're trying to surface, and the pressurized air in your inner ear can't escape. Then you've got the whole blinding pain vs. dwindling air supply dilemma.

Last edited by muldoonthief; 06-14-2018 at 08:17 AM.
  #31  
Old 06-14-2018, 10:39 AM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is offline
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I didn't go yesterday because I had a school commitment for my son all morning, and by afternoon I felt too ill to go anywhere. I realize that sounds ridiculous, but since I would have had to drive myself there and back, and my thinking power was broken, it made sense to me at the time.

I still don't feel so great and may go later today.
  #32  
Old 06-14-2018, 11:13 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is online now
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Hope you feel better soon. I had a very similar experience and the doc told me I had a bad ear infection.
  #33  
Old 06-14-2018, 11:22 AM
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I think you should be on a regimen of pseudoephedrine for multiple days. I’d also hit the nasal spray pretty hard for a few days.
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