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During what was a beautiful summer in many parts of the UK, our office chat turned to holidays. Kathryn Paynter, who is a Senior Clinical Audiologist at The Tinnitus Clinic working in Cheltenham and Bristol started to outline some general tips about flying when you have tinnitus.
I asked her to write the first ‘guest blog’, I hope you find these tips helpful.
For many people living with tinnitus, certain tasks such as simply boarding a flight can be extremely daunting as they are aware of the pressure changes that can exacerbate their condition.
I’ve put together some tips on how people living with tinnitus can help to keep their condition stable when travelling. Without knowing the details of the individual’s tinnitus and ear health, one can only advise on general safeguards. These tips can, however, help to ease the hassle and concern over travelling with tinnitus.
Decongestants can provide short term relief. Taking decongestants a couple of days prior to flying can help to ensure airways are as open as possible. This improves the ability of the ears to rebalance any pressure changes that occur. However, patients should check with their pharmacist if this will be suitable for them, especially if they have other health conditions or if they are taking other medications.
For the last half-hour of the flight as the plane descends, one can gently perform the Valsalva manoeuvre by holding the end of the nose and gently breathing against it every five minutes or so. Again, this helps rebalance the pressure changes.
Many people also find wearing close fitting ear plugs during a flight helpful, as these help to reduce the pressure changes in the ear canal.
Although tinnitus emerges as result of an untreatable cause there are still a number of helpful therapies that can control and reduce the intrusiveness of the condition.
An important part of my mission at The Tinnitus Clinic is to share our knowledge of tinnitus; its causes, how to prevent it and what to do if you are suffering from the condition. This blog will go some way in achieving this aim.