Doctor insights on:
Flying With An Ear Infection
There are three different types of ear infections that affect different areas of the ear. Outer ear infection (Otitis externa) affects the ear canal and the outside part of the ear. Middle ear infection (Otitis media) affects the middle ear and leads to fluid accumulation behind the ear drum. Inner ear infection (Otitis interna) is a less common inflammation of the inner ear that causes vertigo, ...Read more
Have a pleasent trip: The middle ear fluid that is part of your ear infection/eustachian dysfunction will actually protect you from the regular cycle of middle ear discomfort with landing. The pressurization of the aircraft is not high enough to cause any change in the middle ear fluid or pressure therein. Of the many issues involved in today's air travel, this should be a pleasent surprise. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Not recommended: Ear infections are inflammatory processes so flying and changing pressure in flight will most likely cause a great deal of pain. It can also cause the inflammation to worse, possibly cause the ear drum to rupture or cause further local damage. If you have questions definitely see a specialist. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Wording confusion: There are 3 basic compartments of the ear mechanism. The outer canal, the middle ear with ear bones & the inner ear that is encased in the skull bone.The inner ear handles the hearing mechanism & position sense.You cannot reach it with drops.Drops are sometimes used for canal infections or middle ear pbs if tubes are present.Some drops used for canal infections can be used for middle ear infect. ...Read more
Painful: You "can" but it might be very painful with the pressure changes your ears will go thru. Normally when pressure changes, your ear adjusts to it, but if you have an ear infection this system of "adjustment" is not working. Try to postpone. If you can't, at least use specialized ear plugs for air travel (not sure how effective they will be). Good luck. ...Read more
Usually you can: Otitis externa only involves the outer ear, and this part of the ear is not sensitive to pressure changes. If the infection involves the ear drum as well or behind the ear drum (with fluid or negative pressure present- your doctor or ENT could tell you), then flying can be painful. I would get checked before the flight to be sure what is going on. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Clarify: Inner ear infections are rare and would involve the hearing and balance part of the ear with resultant deafness and severe vertigo. Rarely middle ear infection can spread to inner ear. Most likely you had a middle ear infection which when treated has residual fluid behind the ear drum. This fluid usually clears but if there is still hearing loss after 3-4 months then see ent. ...Read more
Can you get an ear infection by sharing the same headphones with somebody who has an ear infection?
Two types: Middle ear infections (otitis media) can not be transmitted since the infection is trapped behind the ear drum. If the drum has ruptured and fluid draining then wiping down the headphones is a good idea. External ear infections (otitis externa) the infection itself is in the outer part of the ear canal. Most likely the person won't wear headphones due to pain, but you should wipe them down. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Where's the red?: The majority of ear infections children get will involve the middle ear. A doctor has to use an otoscope to diagnose them. The ear drum will be red and bulging with fluid behind it.The ear canal can also become infected, but still requires an otoscope to view. The ear lobe and auricle or visualised outside ear being red usually has nothing to do with the common ear infections seen in children . ...Read more
External otitis: Wearing ear plugs for long periods of time can lead to inflammation of the external ear canal skin. The ear plugs will not cause a middle ear infection. If an external ear infection occurs, simple remedies like vosol (acetic acid and propylene glycol) otic with hydro-cortisone (vosol (acetic acid and propylene glycol) (acetic acid and propylene glycol) is like vinegar) are helpful. Simply stopping the use of the ear plugs for an extended period of time would also help. ...Read more
Infections are invasions of some other organism (fungus, bacteria, parasite) or viruses into places where they do not belong. For instance, we have normal gut bacteria that live within us without causing problems; however, when those penetrate the bowel wall and enter the bloodstream, ...Read more
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