Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What the doc said...

Ear Trouble

Everytime I fly I have problems with my ears. I think that my Eustachian tubes are blocked or something cuz my ears are harder to regulate than everyone else I know (well other than my Mom who suffers as well.)

I was miserable as we were landing into California. I was rubbing my face, and trying all sorts of things to regulate the pressure without blowing an eardrum or two...but alas, nothing seemed to work until we got down. (I think the pilot took the longest decent ever, it felt as if we were decending the entire last hour of the flight!!! I didn't have my watch so I don't know how long we were decending, but it was a very long time.)

Once we got on the ground the pain subsided and my ears did eventually stop feeling stuffy (still crackly, but not stuffy)... however, I noticed that I was dizzy. It wasn't a constant dizziness at first and remembering back, I've been dizzy after flying before...this is just the worst case I've had so far.

I went online when we got home (btw: the return flight was fine! no pain at all.) looking everthing and of course they recommend that I go see my doctor which couldn't happen until Monday! so I've been trying home remedies. That doesn't seem to be helping either - but at least it doesn't feel bad!

here's a pretty good article on Barotrauma also known as Airplane Ear.

I saw the doctor yesterday and she thinks I have Benign Positional Vertigo. but wasn't sure because my symptoms don't match up quite right. I feel better if I'm moving where normally I should feel worse.

She prescribed that I take decongestants to try to reduce the congestion in my ears (which she thought was minor) and take Dramamine for the dizziness. I don't think either have helped...but I do feel very non-congested. And I have to pee all the time too.

I'm hoping that I can just lay low for the next two days see if that helps.

oh and she thinks I brought it on by having my ears a bit damaged by the flight and then going on all the rollercoasters for our trip. I think she might be right.

Today I decided to try not taking the decongestant or motion sickness drugs, just to see if I feel any different than yesterday. And nope! The decongestant is still in my system and my nose is all free & clear. I react funny to drugs most of the time. And the Dramamine didn't ever make me stop feeling dizzy.

I've been meaning to try the exercises shown in the second link. They're supposed to help move the floaty stuff to an area of my ear where it won't bother me so much...but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Today went pretty well until I took Darly to the gym. I was stupid and decided to stay and watch her...well I shouldn't have been standing that long. when we got home I was miserable.

And I don't know if this is at all related but my tummy feels funny and I'm gassy (I know, thanks for sharing!) but I'm mostly burpy. I did mention to the doc that my tummy felt funny.

If my symptoms don't clear up in two weeks, I'm supposed to go back. There's a chance that I might always have this (I sure hope not!) The doc may also send me to an Ear Nose & Throat doc. I saw online that they can go in and surgically remove the debris which has collected within a part of the inner ear. This debris can be thought of as "ear rocks", although the formal name is "otoconia".*

So I guess the lesson learned is that I'm not allowed to go on roller coasters after I fly.  LOL!  Next time I'll have to drive.

*copied from the second website.


  1. You should really do the exercises! Any way you can avoid having to take meds is a better way, esp if they haven't helped!

  2. I agree with Goofy Girl. But you know what your body can handle better than us in Blogger World. I hope your ear gets better. How annoying to deal with this after a great trip.

  3. Wow. That's some crazy stuff there lady! Hope you're feeling better - all around - soon!

  4. I saw online that they can go in and surgically remove the debris which has collected within a part of the inner ear.

    Good luck with all that.

    No seriously, hope you're feeling better.

    Wait a second, what's that on your lip? It's like a... discoloration.