Ask the Nurse

I had a cold/flu a few months ago and then flew on an airplane and developed “airplane ear” or the feeling of a blockage in my left ear. I tried ear plugs when I flew to see if I could prevent the problem associated with a change in pressure. It’s a month later, and although I have no pain, I still have the feeling of a blocked ear. I only notice it when I eat or drink as it sounds different. It almost feels like I have water in my ear similar to a feeling after swimming. What should I do? Could there be a virus in there? I tried decongestants for two days to see if it would make a difference, but it did not.

You should see an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) doctor to exam the ear to see if there is fluid in the middle ear, Eustachian tube blockage and/or something in the sinuses.

It is not recommended to block the ear canal with ear plugs when flying. Rather it is recommended to open and close the jaws to open the Eustachian tube like chewing gum on ascent and descent during times of changes in air pressure.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women’s Health nurse

April 18, 2017 at 9:38am