Talk to someone in the same boat about...

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ChrisM
2
Scarey is right. The most extreme times it occurred for me I remember suffering incredible pain in my head as the plane descended. I was looking around trying to appear normal and wondering why isn't everyone else suffering like I am. The pain was unbelievable to me.

Drinking, sipping, sucking, swallowing, pinching the nose, etc all failed.

In the end I was grounded by my doctor as the sinus tract was blocked and caused pressure damage in my ear drum.

After a few weeks on the ground things returned to normal, except I was very nervous to fly again.

My doctor prescribed a nasal spray (sorry can't remember the name) that I used before flights and again during the flight before descent if it was along flight and I never suffered again. I remember the spray opened up the sinus tract and it worked wonders.

Eventually I forgot to take the spray with me and I ahven't suffered again since.

I also learnt the smaller commuter jets go up and down much faster than the larger jets in order to conserve fuel (maybe true), but I do know I have never suffered pain on a 747, 767, A380 etc. Just the smaller jets.

All the best to you.
Anonymous
26
Mark,
I found this online. Might help.

You should also learn the technique known as a Valsalva maneuver, which equalizes air pressure within the ears. To perform the Valsalva maneuver, simply hold your nose closed and attempt to exhale with a closed mouth. You'll hear, and feel, a faint "popping" (or sometimes a high-pitched noise, if you're congested) in the ears when you do this successfully.
A product developed for Air Force pilots can also provide relief to those with blocked Eustachian tubes. Called "Ear Planes," these ear plugs protect the eardrum from rapid or large ambient changes in pressure by allowing the pressure changes to take place slowly through a passage in the ear plugs. This slowing of the rate of pressure change minimizes the difference in pressure across the ear drum.
Colo63 Admin
27
Mark,
Great to see you using SameBoat, although the irony of using same ‘boat’ to discuss issues on the plane aren’t lost on me!
I know what u mean about the headaches though. For me it’s worst on take off and descent. I take it you’ve tried chewing something. Sounds like that would be a bit light on for the severity of your problem.
Our whole family has struggled with sinus problems. I’m sorry I don’t have any real answers for u but hopefully someone in the same boat will have something that works (for us both).
Take care.