Barotitis Media is often referred to as 'airplane ear'. It occurs due to changes in the atmospheric pressure and the resultant effects on the ear. Barotitis media can occur in one or both ears. It is typically caused due to unequal pressure between the middle ear and surrounding cabin of the aircraft. In most cases, the equalization of pressure is maintained by the ear tube. But should a person already suffer from sore throat, sinusitis or congestion, the eardrum is affected due to the unequal pressure. Barotitis Media can occur due to air pressure changes such as during scuba diving, mountain travel, sky diving and air travel. Pain of dental origin can sometimes lead to this condition. A person suffering from the pressure differentials can experience severe pain and conductive hearing loss. It can also bring about dizziness and stuffiness in the ears. A person can relieve the condition during the flight with decongestant nasal sprays and antihistamines. Yawning or sucking on candy or gum during take-off and landing can give relief to some. If you are traveling with an infant, nurse it or give it a sip of drink. This condition is usually temporary and clears on its own. But if the symptoms persist, consult a physician. In rare cases, it can lead to ear infection or even a ruptured eardrum.
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 16, 2017