Airplane ear can occur in one or both ears. Airplane ear signs and symptoms may include:
- Moderate discomfort or pain in your ear
- Feeling of fullness or stuffiness in your ear
- Muffled hearing or slight to moderate hearing loss
If airplane ear is severe or lasts more than a few hours, you may experience:
- Severe pain
- Pressure in your ear similar to being underwater
- Moderate to severe hearing loss
- Ringing in your ear (tinnitus)
- Spinning sensation (vertigo)
- Vomiting resulting from vertigo
- Bleeding from your ear
When to see a doctor
Usually you can do things on your own to treat airplane ear. If discomfort, fullness or muffled hearing lasts more than a few hours or if you experience any severe signs or symptoms, call your doctor.
July 19, 2013
- Vernick DM. Ear barotrauma. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 16, 2013.
- Ears and altitude. American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/earsAltitude.cfm. Accessed May 16, 2013.
- Flint PW, et al. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: MosbyElsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..X0001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05283-2&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed May 16, 2013.