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Flight Attendant and Ear trouble....
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Flight Attendant and Ear trouble....

Hi everyone,

I am a long haul international flight attendant.  I work long extended trips usually between 18 and 36 days in length, and spend around 200 hours in the air a month.

In the past 6 months of flying I have had 5 bad inner ear infections, and am on my 6th right now.  Im stuck in Kaiserslautern, Germany because the doc says I can not fly for 7 days.

When Im on the plane, on descent I have an aewful time "Popping" my ears, and when they do it is usually pretty uncomfortable.  I also noticed when I do a valsalva maneuver (Holding your nose abd blowing out) that I get pretty dizzy quickly.  

This is getting worse and worse every trip I take.  

Have any other frequent flyers found this problem?

Henry
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Don't do those Valsalva maneuvers until you get checked out by an inner-ear specialist. The fact that they make you dizzy can't be a good sign, I don't think.

In rare cases, you can give yourself a perilymph fistula. Look it up.

When you say "inner ear infections", what are you talking about, and who diagnosed them? Do you mean middle-ear infections (for which one gets antibiotics) or vestibular neuritis/labyrinthitis, which is truly an inner-ear problem and not amenable to antibiotics?

In any case, it sounds like you really need to be under the care of an otologist (ENT specializing in the ear) or neuro-otologist (ENT specializing in the INNER ear). See lists of the latter at the American Neurotology Society Web site. Also see http://www.entnet.org/

Good luck!

Nancy T.
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