Tinnitus and air travel

7 Sep 2016 by Tom Otley
Ear-plugs help tinnitus

For those living with tinnitus, air travel can be particularly daunting as pressure changes during the flight can exacerbate the condition.

Kathryn Paynter, senior clinical audiologist at the Tinnitus Clinic, emphasises that specific advice is necessary for each individual suffering from the condition. Nevertheless, some general safeguards can help to ease the hassle and concern over travelling with tinnitus.

Tinnitus and air trave;


Decongestants can provide short term relief. Taking decongestants a couple of days prior to flying can help to ensure airways are as open as possible. This improves the ability of the ears to rebalance any pressure changes that occur. However, patients should check with their pharmacist if this will be suitable for them, especially if they have other health conditions or if  they are taking other medications.

Valsalva manoeuvre

For the last half-hour of the flight as the plane descends, one can gently perform the Valsalva manoeuvre by holding the end of the nose and gently breathing against it every five minutes or so. Again, this helps rebalance the pressure changes.


Many people also find wearing close fitting ear plugs during a flight helpful, as these help to reduce the pressure changes in the ear canal.

Although tinnitus emerges as result of an untreatable cause there are still a number of helpful therapies that can control and reduce the intrusiveness of the condition.

The Tinnitus Clinic 0203 597 4988



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