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Airplane Air Pressure Pain (Page 1)

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I didnt know what forum this would fall under so im gonna ask it here. Yesterday I took a plane from tx to fl and descent while I was looking out the window all of a sudden out of nowhere I got this intense pain behind my right eye and temple. It felt like a great amount of pressure was pressing in the side of my head. It was so painful my eyes started watering. It only lasted about 10 min then went away. Then about 6 hours last last night before bed I felt a dull ache in the same area that has been coming and going since then and hasnt really gone away. I take tylenol but it only takes the pain away for an hour or two at most then its back just as painful as before. I can only describe the pain as pressure on the inside of my right eye and near my right temple. Any help?
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First Helper kevinicus
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replied August 12th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
This type of sudden onset pain and pressure seems like something you'd want to see your doctor about right away.
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replied August 30th, 2008
Airplane Air Pressure Pain
I take antihistamine before I fly and use an antihistamine nasal spray 1/2 hour before take off and 1/2 hour before landing to keep my sinus' and eustation tubes open during ascent and descent to minimize pressure differentials in my sinus passages and to protect my ears. Give that a try.

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replied August 30th, 2008
Community Volunteer
This is what my physician told me to try. One being to pinch my nose, close my mouth and blow (this is to open up the tubes in your ears...and release pressure) as well as chew gum. (not at the same time)...

If this does not work, see your physician right away...

Wait, I just noticed that the original post was in 2006. Anyway, our response might help someone else.
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replied April 18th, 2009
Same HERE!
I have the same exact problem as you and its been two weeks already. Im baffled and upset. Drinking also makes it worst. Please can you tell me what helped you get over it?
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replied May 15th, 2009
Airplane air pressure plane
I just flew from Tx to Ohio and had the same thing happen on descent.I get migraines anyway but this was much worse and came on without any warning.The pain behind my left eye and forehead came first then the ear.I took a Imitrex I had with me and that helped with-in a few minutes.I will take one an hour before landing if I ever fly again.It took a good 24 hours before the pain was totally gone.I do think it had something to do with the sinus because of the area of pain.
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replied July 12th, 2009
I had this problem and it lasted forever. Now what you can do is pinch your nose and blow out air, but sometimes it makes it worse. I tried it hurt worse now what you can do is put ice on your temple and drink liquids and chew gum. Take Advil or painkillers, nothing right away will get rid of it. Try to stay calm, because this will increase the pressure and can cause serious and fatal damage.
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replied July 24th, 2009
Same Problem...but theres a solution
I had this exact problem. It felt like there was a pocket of air behind my right eye and it was slowing expanding and creating more and more pressure. Then, finally, I actually felt the pressure subside and relief finally came. I went to the doctor to get an MRI and a few other tests and what they found was very relieving. My sinuses were extremely congested. The pressure I was feeling was actually a pocket of air inside my sinus that was increasing with the change in pressure. And the relief came when the pocket finally broke. I have taken some medicine to get rid of my congestion and it helps. I used to have this problem when I exercised also, but after taking some antihistamine and other allergy medicines, I do not have this problem at all anymore.
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replied August 18th, 2009
There is a product called Earplanes that solve this problem-I used to have excruciating pain in my forehead whenevner flying upon descent...these cost less than $5.00-you put them in your ears an hour before landing and they really help-they also help for some sinus headaches!
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replied December 9th, 2009
Preventing Sinus and Ear Pain and Injury during Flights:
Preventing Sinus and Ear Pain and Injury during Flights:

Aerosinusitis, also called barosinusitis, sinus squeeze or sinus barotrauma is a painful inflammation and sometimes bleeding of the membrane of the paranasal sinus cavities, normally the frontal sinus. It is caused by a difference in air pressures inside and outside the cavities. Most cases occur in scuba divers and fliers, and is easily diagnosed when presented to physicians immediately after exposure. -- from Wikipedia

Go to these websites below for the detailed answers. Below is a quick summary of the way to prevent and treat these issues. After 24 hours of pain, see a doctor!!!!
http://www.sinuscarecenter.com/aao/barer_a ao.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerosinusitis

1) Before ascent or descent on the flight:
Make sure your ears and nasal passages are not already swollen or blocked (especially from a cold or diving). If necessary, use a pill decongestant or topical nasal spray decongestant one hour before descent (and perhaps ascent) to unreduced swelling of nasal passages and unblock the ears and sinuses.

2) Before ascent and descent:
Wake up and stay awake during descent! Get the flight attendant to wake you at descent if necessary, so you can consciously start equalizing the air pressure in your ears.

3) During ascent and descent:
Equalize ear pressure and unblock ears by chewing gum, continually swallowing (eat something), yawning. If necessary: On descent only: plug your nose and mouth and lightly blow air into your ears slowly and steadily diver-style on descent to keep your eardrum from sucking inward. On ascent only: plug your nose and mouth and SWALLOW, which will suck air out from your sinuses and compensate the pressure change by preventing your eardrums from pushing out. On ascent the sinus lining expands due to the increasing pressure from the inside out. If ear pressure is not equalized during descent and pressure in the ear build up, the pressure difference causes the mucosal lining of the sinuses to continue to become swollen, thereby further blocking equalization and causing the middle ear to stretch and potentially burst. Open up the Eustachian tubes by yawning and opening your mouth wide, and keep equalizing!!!

4) After landing:
If ear doesn't pop and pain continues, keep up the equalizing exercises. It may take quite a while to equalize the pressure. Eating, drinking, chewing, yawning, and blowing all help. Sneezing may be an indication that your ears are still trying to equalize themselves. If the pain lasts for over 24 hours, see a doctor who specializes in sinus barotrauma.
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replied April 30th, 2011
i took a southwest flight ind - bwi and both eyers were blocked 2days and the left one opended up but a week later the right one blocked cant even here good. on return flight bwi-ind the pilot took plane fron 10000- to 30OOO AND MY RIGHT SIDE OF FACE become num and failing ,i need help quick
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replied June 30th, 2011
airplane headache
mainardi et al first proposed the diagnostic criteria. he presented the results of their study in a platform presentation in the international headache congress, held in berlin 23-26th june. send aswer to him for informations
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replied October 7th, 2011
how i deal with this
hey everyone,

i get this almost every time i fly - it depends how fast the descent is. it's called aerosinusitis and you get it b/c basically your sinuses don't drain very well (that is, one or more of them doesn't have good drainage) - this can be corrected by surgery, but most people don't need this. most of the time, the pain is above your eyebrow, but also feels like it is behind your eye, and all the way down your face - essentially, the air in your sinuses are still at the high altitude pressure (pressurized) and as you descend quickly the outside pressure becomes much lower. the pressurized air inside your sinuses has to go somewhere, and if you have blockage or inflammation of the blood vessels due to allergies, being sick, excess mucous or just crappy sinus drainage, the air has trouble escaping fast enough. this puts tremendous pressure on a small opening for the air to escape - and it *really* hurts. imagine when you pop a zit or something, or an ingrown hair - you're forcing all this stuff through a tiny space. the air in this case pushed really hard on the very sensitive nerves in your face, around your sinuses - like the trigeminal - this is what causes the pain. i have felt it many times and it is almost unbearable. it eventually goes away but it is a pain unlike any other and nobody who hasn't experienced it can truly understand the magnitude of the pain - it really is an 11 out of 10! also, if you know it might happen, it can give you anxiety to fly.

i have found that the best prevention is nasal spray - like afrin. i get the moisturizing, extra strength kind. i spray before i get on the plane, and also before i descend. it says it lasts 12 hours, and it usually does, but i usually spray twice just to be sure. honestly whenever i do this it opens all the blood vessels up nicely and my sinuses drain great, and i get zero pain upon descent Smile just make sure you pack it in a ziploc bag so you can get through security, since it's a liquid, technically.

hope this helps anyone who found this and has had this terrible pain.
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replied November 7th, 2011
Extreme sinus pain-rapid airplane descent
Had this happen today and it quite frankly was one of the worst pains I have ever felt. The damn airplane (American Airlines) was descending so quickly my sinus could not keep up with the change, still hurts a bit now 5 hours later...
I fly quite a bit and have only had this happen twice and both times it was due to rapid descent.
The advice here is great and when I fly home in a couple of days I look forward to trying some of these solutions
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replied December 28th, 2011
Hello Frds , recently i flew from Delhi to Dubai.....during ASCENT ,a pain started :-
- On My Right Side Of Face , Around Right Eye.
- Right Half Of Nose.
- Upper Right Teeth ( As if some1 is SQUEEZING My Teeth )
- The Pain Was Highly-EXCRUCIATING.....as if my teeth will crush due to pressure n my eyeballs will PoP-Out.
- I Literally Counted Seconds....Felt Like Jumping Outa Plane.
- Pls Help Me Frds...coz m about tp fly again n totally Scared
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replied March 25th, 2012
Blow out your nose
Hi guys,

Don't be afraid. I had this for almost every flight, and i was really desperate.

The solution was the thing with the nose described by FellowTraveler. Plug your nose and mouth and blow air through your ears during descent. Do this continuously during descent.

I have traveled since i found the solution about 18-20 times and NEVER happened again! I feel so great!!
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replied April 17th, 2012
I have experienced the same pain, only in my case it happens every now and than. It's really weird when I flew from Amsterdam to Mumbai on the 10th of April I didn't had any problems, on the 12th I flew from Bombay to Goa and take off was fine, however during landing I experienced terrible pains. On the 15th of April I flew back and no problems! I have had the same from the US to Madrid incredible pain while landing, around my frontal sinuses 2 hours later I flew from Madrid to Amsterdam and no problems. It almost seems to me that either the pilot or the plane has something to do with it??? Could it be that some planes have a different system to control cabin pressure or maybe some pilots descent faster than other?? Anyone an Idea?
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replied August 4th, 2012
Fix for airplane headaches
28 female - I experienced this for the first time 6 months ago and have found a fix. Wanted to post the fix here because this was the most physically painful and scary experience of my life.

I visited the doc and its definitely due to sinus blockage, although I have never had a sinus problem until now. I got a CT scan which clearly showed that my sinuses were blocked.

2 weeks before I fly, I start doing 'Jal Neti' which is a yoga nasal cleansing technique. It takes 10 minutes everyday. You can find all the information at the following link and through youtube videos. I learned the technique through these resources and got a jal neti pot at the local yoga center, although you could learn from a yoga teacher as well. http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/yogalibr ary/neti_faqs/jn_instructionbooklet.pdf

Nothing worked for me before this - painkillers, nasal sprays, earplugs - nothing!! Now, I do 1 or 2 pots every morning and it cleans my sinuses right up. I have never experienced the pain again!

If for some reason, you cant do this or it doesn't work for you, you can try another fix, which I read about on a forum. It doesn't work as well, but it offers considerable relief once the pain has set in.

Right before descent, ask the airline staff to bring you two cups, each half filled with hot water. You can stuff small towels or tissues into the cups and make sure the hot water doesn't flow onto you. Place each cup on one of your ears. It looks silly but it really helped reduce the intensity of the pain. This I used before I learned about Jal Neti.

Hope this helps!! Wish you luck with your next flight!!
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replied January 30th, 2013
I've had the same thing happen three times. Once so bad on a flight to Minnesota, the pain above my eye had that eye running with tears. What I have been doing now every time I fly is take Mucinex DM for about 5 days before I fly, and use a nasal spray like Flonase (it's awesome). I also bought Earplanes, to be extra careful. So far, I'vce flown 5-6 times since this method with no pain.
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replied May 8th, 2013
Nothing has worked so far
So I've had these same problems for the last 6 months. I had a CT scan and was given medication and all seemed well till I got on a flight from ATL to NYC. The pressure is as intense as anything else I've ever felt. Usually the headache goes away in 24 hrs or so but my return was 2 days later and now 15 days on I still have to take pain killers to get some temp relief. I've been doing inhalation twice a day and using a nasal spray. The funny part is I have no nasal congestion at all! No problem with the breathing or the typical heavy head feeling you get with sinus!
I fly in 2 days again and I'am already anxious about it, plus I'm going to see friends in NYC again and don't want this to be in the way of a fun weekend! But unless I find a magic cure, (which I'm hoping someone here has) I'm doomed.
The pressure equalizing technique mentioned in the posts has not helped so far.. I can't blow hard enough to equalize it seems.
Pls Help!
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replied June 9th, 2013
Any luck on finding a cure? I'm going on week two and it still feels like in got a pressurized bubble behind/above my right eye Sad going to visit a doctor if it doesn't go away soon..
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replied August 22nd, 2013
I have this same problem. No nasal congestion at all but my headache is going on for three weeks now. It hurts when I push on my right eyebrow. After 10 days, I went to the doctor who diagnosed it as a sinus infection and gave me antibiotics which I'm on my last day of. I am taking pseudoephedrine every day as well as claritin, and that helps alot with the headache but I don't want to take this stuff forever. I felt extreme pressure descending on my first flight, but on my return flight a few days later, the descent went fine. But again, still have the headache and am looking for answers.

For the people that got a CT scan and were giving medication, what medication were you given?
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