British Tinnitus Association

Pain and severe tinnitus after flying. Anyone else have this. very frightened

Hi guys,

I've had tinnitus for a long time, as far back as I remember, but it never bothered me.

I recently went on holiday and when I got back I felt almost car sick for a couple of days after (there was lots of turbulence). I then felt a little better and then 5 days later I started with severe tinnitus in both ears. I also have ear pain and pains moving around my head and round my eyes and over the nose.

Before going away I was quite sick with a head cold and ear infection which cleared up about 2 weeks before the holiday. I have been to the doc and she says that the trauma from the flight has caused the pain and tinnitus and she can see the attic of my ear looked a bit pulled. She also saw a bit of strep throat starting. I now have antibiotics and Keral to take for 7 days.

I guess Im asking has anyone else had this happen? How long for the pain to go away? It's day 4 and the ringing is extreme and the pain in my ears is horrible. Sleeping and relaxing is impossible with the noise. This will calm down won't it? Is it possible I had decompression symptoms after travelling? I'm very scared.


Kornish Piskie xx

8 Replies

Hi Piskie

I know this is easier said than done but you need to remain calm and relaxed as possible. Tinnitus has a real habit of feeding off your stress levels and sounding worse. It's a vicious circle which can be hard to break particularly if you are tense and frightened

You need to give your ears some time to rest and adjust. Try listening to some natural sounds like rainfall or waves at a low level when you are in bed to aid natural sleep. You could try some over the counter sleeping aids like kalms to see if they help to.

The ear pain isn't pleasant but keep taking the antibiotics just in case. If you feel they are not working then speak to your GP again

Take it easy and get as much rest as possible Kornish. In time your ears will heal and sort themselves out.

Best wishes


PS Porth Leven rocks !! 😀


(Not medically qualified) It sounds like there's been some trauma to the ear - whether this is from flying, or leftover infection from the cold, I can't comment. Hopefully the antibiotics will help, but if you continue to experience pain after the course is finished, do go back to your GP as soon as you can.

Tinnitus will normally resolve after an infection, but from my own experience, there's a bit of a time lag between the two!


Hi nicbta,

Its still ongoing though the pain has subsided a bit more. I went back to a and e again because of the pain. They gave me naproxen with stomach protector, actifed, nasofan and im taking paracetamol and codeine.

Iam now able to change the pitch of the beep in my right ear by putting my tongue on my top teeth. Its now 16 days since the tinnitus and 10 with the pain.

The beep is not my normal tinnitus which ive had as far back as I remember and it never bothered me. It moves from one ear to the other. It also fels like it is not deep in my ears.

I wont be able to see an Ent for a month. Im so worried that im stuck like this. A and e said it was fluid stuck in the ear causing pressure and it needs to come out through my eustachian tubes. The fluid is amplifying everything and I will be better in 5 days. Its been 5 days and tho improvement in pain the tinnitus remains.

Any ideas? Suggestions?




Hi Kornish

It's normal for tinnitus to change in pitch/tones. And what you describe is sometimes called somatic tinnitus, where people can change the perception of their tinnitus by moving muscles in their face and jaw - and of course the tongue is just a specialised muscle.

I'm not medically qualified, but from experience, tinnitus caused by an infection does clear up. It tends to linger for a while even after pain is gone, and medications finished, but it does go! I'm a case in point - and I had tinnitus before the internet, so I didn't have a clue what was going on. So there is hope!

Obviously, keep going to the medical professionals if the pain is persisting, or if there's a discharge, but this could be just a question of patience.


Im going crazy. I cant deal much longer with this. I went back to work today and its very quiet there. It just got louder and louder. Pain returned in the ears, jaw and throat, itching in the ear aswell. Last night it felt like it was going away and this morning I woke with no ringing in my left ear at all. But the whole day has been awful. 3 weeks til i see the ENT. The only diagnosis I got was from A & E (though I think he was ENT). Im so scared Nicbta. my ears hurt sound hurts but no sound is unbearable. I have a possible abscessed tooth that is being dealt wiht on friday and im worried that will do to the tinnitus. Im so sorry. I feel so alone. I have a history of vertigo and migraine too and this is just more for me to deal with.


It sounds like you have a lot going on health wise. Tinnitus often flares up when other health issues are going on, so once the abscessed tooth is dealt with, things may be easier.

If you are still experiencing pain, I suggest that you go back to your GP. You may also want to tell them that you emotionally wrung out by this - they may be able to offer something to help.


Hi NicTBA,

I didnt get the tooth sorted as i had a pan ic attack when I went in. My partner is coming tomorrow with me. Im going to ask them to extract it. the left side of my face hurts and I think its from the tooth. The pain in my ears has altered. a pushing sensation in the ear canal and itching.. the tinnitus has changed again too. Is it possible for otitis media to turn into otitis externa? I googled the ear pain im having and its very similar and different to when this all began. I also cleaned my ear with ear buds (I know very bad I didnt go deep) but I noticed that my ears felt tighter than usual and can this cause tinnitis?

Thanks for listening to me


Hi kornish, I know it's been a while but cal ask if your tinnitus ever went back to normal

I too have tinnitus, travelled with a cold, and had excruciating pain on the flight. I've been home for a week and have pain in ears, behind eyes, and over nose. Your symptoms. My tinnitus has significantly spiked and I'm getting worried that it won't return to normal

The doctor tells me I have otitis externa so using a spray, so there's hope that that will fix it

Just checking how you are months on




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