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Flying with SSHL diagnosed in one ear

I have recently been diagnosed with sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. To cut a long story short, I woke up one morning in April with a clogged ear but by the time I was referred to an ENT specialist who prescribed prednisolone it was already 7 weeks in so way too late to rescue my hearing. The GPs I saw before then I must say were pretty useless and at no point flagged it up as potentially SSHL. Also the lockdown & the impact on medical services didn't help.

I find myself now having to suddenly adjust to life with deafness in one ear which I find mildly terrifying. I am 51 so not that young but still, I did not to expect to find myself with sudden deafness in one ear at this age, maybe when older. I take comfort from the fact I know I’m not the only one who has had to experience this life-changing experience.

What I’m here for is to ask for advice on flying. I need to make several flights a year, some long haul. Of course now I’m terrified of suddenly also losing hearing in my good right ear –which itself has mild hearing loss according to the audiogram - which will render me completely deaf. I do occasionally get clogged ears from the pressure on planes so I worry that I might permanently also damage my good ear. I’ve read about wearing earplugs but this is not something I’ve ever done before on a plane & worry that by wearing them for the first time it might actually make things worse for my ears?

Any advice from anyone or tips about protecting my good ear on flights? I’d be grateful.      

Many thanks  
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Avatar universal
Hi blackbird1,
I don't have an answer as this was almost 3 years ago when you posted this but I too am now 51 & diagnosed with SSHL.  I too am getting ready to fly & go on a cruise.  Did you experience any issue when you fly?  It also scares me that my good ear will start acting up.  Any info you have will be very beneficial.  Thanks!
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Hi, sorry to hear you have SSHL. It's a massive shock at the beginning but you do adjust to it eventually. And it helps now I have a good hearing aid. As it happens, I haven't flown at all yet due to the extended lockdowns & then subsequent health issues so can't help you with your question. I do plan to fly later this year though so will be great to hear your experience when you get back, or any tips you have. Good luck!  
Hi Minton424,
Just wondering if you could share your experience of your recent flying trip? I'm gearing myself up to do a flight, still very hesitant as I'm worried about losing further hearing. How did it go for you, if you don't mind sharing that is.
Avatar universal
I heard chewing gum helps at high altitudes. Mine popped once going down a steep mountain and my gf gave me gum to unpop it.
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