Pressurization and the inner ear...

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Posted by Frank ( on November 30, 1999 at 23:47:54:

In Reply to: Interesting Case? posted by dwd on November 30, 1999 at 16:52:56:

As you go up in altitude the air pressure decreases. Your inner ear reacts to equalize the pressure by bleeding it off. When you start back down, the sequence reverses. You can usually help equalize the pressure by yawning or taking a sip of water. If you know how, you can perform a valsalva movement by holding your nose, closing your mouth and blowing back pressure to open the eustachian tube. If you are having sinus problems because of a cold or inner ear infection, you are in trouble, because you cannot equalize the pressure and the pain is intense--probably about a Kip-8. This is what I believe you have experienced. It can occur on one side only, but usually, both sides hurt like hell. Of course, you can experience the same symptoms from a Sunday drive in the mountains. I hope for your sake that your pains are merely the result of flying with a sinus infection.

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