Does flying affect your Meniere’s symptoms?
We often get emails asking if flying is going to be a problem with Meniere’s Disease.
In theory the added air pressure could increase the swelling inside he ear and increase the prospect of heightened pressure on the hearing and balance nerves. Therefore increasing the possibility of an attack.
In practice though it seems very few people actually do have adverse affects simply from flying. Buzz Aldrin suffered from Meniere’s Disease yet he flew to the moon!
Menieres,org reports: “Most Meniere’s sufferers report no difficulty at all with flying, indeed some report feeling better for the experience”.
I can say from my own personal experience that, although I always suffered with low barometric pressure during storms when I had Meniere’s disease (I no longer have Meniere’s), I flew many times, long haul, and never experienced an increase in any symptoms. Indeed, I even spent a week scuba diving and the severe pressure on the ears never caused me any problem at all.
While on a flight, you may experience pain in your ear as altitude changes quickly but that is a normal phenomenon and has nothing to do with Meniere’s. Pinching your nostrils closed and your mouth closed a short, sharp blow of air can clear the pressure in your ear immediately. This is a divers’ trick called “equalizing”.
Good rule of thumb would be to make sure all other aspects of your life that may increase possibilities of triggering an attack are eliminated or reduced prior to flying.
Be strict about your diet in the days leading up to the flight, stay away from alcohol, keep stress to a minimum and make sure you get enough sleep.
On board, request low salt meals, do not drink alcohol and keep yourself hydrated with water.
And enjoy the flight.
Skydiving with Meniere’s Disease
September 13th 2014, 75 year old Rowland Jenkins braved a skydive to raise money for The Meniere’s Society in the UK : http://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/local/skydive-pensioner-s-terror-1-6294944