OT - This ever happen to you on a plane?

The past few times I’ve flown, well, some of the times in the past few times I’ve flown, when the plane starts to descend, I feel a lot of pain on the right side of my head from my jaw to the top of my head. I mean a lot. I’ve had the ear-popping thing before because of altitude, but if this is it, it’s so much stronger as to hardly be recognizable as the same thing. As it happens I think it must be some change of pressure in the plane, but when I look around, I don’t see anyone else grabbing the sides of their heads in agony. Last time I flew, I was sleeping and the pain woke me up and I thought to myself “are we starting to descend?” and sure enough, like 10 seconds later, the pilot announces the initial descent. Has this happened to any of you?

I wonder if it’s connected to me feeling dizzy all the time. I’ve been dizzy on an off for over a year now and doctors don’t know what’s wrong with me because I dont’ have any other sympoms other than feeling dizzy. I’m supposed to go back to the neurologist if I get any other symptoms, but I’m not sure if this counts as one, and I don’t want to spend all the money to see the doctor for nothing (which is what it felt like last time I went there). It had been getting better, but the past few days been feeling dizzy again. I’m dizzy right now at home by myself in front of the computer. I wish I would just get better. :pout:

Yes! I do believe this counts as a symptom. Anything out of the ordinary should be reported to your doctor and especially the neurologist. I’m not going to speculate about what it could be, but it could be serious (or nothing), but you need to know either way. This doesn’t sound normal to me. :hug: :hug:

Ménière’s disease can cause dizziness and tinnitus… It’s an inner ear disorder. I don’t know if planes and stuff affect it, but it may be worth asking the doctor about. Just a thought.

You should definitely call your Dr.

I have really bad pain from my ears popping and it even affects me when I drive to a slightly higher altitude, but nothing like you’re describing.


Man, sounds like me last year. The dizziness mostly went away. It still happens occasionally, I think it’s related for me to dehydration (apparently I dehyrdate super easy?) but this isn’t a doctor diagnosis, just stuff I’ve noticed lately.

I don’t fly often, but I have had bad headaches from pressure changes before, including the last time I flew. Can you call the doctor first to talk to him/her before going in and shelling out the cash for an appointment?

I agree with Jan, you should definitely have it checked out. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be related at least you will know rather than wait and have the possibility of a bigger problem. I hope you feel better! :hug:

Do you have fluid in your ears? My son has problems with fluid in his ears, no ear infections or anything, just the fluid. Maybe it’s something related with that? Just another thought to throw out there, but I would definately call the doctor and let him know.

i have a similar problem but only in my left ear. flying up i’m perfectly fine. my ears slowly adjust to the pressure.

when we start the descent, however, my right ear adjusts but my left ear never pops. yawning and gum chewing don’t help.
and so, when we finally hit the ground i have this massive ear ache, a pain in my jaw that feels similiar to the pain i felt when my wisdom teeth were coming in and pushing the rest of my teeth. all of that sets off a headache as well. and then my hearing gets all messed up.

i don’t experience any dizziness though.

on my last few plane trips i’ve had to REALLY work to depressurize my left ear. what i do is squeeze my nose while pushing air “through” it. this will actually pop my right ear and all the air i’m pushing through actually kind of escapes through my ear… so… this is weird… i have to plug my right ear with my other hand. and then PUSH. i’d recommend slowly increasing the pressure instead of one real big push.
i usually get up and do this in the washroom, 'cause, i’d imagine i look pretty silly pinching my nose with my left hand and plugging my ear with my right. :?eyebrow:

hopefully that can help you in the future!

i’ve had problems with fluid in my ear too, so, that could be a cause. and sometimes when i’m doing the whole pressurize-ing thing to my left ear it almost sounds like liquid (as well as air) is escaping. :shrug:

Sounds like most of you are on the right track - mwedzi, I’d recommend getting a referral to an ENT (ear,nose, throat) specialist, especially after your latest symptoms of pain w/air pressure differentials. Dizzyness can be caused by a LOT of different things, including in your brain, but also especially in your auditory (ear) system. This plus your increasing pain w/plane descent suggests a blockage somewhere in either your sinus or ear systems. Do you have problems w/your ears, sinuses, or allergies, etc.?

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!


When I fly, i have a similar problem… sometimes i feel like i’m gonna scream in agony, but don’t want to alarm the other passengers. I think my issue is more my sinuses, above my eyes in my forehead type thing, and I sometimes get really scared, cause it simply feels like my head is gonna explode. I had wondered if anyone else has unpleasant flying experiences cause no-one else on the planes seems to react like this. It’s bloody awful, and I dread flying sometimes because of it - I even take sinus tablets before hand to try and help the problem but it doesn’t really.


Please check my PM to you.


Well, at least I’m not the only one. five_six, it’s like that feeling, like something’s going to explode. and simplethings, you sound a lot like me. I already don’t like flying because of a bit of motion sickness, and I generally feel poorly once I’ve been on a plane for several hours, with symptoms similar to a cold, and now this! it’s terrible, cuz i love to travel to different places.

cawthraven, was your dizziness the room spinning sort, or the generally unstable sort? nothing spins when i’m dizzy, i just feel unstable.

They did look in my ear and didn’t see anything, but they said it might be something they can’t see.

I wondered for a time if it might be my blood pressure. I was going to participate in one of the many studies the univ. hospital does on, mostly, students for pay, but they said my blood pressure was too high. And once after my worst dizziness, I took it at one of those machines at Osco, and it was really high. But how accurate are those things anyway? Whenever I go to my regular student care office, it’s always fine. :shrug:

Okay, thanks for all the replies, everyone. I’ll call the neurologist again. Or maybe I’ll go in to the general doctor again and try to get a referral to a nose ear throat specialist.

And thank you, Landolph, for your pm.

It was unstable sort of dizziness…but I had really low blood pressure when it was at its worst. :hug:

I hope they figure it out soon. Mine got worse because I started having panic attacks because of the dizziness. :pout:

My blood pressure isn’t classed as low, but i’m always told i’m sitting one the very low end of normal… so sometimes when i get up, everything goes black, and at its worst, i get all wobbly and swoon and i have to grab something so i don’t fall over (which used to freak DH out badly when we first started seeing each other), but once the blood catches up to the body movement all gets good again.

Yeah, I’ve always had that. But last year, I was getting super, super dizzy. I went in for a doctor’s office during a dizzy spell and he’s like, “Yeah, it’s 90 over 60.” That’s technically low-normal, but I always had normal-normal before–120/70 or so. :shrug:

When I fly, I have very significant sinus issues - that could be what’s going on. Does taking a decongestant (like Sudafed) help? You might also try Dramamine or Bonine (anti-airsick stuff) for the dizziness - those medications help with inner ear issues, which cause vertigo and nausea. (Just don’t drive after taking them - they’ll knock you out for a few hours!)