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Does Flying Make Tinnitus Worse?

Flying often makes tinnitus (T) more noticeable, as the cabin pressure can dull your hearing. Also it’s kinda stressful travelling in a box with hundreds of other people, so that’s fertile ground for T.

If you’ve had a few experiences like this before, you’re already expecting T to become more prominent, which puts the final nail in the psychological coffin.

Management is psychological and physical. First, accept that T will probably be easier to hear if you fly.

(Then fly anyway, would be my best advice, because phobias grow and flying is really useful - but I’m not a psychologist so that’s a personal opinion!).

During the flight, and until your hearing returns to normal, enrich your sound environment. Headphones, TV, rain noise, whatever is best for you. Don’t blast the sound out - that also triggers T. But keep feeding your ears with sound at a comfortable level. Don’t allow yourself to fix on the T signal, focus on sound if you feel your mind going in that direction.

You won’t be permanently worsening your tinnitus through the act of flying, do not fear it. But it may get temporarily more noticeable.

If you’re still bunged up after the flight, have a really good yawn until your ears return to a happy pressure level.

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