Airplanes and tinnitus

Traveling in Airplanes with Tinnitus

by | Jun 15, 2018 | Patient Resources, Tinnitus

You may have heard that constant ringing sound within your ears even though there is no such auditory stimulus present in your environment. This might mean that you have tinnitus, which can be triggered due to several factors and environmental situations. One of these factors may be traveling via airplanes.

Looking forward to your next vacation, but dread the idea of flying because of your tinnitus? Don’t worry! There are several remedial techniques that can assure that you have a pleasant flight. Noises of the engine as well as fluctuations in the air pressure can worsen your tinnitus, but you can take steps to make sure you enjoy your flight.

Where To Sit

Start by choosing a seat that is best for you. Tinnitus is often triggered by loud noises, so ask your flight attendant to move you to a seat that is far away from the plane’s engines. It may be preferable for you to book a seat next to the aisle. You can also choose to sit closer to the wings of the airplane, or at the very back of the plane.

Protect Your Ears

Make sure you keep your ears well protected by wearing clothing that keeps your ears covered. This can easily be done with a scarf, a hat, or a hooded jacket. You may also benefit from wearing your hearing aids or earplugs during the flight.


It definitely does not help when you are fixated on your tinnitus, so think of helpful distractions that can shift your attention during the flight. Bring your favorite book along for the flight or listen to music at a low volume so that you can have something fun to do while simultaneously shifting your attention from your tinnitus.

Change in Air Pressure Tip

Changes in the air pressure during the flight may be uncomfortable and worsen the pain related with tinnitus. A simple trick to relieving this uncomfortable feeling is by yawning or swallowing. You can bring along a pack of your favorite candy and suck on a toffee or chew a gum to help alleviate the pain in your ears during the duration of the flight.

Tinnitus does not have to stop you dead in your tracks when it comes to traveling by air. The next time you book a flight, following the above recommendations will help ensure you have a wonderful flight so that you can be relaxed and refreshed enough to enjoy your vacation upon arrival. Have a wonderful vacation!

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Dr. Joshua Luekenga, Au.D., F-AAA, CCC-A, Audiologist

Dr. Joshua Luekenga is an audiologist and founder of The Utah Ear Institute which is comprised of 5 comprehensive clinics throughout Utah and Wyoming. He specializes in vestibular and balance diagnostics. He also evaluates and treats hearing disorders, Tinnitus, Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), Misophonia and Hyperacusis.

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