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Forgive me if the writing does not seem like a personal request, I have been copy/pasting this across forums and other health care websites trying to receive help.
Excruciating pain in ears during airplane descent, and throughout the whole night after landing. I'm not talking about airplane discomfort, I'm talking about having knives being twisted deep into your ears. I'm talking about having your jaw in a vice, tightened to the point just before your bones snap. I've broken bones before... my leg, fingers, toes, and wrist... that pain was nothing compared to this. Help!
Two nights ago I returned from my 10 days in California (Lompoc, if you're familiar), visiting family. The flight there was a straight flight from STL Missouri to LA California. The flight there went smoothly, with my normal ear discomfort, and I was able to pop and relieve my ears multiple times throughout the flight. The flight went just as all of my flights have, just fine with no problems (I've been flying on airlines since I was 6 years old. I flew twice a year until I was 16, and then I only flew 4 times between the ages of 17-19... and now at twenty years old this was my latest flight).
I had fun in California, but a few days before I left I started to get a runny nose. I had a runny nose for the last 3 days before I left. The flight leaving Cali went to las vegas, that flight was fine. During the second flight to STL, I had above average discomfort in my right ear once we reached 10k ft+. The pain was annoying, but bearable. Once we started descending, the pain immediately surpassed any pain i've ever felt before. I've broken bones before... I've broken my leg, fingers, toes, and my wrist... that pain was nothing compared to this. Nothing I did soothed the pain, I downed 800MG ibuprofen, it had no effect. I chewed gum, I massaged my neck/jaw, my girlfriend massaged my neck/back did everything she knew soothed me, I tried to eat food, nothing worked. For some reason, even thinking about that pain is increasing the level of pain i'm still feeling right now (i'll get to that later). The pain was enough to where I tried to bite my tongue to avert my mind from the pain in my ears and jaw. When we landed, I burst into tears because I had hoped and hoped that it would stop... and it didn't. The pain persisted for the rest of that night until I took some pharmaceuticals and drugged myself to sleep.
When I woke up, the pain was the normal discomfort I feel on an airplane. It has now been more than 35 hours since I landed, and the discomfort is still here. If I burp a certain way, or yawn to hard the pain intensifies to what it was during descent. I have no idea what to do or how to prevent this from ever happening again.
But, this has happened before. Last summer, I went to New Mexico to work at Philmont high adventure base as a trail guide (Ranger). Towards the end of my stay there, I became sick with a runny nose and sore throat. Because I was sick, I was forced to stay in base and not trek up into the mountains. After 2 -3 days of being sick in base... I was woken up in the middle of the night by the same type of pain described above (the pain during descent). But it was not as severe as the pain on the plane. I went to the ER in New Mexico, and they looked in my ear and saw nothing out of the ordinary. The pain was intense enough I could not sit still let alone sleep, so they prescribed 800MG ibuprofen (all they had at the time). The pain was rough, but it did not put me into tears like on the plane. The next day, the ER contacted the closest hospital and they sent over a decongestant nasal spray and prescribed it to me to take before every meal and once before and after sleep.
The spray did nothing, and I was forced to simply deal with the "normal airplane discomfort" that followed the days afterwards. Because of the late night incident, the doctor advised me to not go into the mountains (elevation change)... I waited 5 days religiously following my prescription, and I could wait no longer. I went with a friend into the mountains and once I reached an elevation change of 2000 feet my ears popped and the pressure, the ringing, the pain.... everything was gone.. Everything was fine after that. But now, I'm in Missouri.... there are no mountains for me climb. What do I do?
****The symptoms I'm currently feeling****
Sudden pain in the ears, it intensifies and then dulls without warning.
A constant loud ringing, I am currently hard of hearing.
Sometimes, I can feel the fluid behind my ear drums move when I tilt my head at an angle. I currently cannot do that, but it was happening yesterday (off the plane).
Severe short bursts of pain when I burp a certain way, or finish a yawn.
Pressure in my ears (the pressure changes and switches location throughout the day. The pressure can be anywhere from a grape in my ear canal up to what feels like an orange, lol)
***Things I've tried***
A heat bag, so far this is the only thing that "helps". I use quotes on helps, because I can't tell if it lessons the pain or simply makes me comfortable enough to push out the pain and think of other things.
Decongestants (They help my nose, but not my ears)
large doses of ibuprofen (does nothing)
Tylenol (does nothing)
Percoset (Helped me ignore the pain and sleep)
A hot steamy shower (did nothing but cleanse my pores)
Trying to pop my ears by gently blowing against a held nose (did nothing)
Yawning (did nothing)
Chewing gum (nothing)
I had my ears examined, and again they look fine.
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