ES, Dentistry, Ear Canal Pain, and Air Travel

Hello everyone! I am so happy to have found this forum and read the posts I’ve read so far. How wonderful that this is here!

So, after a panoramic scan (picture shared below), my dentist told me he thinks I have ES. I’ve been trying to make an appointment with Dr. Hepworth, but he is currently not taking new patients according to his phone staff. They suspect I may be able to call in June with some hope for an appointment, but were not sure.

Meanwhile, I recently got offered a rare travel opportunity, all expenses paid. It is worth noting that it involves a short flight. I have not flown since 1999, because the last time I flew I got startling pain in my ear canals and was deaf for a couple of hours upon landing.

There are a few other moving parts to this picture (thank you for bearing with me!) that could have caused this besides ES, and many of them have been addressed and corrected, and/or are in remission. My sinus cavities were closed/partially collapsed (they found drinking straws where there should be garden hoses, essentially) and that has since been surgically corrected. I had an acoustic neuroma that was successfully treated with gamma knife. And I had meniere’s disease that was presumably caused by a combination of the sinus problem I mentioned, and a neck issue that was corrected with physical therapy. I told you there were a lot of factors! Thank you if you’ve continued to read this far. :slight_smile:

The person offering the trip suggested a shorter test flight (less than an hour, as opposed to the couple hour actual flight) to see how things go. I have been trying to find something here about air travel causing the kind of discomfort I experienced, and haven’t found much that sounds familiar. I’m both eager and concerned about traveling by air again (being a lifetime musician with a lot of past ear trauma, I tend to worry about all things ear), and am wondering if any of you can share similar experiences you may have had, or possibly offer ay insight based on the information given here and the picture I shared as to how likely ES is to have played a part in what I experienced as opposed to some of the other things.

Any input is greatly appreciated!

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Hi kraunque!

Good to hear from you & how much fun that you’ve been offered an all expenses paid trip! Lucky you but unlucky that a past plane trip caused you such hearing trauma. It’s my non-medical opinion that what you suffered last time was a result of the sinus issues, the blockage caused by the neuroma & your neck issue. Do you currently have ES type ear symptoms i.e. ear pain, tinnitus, pressure in your ears? Any of the possble vascular symptoms i.e. pulsatile tinnitus, migraines, brain fog, etc.? If not, you’re probably good to go, but I do like the idea of you taking a shorter flight first, if possible, to see how it feels.

It also occurred to me that perhaps taking an antihistamine before the flight might help as it would shrink any inflamed tissues so your ear pressure might be able to equalize more readily. Just a thought & might not make a difference if you have ES ear stuff going on.

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Thanks for your reply! Your post is making me feel a lot better about the test flight. Those symptoms have been pretty quiet lately (except the migraines; I’ve had those since I was 9. Had my first one in a couple of months this past week. I’d aggravated the neck and let my blood sugar tank though). I think what’s tough about this for me is these all have intersecting symptoms, and it’s hard for me to tell what causes what. I’ve had all those, but they are quiet lately, which makes me think they were connected to the issues we’ve already addressed. I hope, anyway. :slight_smile:

It’s so hard when you have several issues which seem to overlap! Sadly lots of us have complicated necks etc! I had jugular compression by the styloids, which caused increased pressure in my head, ear pressure was painful- I did fly a while after my surgeries & got the symptoms back a bit but not too bad, just for a couple of days, it was an 11hr flight. My hubby has sinus issues & he got similar symptoms after the flight too. It’s a difficult one- it sounds a fantastic opportunity, & would be a shame to miss it, but if you get alot of pain & deafness that won’t help your career! A short test flight sounds a good idea, & would suggest maybe sleeping propped up for a bit before & after the flight which might help with pressure…I’m guessing you’ve tried the sucking on a sweet thing they recommend for flying if you have ear trouble?


Jules, thank you for your reply! Yes, it really is difficult to tell what is causing which thing. And the potential jugular compression and any lasting hearing loss are exactly the very things I fear the most from this if I do have ES. I will try the sleeping propped up! Also, do you mean such as chewing gum for the sweet thing?

Yes, chewing gum or sucking on a sweet/ candy. I guess you have tried that then!

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You know, I didn’t back then, but I definitely will try it and any/all other suggestions this time! :slight_smile: I just wanted to make sure that was what you meant.