Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Can a flight cause an ear infection?

  1. Sep 8, 2010 #1
    I understand how a pressure differential caused by an altitude change can cause temporary pain, but can it actually cause a lasting infection? There are two suspected cases in my entourage.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2010 #2
  4. Sep 10, 2010 #3
    Anything which can cause a fluid build-up in the inner ear raises the risk of infection. Ever been on an unpressurized flight?... heh, my ears didn't feel too great, and while it didn't directly infect me, it created the conditions for infection to set in.
  5. Sep 10, 2010 #4
    After several long deep dives, I ended up with a really bad sinus infection, which went into my inner ear. Ouch, talk about painful!
  6. Sep 10, 2010 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Any change of pressure from low to high can force some mucus with bacteria into inner ear through Eustachian tube, that can end in infection.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - flight cause infection Date
Regarding the biology of flying Feb 9, 2018
Medical What causes the risks of taking steroids? Jan 25, 2018
How does cotton agriculture cause soil exhaustion? Jul 8, 2017
Medical Cancer causes: circa 67% are Replication error Mar 23, 2017
Medical Flight mode Jun 8, 2015