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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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Thanks for your recommendation regarding my ear itching.

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Thanks for your recommendation regarding my ear itching. Here is another question I have for you: Just over the last 6 months when taking off or landing in a plane, I've experienced shooting pains all over my head. The pain isn't localized, it literally feels like a smattering of fireworks shooting throughout my head for about 5 mintues. Deep shooting pain exploding into my gums, temples, eyes, and base of neck. At the time I wonder if I'm having a stroke and have no control over it, only hoping it will stop. It eventually does but now I'm afraid each time I go on a plane, which is often due to business. I was recommended nasal decongestents 30 minutes before take off and landing. Do you have other thoughts? Thanks for your help.

You're welcome, and thank you for your request.

Just speculating.....since I have flown many times myself. There are pressure changes that will affect your sinuses and ears. Either, or both of those areas, if there are problems with adjusting to the change in pressure during a take-off or landing could cause the effects you describe. Pain could be referred to all the areas you are describing.

If this continues to be a problem (vs. a one time occurrence) you should discuss it with your doctor. Especially if the decongestants don't work. There may be some underlying problem causing some pressure already, then flying exacerbates the issue. You may need further testing, like some imaging studies to see if anything is going on there.

And if it is due to a chronic sinus/ear problem which is quite possible, then finding something that works for you to minimize the congestion before flying will help. If you have allergies, then antihistamines and nasal decongestants should work. Chronic congestion could be caused by a chronic low level infection as well....or you may have something like polyps in your sinuses (reason for imaging studies). You would have to discuss all this with your doctor, of course.

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