Air Travellers

air-img-2When flying in an aircraft, you may notice pain and temporary hearing impairment in one or both of your ears, especially when descending. You may even notice a more permanent hearing problem and feelings of vertigo. This is caused by a problem called Barotitis, an acute inflammation in the middle ear which is caused by a build-up of negative pressure as the surrounding atmospheric pressure changes during flight. Otovent can be used to equalise this pressure and remove all symptoms


Otovent_barotitis_eng-1Approximately 10% of adults and 20% of children develop Barotitis during flight. In 2004, a study was published which tested the effects of using Otovent® during flight. Before using Otovent®, 14% of 188 passengers suffered from the symptoms of Barotitis. This number was reduced to 6% when passengers used Otovent®.

A build-up of negative pressure in the middle ear is a common issue with many air travel passengers during their descent as atmospheric pressure in the cabin starts to rise. As negative pressure builds up behind the eardrum, it is drawn inwards and if the negative pressure is not normalized it can lead to an extremely painful condition known as Barotitis.

Barotitis can cause vertigo (normally transient) which varies in severity from barely noticeable to causing issues with your balance and making you feel sick and dizzy. These symptoms can last for several days which can be a real problem, especially if you are on holiday or need to drive. Barotitis also causes impaired hearing and can develop in varying degrees in children under 8 years old. Adults can usually normalize the pressure using a method known as the Valsalva manoeuvre. To perform the manoeuvre, you squeeze the nostrils together and force air into the ear, however children and some adults struggle to do this.


Pre-start: Normal pressure in the middle ear.

During ascent: Increased pressure in the middle ear.

On landing: Dysfunction of the Eustachian tube with negative pressure in the middle ear. The eardrum bulges inwards and hearing is almost normal.

Following landing: Negative pressure in the middle ear. The eardrum bulges in and hearing is impaired.