Q. Is it safe to opt train travel while recovering from a ruptured eardrum?

Answered by
Dr. Shyam Kalyan N
and medically reviewed by Dr. Nithila A

Hello doctor,

I am currently recovering from a ruptured eardrum due to a bacterial infection of my inner and middle ear. I am still oozing a little bit, mostly at night, but the pain has finally subsided. The pain was very bad for about a week. I have finished taking my Amoxicillin tablets, and now I am finishing my anti-bacterial ear droplets until the bottle runs out per doctors orders. As of right now, my doctor advises I not fly for at least another two weeks. I am reading mixed things about ear and pressure when exposed to an airplane or a tunnel, but still very uncertain if the pressure experienced by a tunnel is the cause for enough concern at this point to not to go on my trip. I would like to know whether the train would be fine for me?

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Dr. Shyam Kalyan N

Allergy Specialist Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

If the channel tunnel that you would probably take is deep water, then it is best to avoid. Flight journeys and deep-sea pressures expose you to extreme changes of stress, which usually get compensated by a normal functioning eustachian tube. In your case, where you suffered a ruptured drum due to an infection, the middle ear, the drum, and the eustachian tube are slightly going to be inflamed now and still not in the best of their functions. In such a situation, your undertaking such journeys with extreme changes of pressures can cause a rupture of the thinly formed fresh drum. So it is better to avoid it.

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