Q. Is it advisable to fly with semicircular canal dehiscence and patulous eustachian tube dysfunction?

Answered by
Dr. Vinay S Bhat
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 08, 2020 and last reviewed on: Feb 11, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have two inner ear conditions. Both are somewhat rare: Right-semicircular canal dehiscence and Left- patulous eustachian tube dysfunction. What I want to know is whether I can fly- take an airplane without getting ill and sustain further inner damage?

Dr. Vinay S Bhat

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

1. Super semicircular canal dehiscence is a rare inner ear condition. In this condition there will be giddiness and imbalance when exposed to loud noise and imbalance, echoing of once own voice, etc. This condition usually does not get worsened by change in environmental pressure. So air travel will not be an issue in this condition. In any case keep anti-vertigo medications such as Stemetil handy when you fly.

2. Patulous eustachian tube is a condition involving middle ear and nose. My guess is because of similarity in symptoms you have been given both the diagnosis. I can say that if there is vertigo then it is superior canal dehiscence if there is no vertigo chances of Patulous eustachian tube are high. In any case people with Patulous eustachian tube will have certain degree of pressure symptoms in ear when they fly but most of the times it will not be very severe. You can use simple saline nasal spray before boarding the flight and every two hours in air to reduce symptoms.

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