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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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Old 28 Aug 2013
Taf Taf is offline
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ear pressure problem

Hi all,

Just looking for some advice regarding a medical problem I seem to be suffering. Every time i ride my bike i get a feeling of pressure in my right inner ear. the longer the bike trip is, the longer the feeling of pressure persists; its lasted anything from several hours to several weeks.

This started several years ago and is something that seems to be a permanent feature now following every trip.I have tried ear plugs, I have tried different helmets and have still got the problem. I love my bike, and over the past few years have been setting her up ready for a trip, but this is becoming annoying enough that it may stop me riding completely.

Just wondering if anyone else has suffered from this problem and what, if anything, you did to prevent it.

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Old 28 Aug 2013
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 3,919
I've had several chronic issues with my ears--some similar, but none precisely like yours, however. So here's my basic schtick:

Go see a doctor, preferably an ENT (Ear, nose, throat). Seriously. "Pressure" can indicate a wide variety of middle-ear issues, many of which can result in serious hearing loss or vertigo or balance issues, not to mention severe pain. Get some qualified medical help to figure out what's wrong in order to deal with it as best you can. You will not--unless extremely lucky--find this sort of help here, despite the fact that most of us have had trouble with our ears at some point in our lives.

Having said that, I get feelings of "pressure" quite often. Some are related to (observable) scarring on my eardrums; some to eustachian tube blockage, which can be temporary. Some have to do with a condition called benign postural vertigo, which features salts collecting within certain minute structures in the middle ear. Some are the result of wearing earplugs. Some have never been diagnosed. And some seem to be subjective manifestations of objective hearing loss due to wind and other noise while riding.

Hope that's helpful.

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Old 29 Aug 2013
Taf Taf is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: QLD Australia
Posts: 7
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the reply mate.
I have been to the DR, and also to an ENT specialist, and none of them can find any visible problems. Eustachian tube defect has been mentioned a a possible cause, but no one can explain why it appears after riding the motorbike.
I'm going out this week to buy another new helmet, different brand and style than i have used before. Hopefully this may be the solution. Don't really want to have to buy yet another helmet, but i would rather try that than give up on riding altogether.

Thanks again for the reply,

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Old 30 Aug 2013
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bribie Island Australia
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Try using chewing gum whilst you are riding, or get a female pillion so that you have to talk at least every five minutes
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Old 30 Aug 2013
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 60
I've had ear pain this year after 3 steady months of riding and am starting to think it may be related to my full face helmet putting pressure on my jaw. Just a thought...
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