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How does flying affect the inner ear?

Answer: 

Very occasionally, sudden decompression - a drop in air pressure - occurs in the plane. This can affect the inner ear, our organ of hearing that detects sound, and cause a sudden disturbance in your balance and hearing.

This is extremely rare, but if it does happen go to the accident and emergency department of the nearest hospital as quickly as possible after landing to check for any damage and to get treatment.

If you develop any ear problems or conditions during or following a flight which do not clear up after a few hours, you should see your GP.

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