I was recently (around 6 weeks ago) on a short return flight from France. During the descent, my left eardrum ruptured when the cabin pressure equalised (which was noticed by a nurse directly afterwards at the airport, and later confirmed by a doctor).

It is partially healed, and has been kept dry (the hole appears to have scabbed over), but I'm planning another flight in the near future.

If an eardrum is already partially perforated, will the risks of another episode of barotrauma reduce, or will the risks be increased due to a weakened membrane?

  • Perhaps you can explain what you mean by partially healed? The answer does depend on your definition. Thanks. :) Oct 27, 2015 at 2:45
  • @anongoodnurse added pretty much the description my doctor gave me (it has fully healed now, too). Apparently my other ear had went, too, but I didn't notice it whatsoever.
    – Amelia
    Oct 27, 2015 at 9:33

1 Answer 1


According to the NHS, it is safe to fly with a perforated eardrum. They say that it may even cause less discomfort because air can pass more easily through the hole that has formed in your eardrum. You did mention that the hole has appeared to have scabbed over, but that still shouldn't put you at a risk of furthering the damage to your ear. It might cause a bit more discomfort, but more damage won't occur and the healing process won't slow down.

NHS: Is it safe to fly with a perforated eardrum?

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