## Can You Go Skydiving with an Ear Infection?


Skydiving is an exhilarating and potentially life-changing experience. However, certain medical conditions, such as ear infections, can impact your ability to participate safely. This article delves into the risks and considerations associated with skydiving with an ear infection.

Understanding Ear Infections

Ear infections, also known as otitis media, occur when fluid and bacteria accumulate in the middle ear. The symptoms can range from discomfort and hearing loss to pain and fever. There are several types of ear infections, each with its own severity and duration.

Risks of Skydiving with an Ear Infection

Going skydiving with an ear infection poses several risks:

Barotrauma: Rapid changes in air pressure during ascent and descent can cause extreme pain and damage to the eardrum.
Vertigo: Inner ear infections can affect the vestibular system, leading to dizziness and disorientation.
Hearing Loss: Barotrauma can cause permanent hearing loss in some cases.
Spread of Infection: The high altitudes and physical exertion associated with skydiving can worsen the infection and spread it to other parts of the body, such as the sinuses or brain.

When to Avoid Skydiving

It is highly recommended to avoid skydiving if you have an active ear infection, regardless of its severity. Even minor infections can significantly increase the risk of complications.

Assessment and Clearance

If you have a history of ear infections, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting skydiving. An evaluation will determine the severity of your infection, its potential impact on your ability to skydive, and whether any precautions or restrictions are necessary.

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Precautions for Skydiving with an Ear Infection

In certain circumstances, skydiving with an ear infection may be possible with appropriate precautions:

Nasal Decongestants: Taking decongestants before the jump can help clear the ears and reduce pressure.
Earplugs: Wearing earplugs can protect the eardrums from barotrauma.
Gradual Ascent/Descent: Requesting the pilot to ascend and descend gradually can minimize the pressure changes.
Monitoring: If possible, bring a partner or instructor who can monitor your condition and assist if needed.

Other Considerations

In addition to the medical risks, there are other factors to consider when skydiving with an ear infection:

Comfort: Flying with an ear infection can be extremely uncomfortable, especially during the high-altitude portions of the jump.
Insurance: Some skydiving insurance policies may not cover injuries or complications resulting from preexisting medical conditions, such as ear infections.


Skydiving is an adventurous activity that should be approached with caution and appropriate precautions. While it is generally not recommended to skydive with an ear infection, certain individuals may be able to do so safely with careful planning and consultation with a medical professional. If you have any concerns or a history of ear infections, it is crucial to seek medical clearance before engaging in skydiving activities. By taking these steps, you can minimize the risks and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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