Anyone who has had a cold or ear problems knows that air travel can be quite painful and flying with sinus infection problems is no picnic either. During your flight, the air pressure between the plane cabin and your sinus cavities and middle ear has to equalize in order to avoid pain. However, if you have a sinus infection, the swelling in the nasal passageways can prevent that equalization from occurring and even cause more potential problems like extreme ear pain and in rate instances, toothaches.
Side Effects of Flying with Sinus Infection Problems
Sinus pain and ear pain are not the only side effects of flying with sinus infection problems. If you are not already on antibiotics, you could either infect someone else with your germs or you may end up with even more germs picked up from someone else on the airplane. After all, the recycled air circulating through the plane cabins is not the cleanest around and could harbor all sorts of germs.
The likely scenario of flying with sinus infection problems is that your Eustachian tube in your ears will become blocked. The pressure changes inside you ear can cause a few problems like dizziness or vertigo, temporary hearing loss and even tinnitus, which is a ringing in the ears. The worst case scenario of flying with sinus infection issues is that your blocked Eustachian tube caused by pressure changes could result in a ruptured ear drum.
Treatment Options when Flying with Sinus Infection Troubles
Your doctor will be the first to tell you that flying with sinus infection problems is not a smart move on your part. However, if you must travel via plane, there are a few things you can do to lessen your pain symptoms and get through the flight with relative ease.
First of all, when flying with sinus infection troubles, you want to combat that congestion problem. Over the counter decongestant sprays or a prescribed medication is essential. Of course, you should start taking your oral medications several days before flying if possible. Reserve the nasal sprays for before, during and after your flight. Don’t forget to bring some pain reliever as well to ease the sinus, body and ear aches that you are sure to experience as well.
Chewing gum or drinking fluids to promote active swallowing can help keep the air pressure equalized in your ears when flying with sinus infection troubles. If you are still having a problem with plugged up ears, pinch your nose closed and try to exhale while your mouth is closed. Sometimes, this technique will result in a popping noise in your ear and other times, if you are really congested, you may hear a whistling sound.
There is one other over the counter aid which could greatly help you with flying with sinus infection troubles. Special ear plugs called “ear planes” are devices you stick in your ears which help with the regulation of cabin pressure during flight. Many flight attendants and pilots use these when they are particularly prone to ear troubles during air travel.
While no one solution is available to combat pain while flying with sinus infection problems, hopefully a combination of some of the remedies above can help. Of course, always consult with your doctor to determine the best travel solutions while you are sick.
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