Is Flying With Ear Infection Safe
It is usually recommended that you don’t fly if you have an ear infection. With an ear infection, the Eustachian tubes become clogged with fluid and the pressure inside of the plane’s cabin can cause severe pain in your ears. In addition, along with the pain, the eardrums can be damaged during a flight.
The Eustachian tubes are located at the back of the eardrum and run to the back of the throat. Normally, the tubes are clear and allow for air pressure to be equalized on both sides of the eardrums. However, if you do have an ear infection, fluid can build-up in the tubes and clog them, which doesn’t allow the pressure to equalize.
Possible Effects of Flying with Ear Infection
If you do fly with an ear infection or if your Eustachian tubes are clogged, you may experience some unusual symptoms. While the most common symptom will be severe pain due to the pressure changes in the cabin, you may also experience vertigo. Vertigo usually makes you feel dizzy and you may feel nauseous and vomit.
Another symptom you may experience during a flight is tinnitus, which is a ringing in the ears. Tinnitus can also cause a temporary loss of hearing. Due to the pressure placed on the ears during a flight, it is possible that the tympanic membranes, or the eardrums, may rupture if your Eustachian tubes are severely clogged.
Sinus Infections And Flying: Should You Avoid Air Travel With A Sinus Infection
Flying is stressful enough when youre in perfect health, so having a sinus infection and flying has the potential to be a miserable affair. And it can only make matters worse if youre already dealing with sinus infection nausea or if sinus infections and anxiety go hand in hand for you.
At the same time, many question the safety of getting on a plane with a sinus infection. We are often asked, Is a sinus infection dangerous to other passengers? or Is combining sinusitis and flying a bad idea in general?
The good news is: Having to deal with both a sinus infection and flying doesnt have to be an entirely uncomfortable affair. Check out these tips for sinus infections and flying to learn more.
Can I Fly With Abroken Ear Drum And Sinus Infection
In severe cases, rupture of the tympanic membrane may occur. Most doctors would agree that avoiding flying when you have an active sinus or ear infection is the best way to prevent pain and possible complications, but if flying is a necessity, decongestants can be used in an attempt to overcome some of the blockages to air circulation.
What Do I Do If Flying With Allergies Is My Only Option
The best way to avoid pain and complications is to not fly with an active sinus or ear infection but what if you have to fly? If you must fly with sinus issues there are some steps you can take to reduce the blockages and avoid the pain.
- Take either oral or topical decongestants before the flight to avoid blockages
- Take over the counter pain medications to reduce the pain from the air pressure
- Chew gum or swallow frequently to âpopâ the ears
- Use the Valsalva Maneuver – Hold your nose and try to exhale through a closed mouth to âpopâ the ears
- Use âEar Planesâ – ear plugs developed to regulate air pressure in the ears
Sore Throat Cough Flu Sinus Infections Or Sickness After Flying On Airplane In Salt Lake City Ut
As we approach the holiday season, many people are being proactive and booking their flight to their destinations for the upcoming holidays. With the crowded spaces, long flights, and extensive travel plans we face, many people ask themselves, Can flying on the plane result in a cold, flu, or sinus infection? A group of researchers tried to look into the subject. Though the answer to this question is a challenge to answer scientifically, we at ENT Specialists would like to help people better prepare for their traveling.
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Sinus Infection Departing Terminal A Never To Return
Dr. Michael Kaplan, a leading balloon sinuplasty provider in Houston, has given thousands of Houstonians long-lasting relief from sinus infections. He and the staff at Kaplan Sinus Relief provide experienced and professional care using state-of-the-art ENT treatments and procedures.
Before you force yourself onto yet another flight while dealing with a sinus infection, schedule an appointment with Kaplan Sinus Relief by contacting us online or giving us a call at 713-766-1818.
Recommendations Once On Board
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Know Whether Or Not Youre Contagious
Sinus infections can be caused either by a virus or bacteria . Knowing the root of your sinus infection will help you decide whether youre going to risk getting all of your fellow passengers sick. Note that an untreated sinus infection can lead to an upper respiratory infection, which is also contagious.
For more information, check out this post: Can a sinus infection be contagious?
What Do You Do If You Have A Sinus Infection
Try to avoid people you have cold and flu -like symptoms. If you have sinusitis, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands to avoid making anyone sick. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: Sinusitis Overview. CDC: Sinus Infection . Cleveland Clinic: Acute Sinusitis.
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Avoid Caffeine And Alcohol
If you know youre someone who regularly struggles with getting in your eight glasses of water a day, its best to stay away from caffeine and alcohol. Youre probably thinking, Well arent those beverages that contain water? Yes, but theyre both diuretics which make you lose more water than you take in. Drinking hot herbal tea is a better alternative especially if you breathe in the steam, itll keep your sinuses moist throughout the flight. So stay hydrated and stay away from the coffee and wineon your trip at least.
Getting Sick After Flying: How It Happens
FYIWHAT ABOUT MOTION SICKNESS?
Getting sick after traveling on a plane, train, or boat is one thing. Getting sick during travel is another. Motion sickness, though, is not uncommon it can cause such symptoms as nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. Read about how to treat the condition in our post Motion Sickness: If It Hits You on Long Trips, Consider These Prevention Steps.
So why does flying on a plane increase our susceptibility to getting sick?
What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Fluid buildup in the sinuses can cause germs to grow, leading to a sinus infection.
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often lasts even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria or, rarely, fungus may cause a sinus infection.
Pressure Changes In Flight
Whether flying in an unpressurised or pressurised aircraft, passengers and crew will experience a decrease in ambient pressure whilst climbing, and an increase in pressure during descents. Some of these changes can be quite rapid. Such changes in pressure, and the speed of change, are not normally experienced on the ground a rare example concerns travelling on a train as it enters or exits a tunnel at great speed. Divers will also experience similar pressure changes as they descend and ascend.
In most people, the ability of the middle ear to equalise pressure via the Eustachian tubes is adequate to prevent discomfort and retain good hearing during all stages and profiles of flight. This is mostly achieved automatically, and any lag between the middle ear cavity and the aircraft cabin can usually be eliminated by gentle yawning or chewing. Sometimes, if pressure is felt within the ear, it is possible to force the issue by clasping the nose and blowing into a closed mouth what may be known as popping the ears. Even when the Eustachian tubes are infected it can be relatively easy to equalise the ears when adjusting to lower cabin pressure . However, in the descent, even the Valsalva method may not pop the ears and the increased external pressure will cause great discomfort
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What Is Ear Barotrauma
Barotrauma typically affects the middle ear. The middle ear contains a pocket of air that is especially sensitive to changes in air pressure outside the body. When flying, driving through the mountains, or going scuba diving, your ears can begin the hurt due to this pressure change.
Common symptoms of ear barotrauma are:
- Pain or discomfort in your ears
- A feeling like your ears are stuffed
- Temporary hearing loss
- In rare cases, bleeding from the ear
If you’re experiencing severe ear pain when flying, adults should contact their doctor if it lasts more than a few hours.
How Does Air Travel Affect Sinuses
Anytime you are traveling or sharing public spaces in areas in close proximity to others, the chances of catching a bacterial or viral infection are higher. Germs are more likely to spread in this kind of environment and certain allergens, like pet dander, could be present. Many take care when traveling on the subway, trains, buses, and planes to avoid germs by wearing face masks, taking multivitamins, or using hand sanitizer. While these can help in any mass transit situation, there are certain difficulties during air travel that are harder to avoid, such as close quarters, small cabin space, dry air, drastic altitude changes, and shared circulated air. These difficulties may make air travel particularly hard on your immune system, sinuses, and ears.
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Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
Ok Fly With A Sinus Infection
View Full ProfilehaveCapiteIs it safe to fly with a sinus infection? Even if it is, is it a bad idea?Is there anything I can do to alleviate any problems , like maybe taking Claritin?I have to travel to NYC tomorrow from Chicago. I started developing a sinus infection yesterday , and was able to start taking Zithromax right away. But I can still feel it.I saw a couple things on the Internet saying it could cause ‘discomfort’ or ‘pain’ but nothing about it being unsafe. Does anyone know? Has anyone tried it?I actually do have the option of taking Amtrak if this would be a problem, but it would take almost 19 hours.View Full ProfileCapiteIs it safe to fly with a sinus infection? Even if it is, is it a bad idea?Is there anything I can do to alleviate any problems , like maybe taking Claritin?I have to travel to NYC tomorrow from Chicago. I started developing a sinus infection yesterday , and was able to start taking Zithromax right away. But I can still feel it.I saw a couple things on the Internet saying it could cause ‘discomfort’ or ‘pain’ but nothing about it being unsafe. Does anyone know? Has anyone tried it?I actually do have the option of taking Amtrak if this would be a problem, but it would take almost 19 hours.NEVERlinsjAlso take Ocean nasal spray. Use it 30 min. before take off and landing.
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Dos: What To Do When You Have A Sinus Infection
When you have sinusitis there are specific things you can do to reduce inflammation and pain, and to recover faster. Our doctors at Detroit Sinus Center recommend the following:
- Stay hydrated: be proactive about drinking fluids. Your body needs to be fully hydrated in order to recover from a sinus infection. Also, drinking hot liquids like tea or soup can help break down the stuffiness and mucus in your nasal cavities.
- Use a humidifier: the cool mist of a humidifier can help you feel less stuffy and release some of the built up mucus and pressure. Make sure you always use clean water and you routinely clean your humidifier to avoid further infection.
- Use a warm compress: applying a warm compress like a washcloth to your face and allowing it to sit for 10-15 minutes can also help break up the mucus and alleviate the pressure when you have a sinus infection.
- Sleep: make sure you are getting plenty of sleep when you are fighting sinusitis. Your body needs to be well rested in order to fight the infection and recover properly.
- Rinse your sinuses: using a neti pot or nasal spray can help clean out your nasal cavities and alleviate the pressure build up. Remember to always use distilled, sterile, or boiled water to cleanse your sinuses.
- Over The counter drugs: if you have mild pain or pressure, over the counter drugs can help with this. We recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
Is It Safe To Fly With An Ear Infection
Accordingly, can flying with an ear infection be dangerous?
If at all possible, it’s best to avoid flying when you or your children have an ear infection or a sinus infection. These block the Eustachian tubes, placing additional pressure on the eardrum. While flying with an ear infection doesn’t always result in a ruptured eardrum, it can be very painful and uncomfortable.
Additionally, can your eardrum burst while flying? Changes in air pressure when you’re flying on an airplane can cause a rupture. But more commonly the culprit is an ear infection, says Dr. Mukhija. And flying on a plane with an ear infection leads to an even greater risk of an eardrum rupture.
Considering this, how long after ear infection can I fly?
If you have a cold, ear infection or allergy, you may want to reschedule airplane travel until you are better. If you or your child must fly with a cold, infection or allergy, take a decongestant about one hour before your flight. Continue taking the medication during the flight according to the package directions.
Can a child fly with an ear infection?
Children with ear infections can travel safely by aircraft if they are taking antibiotics. For most, flying will not make their ear pain worse. Give your child a dose of ibuprofen 1 hour before take-off. Also, during descent have your child swallow fluids.
If you have an ear infectionyouyourHow to Safely Fly with an Ear Infection
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Causes Of Blockage To The Middle Ear & Sinuses
Apart from physiological reasons, the anatomic causes of blocked Eustachian tubes and ostia are practically identical and often the two events will occur together.
Most commonly, these causes are both bacterial and viral infections such as colds and flu however, blockages can also occur as a reaction to allergies and various diseases. Because, in both the middle ear and the sinuses, a blockage means that mucous cannot be removed, it is possible for bacteria to grow in this mucous, causing further infection, such as sinusitis, and therefore prolonging the problem.