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Sinus infection vs. Plane ride

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 04, 2011 at 3:59 PM

I'm in the middle of a sinus infection right now (coughing, drainage, congestion, etc.) but starting to feel better. I live in Maryland and fly out to Seattle on Thursday. Does anyone have tips or suggestions for me when I fly? I'm hoping I don't get sick again or re-aggravate my system. Thanks!

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(248)

on December 04, 2011
at 05:47 PM

Thanks! I'll go out and get one today

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5 Answers

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1
9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on December 05, 2011
at 01:55 AM

Not paleo in any way, but I tip I learned from a frequent air traveler is to use oxymetazoline (Afrin) nasal spray 20 to 30 minutes prior to the plane begining its descent. On the way up cabin pressure will drop which will encourage your sinuses to drain (try to stay superhydrated throughout the flight). It is during descent that cabin pressure can increase faster than the pressure in your sinuses, backing them up and potentially causing ear problems. I once flew with a bad cold and had this happen - ears completely stuffed, hard to hear for a weeklong conference. Local walk in clinic was no help - but flying back was - as soon as the plane took off things started draining. Oxymetazoline is a heavy duty drug, only use it for the purposes of protecting your sinuses/ears from large air pressure changes.

2
B64b07d4b6cea9e5c3e1c272e6393a0d

(472)

on December 04, 2011
at 07:21 PM

1 - Earplanes earplugs (pretty much sold at all airports) - they more slowly equalize the pressure differentials between the cabin pressure and your ear canal and make flying with a sinus infection substantially less painful.

2 - +1 on the neti pot. Also, bring along a saline nasal spray that you can use intermittently before/during/after the flight.

3 - Mentholatum applied below the nose will give you that menthol sensation of clearer breathing (though I think it's symptom relief more than anything) and the bit of petroleum does relieve dry skin from tissue use.

4 - A seat near the lavs so you can blow your nose/chest cough without freaking out your nearby passengers (great excuse for splurging on that 1st class upgrade!)

1
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 04, 2011
at 05:07 PM

The neti pot is a great idea.

One of the problems on an airplane is the low humidity. The low humidity helps prevent spread of germs, but it's rough on the sinuses. You could bring a small washcloth with you, and either get it hot in the bathroom on the plane, or even better, get hot water at the drink service to get your washcloth nice and steamy.

1
Fc64db6a555559762432d503a1dbad19

(1478)

on December 04, 2011
at 04:28 PM

Use a Neti Pot with salt water just before you fly and perhaps during the flight if it is a long flight. Here is an article on Web MD about the neti pot use.

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/sinus-pain-pressure-11/neti-pots

Medium avatar

(248)

on December 04, 2011
at 05:47 PM

Thanks! I'll go out and get one today

0
A45955e4c4cbe88ed6645828ba13f75a

(132)

on December 04, 2011
at 11:03 PM

A megadose of vitamin d works really well atnclearing your sinus. try taking 50,000 IU a day for a few days before you go.

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