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HomeETNT HealthFlying With A Sinus Infection: Why Is It Painful?

Flying With A Sinus Infection: Why Is It Painful?

What makes flying with sinus infections or allergies more painful than landing on the ground?

Air pressure is the main reason why flying with hay fever, or other sinus issues can be more painful than usual. Air pressure can cause sinuses to adjust to the changes in elevation as the plane descends or ascends. However, if the sinuses or eustachian tubes are blocked, this can make it difficult for the sinuses to equilibrate. Pressure in the sinuses can cause pain due to restricted airflow. Sinus conditions that can cause sinus congestion can cause pain and disrupt equilibration. These sinus conditions are:

  • Colds
  • Allergies
  • Infections of the ear
  • Sinus Infections

What other symptoms might you experience while flying with a sinus infection?

A sinus infection can cause pain and other symptoms in the inner ear. It can cause:

  • Vertigo is the sensation of spinning or moving while you are still.
  • Tinnitus is a ringing in the ears or perception of noise.
  • Hearing Loss
  • Rare cases of rupture of the Tympanic Membrane of the Eardrum

What do I do if flying with allergic reactions is my only option?

It is best to avoid complications and pain by not flying if there are active sinus infections or ear infections. But what if you must fly? There are steps you can take to relieve the symptoms and prevent you from having to fly if you have sinus problems.

  • To avoid any blockages, take either topical or oral decongestants prior to your flight
  • To reduce pain due to high air pressure, you can use over-the-counter pain medication
  • To “pop” your ears, chew gum or swallow often
  • The Valsalva maneuver – To “pop” your ears, hold your nose and exhale through a closed jaw.
  • Use “Ear Planes”, earplugs that regulate the air pressure in your ears.

Are you sick of flying with allergies or infected?

You should make an appointment at the Lubbock Sinus Doctor if you’re tired of flying constantly with a sinus infection. Sinus infections can be very painful and we will help you get your breathing back quickly.



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