Sinus Infections, Sinusitus

Sinus Infections and Flying: Should you Avoid Air Travel with a Sinus Infection?

December 19, 2018

3 minutes

Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD

Flying is stressful enough when you’re 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 you’re 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 doesn’t have to be an entirely uncomfortable affair. Check out these tips for sinus infections and flying to learn more.

Flying with a sinus infection: A few good tips

Know whether or not you’re contagious

Sinus infections can be caused either by a virus (a contagious cold) or bacteria (not contagious). Knowing the root of your sinus infection will help you decide whether you’re 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?

Take preventative measures with your sinus pain

Is it safe to fly when congested? Yes, but these and other sinus infection symptoms grow worse during air travel because you must contend with air pressure changes. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with these symptoms, such as taking medication, using a saline solution before and during your flight, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol before and during your flight.

For more information, check out our post: How to avoid sinus pain on an airplane.

Eat certain foods

If you know you’re going to have a sinus infection and be flying at the same time, there are dietary changes you can make to help lessen your symptoms. Spicy food, pineapple, and ginger are all included on the list of the best food for a sinus infection!  

Consider balloon sinuplasty treatment

While having a sinus infection and flying may be unavoidable at times, it’s not a process many people want to repeat. If your sinus infection is severe enough, it is even possible that you may rupture an eardrum while flying (which takes around two months to heal and may even require surgery).

If you suffer frequently from sinus infections and flying is a regular part of your life, then balloon sinuplasty may help you. Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure in which the sinuses in your nasal passages are expanded. Balloon sinuplasty can be completed in less than 20 minutes and requires little-to-no recovery time.

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.

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