Crying babies are not the only miserable people on flights due to sinus pressure issues. Adults can also exacerbate sinus infections, or even cause them, by engaging in air travel. Doctors recommend patients avoid flying altogether when dealing with sinus problems. However, sometimes people must fly due to work, a wedding, a funeral, or even a family vacation. The last thing you want is for your sinuses to keep you grounded. Let’s explore some ways to relieve the pressure and pain associated with sinus barotrauma before, during, and after your flight.
What Is the Cause?
To best guarantee effective sinus barotrauma treatment, you must first know what is causing the sinus issue. The main culprit is the air pressure in the cabin, which often changes too fast for a blocked or infected sinus canal to sustain. When this imbalance happens, the tubes in our ears and sinuses cannot equalize the pressure, causing symptoms similar to a sinus infection, such as flare-ups and sinus pain.
What Can You Do?
Here are some tips to both alleviate frontal sinus barotrauma and prevent it from occurring in the first place:
If you experience sinus problems, a good night’s rest before your flight can go a long way to preventing them from occurring. Proper sleep helps prepare your body for dealing with any potentially harmful bacteria, thus boosting its ability to fight off infection and keep sinus issues at bay. On a similar note, arriving at the airport early to give yourself extra time to check your baggage, proceed through security, and find a seat will help prevent the stress often associated with flying. If you are afraid of flying, consider asking your doctor about an anti-anxiety medication that will last throughout the trip.
Eating a nutrient-rich, balanced meal before leaving the airport will help keep your immune system resilient. Packing a healthy snack or purchasing one before boarding, since many airport securities don’t allow outside food to pass through, will ensure you maintain a healthy balance throughout the day. Additionally, supplementing pre-flight with antioxidants such as vitamin C or vitamin E is a good idea.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Since planes are poorly ventilated, low-humidity atmospheres with recycled air supplies, it’s vital to drink hydrating fluids to keep your immune system ready. It is also a good idea to avoid coffee, alcohol, and other diuretics that expel water from your system and compromise your body’s capacity to fight infection and prevent a sinus headache after flying.
Use Nasal Spray
While we generally don’t recommend over-the-counter treatments to combat chronic sinus issues, their convenience and quick-relief formulas can be beneficial when dealing with the exacerbatory effects of flying. A saline nasal spray can help counteract the dry air, which will prevent your sinuses from drying out.
Consider Visiting a Professional
Are you planning on flying with a preexisting history of sinus issues? Contact the professionals at South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center for effective treatments tailored to your particular situation. Let us help you improve your quality of life by providing you with top-notch medical care and service. Call us at (954) 983-1211 to request an appointment or fill out our online form today.