Is Flying With Sinusitis Dangerous? Things to know before Onboarding

Sinus infection Symptoms Dizziness

While it is important to avoid indoor and outdoor pollutants to ensure healthy and comfortable sinuses, it is extremely crucial to understand the impact air travel and consequent changes in air pressure during flying can cause to a sinus patient.

Is Flying With Sinusitis Dangerous

So, if you are vulnerable to sinus infections but cannot re-schedule or avoid the air travel, you must be prepared for the tough time an air journey can bring to your sinuses! But with a little care and precaution, this tough time would not remain that way.

Read on and explore how you can relieve the discomfort and agony associated with flying with sinusitis.

What Really Causes the Change in the Air Pressure?

What Really Causes the Change in the Air Pressure

Well, you must have experienced the change in air pressure while flying. The reason behind this phenomenon is pretty simple. The atmospheric pressure decreases with the expansion of air.

The situation is worsened for a patient suffering from sinusitis. This is because if the sinus is blocked or congested, the unbalanced and increased air pressure can cause excruciating discomfort and pain.

In cases of severe sinusitis, increased nasal congestion aggravated cold and intense allergies can occur.

There have been instances when a sinus patient the sinus and ear pressure fails to equalize with that of the pressure in the cabin, amounting to increased chances of blockages and infection.

If left untreated or neglected, the patient can develop tinnitus (perception of noise or ringing in the ear), vertigo, rupturing and/or bleeding in the eardrum or even hearing the loss in extreme cases.

Still, Sinusitis Should not Stop You rom anything, Including Flying

Thankfully, there are measures and precautions one can take before and during flying to pacify the pain, discomfort, and trauma associated with sinusitis and flying.

If you or your loved ones are experiencing sinusitis, read on and practice the following tips to alleviate the ache and difficulty while flying with sinusitis.

  • Saline Solution

Saline solution

To curtail the damage caused by low humidity and dry air, carry a small bottle of saline solution in your check-in bag. Use it at least an hour before the flight to maintain the moisture in the nose.

Saline water can also be used to flush the nose to wash away allergens, viral and fungal pathogens that can aggravate sinusitis. Rinsing with saline water will not only remove anything inhaled but also moist the nasal passage that would help you sit in the dry air for long hours.

  • Decongestant spray

Decongestant spray

A good decongestant spray would help in clearing the nasal passage, thereby safeguarding a proper ventilation for sinus during the air travel.

It is advised to use the decongestant spray approximately an hour prior to the flight. Not many people know this but a decongestant spray can also be extremely helpful in slowing a nosebleed.

However, caution needs to be exercised as the spray can open the nose more and exposing the interior of the nose to dry air, resulting in nasal dryness.

  • Drink plenty of water

Drink plenty of water

Water keeps the body hydrated and ensure sufficient moisture level in the nasal system. It is often experienced that dry air in the flight is a result of poor ventilation.

This can be averted with drinking 6-8 glasses of water before the flight, especially the long flights.

  • Stay away from caffeine and alcohol

Stay away from caffeine and alcohol

Despite the urge and popularity for caffeine and alcohol, the two should be avoided in flights as they can result in dehydration and loss of moisture.

The urge to drink should be substituted with drinking water to maintain the moisture in the nasal passage and body.

  • Steam your sinuses

Steam your sinuses

The dry air in the airplane can reduce the mucus in the nose. This can increase the chances of bacteria and virus sticking around the nose. Breathing in the steam can keep the sinuses moist.

The big question – Where would you find steam inside an airplane?

Well, you can order some hot tea for yourself and give your sinuses the much-needed steam from it, before drinking it!

  • Warm clothes

Warm clothes

The interior of the airplane is kept at the low temperature that can exhaust the immune system. To avoid fatigue and chill, it is important to wear warm clothes while flying.

  • Medication


If you are suffering from sinusitis, make sure you check with the airline to be sure if you are permitted to carry it onboard in your luggage. The rules are more stringent for international flights. It is also advised to carry a copy of the prescription.

  • Consume food that reduces inflammation

Consume food that reduces inflammation

A week prior to the flight, eat food items that are known to reduce inflammation. These include:

  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Ginger
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Basil

  • Flying with sinus Infection is not dangerous

no danger

Yes, an air journey for a sinusitis patient is bound to be a little uncomfortable but it is not dangerous, conditionally the patient has taken care to keep the nasal passage moist during the journey.

Speak to your doctor and address your concerns regarding sinusitis before boarding the next flight.

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