Preventing Sinus Infections After Flying

By DetroitSinusCenter May 10, 2017

Flying can be the best form of travel, until you come home with a sinus infection. Nearly 20% of air passengers develop cold symptoms within one week of air travel, and could be much more frequent for individuals that suffer from chronic sinusitis. Yet traveling doesn’t mean that you have to take a gamble with your health! At Detroit Sinus Center, we specialize in expert sinusitis treatment in the Southfield, Allen Park, and Detroit, MI areas, and know a few tips to help prevent sinusitis while traveling.

Why You Get Sick

There are multiple factors play into why people get sick after a long flight. The dry air, low pressure, and the low amount of oxygen cause the immune system to weaken and can lead to inflamed sinus cavities. This, in addition to being confined in a small area with little airflow, makes it hard to avoid getting sinusitis from another sick passenger. Fortunately, our Southfield and Allen Park sinus doctors at the Detroit Sinus Center have a few tips on how to avoid getting sick.

Staying Hydrated

With humidity typically lower than 20%, airplane cabins can be drier than the desert. Our Southfield and Allen Park sinus treatment specialists recommend the following tips to counter dehydration and sinus infections.

  • Use a saline solution before and after your flight.
  • Drink 5-8 glasses of water before flying, and continue to drink water throughout the flight.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol since it can assist in dehydration.
  • Steam your sinuses with a hot cup of herbal tea or water.

Decrease Pressure

Those who suffer from chronic sinusitis will find that methods to reduce pressure can alleviate a lot of discomfort. The following sinus treatments will help reduce pressure

  • Use a decongestant spray two hours before your flight to reduce inflammation, especially if you already feel congested.
  • Try the “Modified Valsalva” exercise that clears sinuses and eardrums while normalizing the pressure in your head during take-off and landing. To do this, you pinch your nose shut, swallow, and blow into your nose while still pinching it.

Basic Steps

Although it may seem simple, sometimes the most common tricks are the best to prevent sinus infections or other colds while flying.

  • Wear warm clothes or bring a jacket.
  • Wash your hands, especially before your meal and at the end of your flight as well.
  • Take your vitamins.

Contact Your Southfield Sinus Doctor Today!

By following these tips, your next trip should be sinusitis free. However, if you think you may have a sinus infection or suffer from chronic sinusitis, make an appointment at our Southfield or Allen Park Detroit Sinus Center today. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments. We look forward to hearing from you!


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