Can I Fly With a Sinus Infection?

You may have a sinus infection when you have congested sinuses that don’t seem to unclog. If you have to catch a flight, having a sinus infection and flying may not be the best combination. Learn why flying with a sinus infection is not recommended and what you could do if you end up flying with a sinus infection.

REVA can help you reach your destination, even with a sinus infection. We provide air ambulance services to help travelers get to where they need to go safely.

What Is a Sinus Infection?

A sinus infection is when your nose remains congested for over three weeks and doesn’t seem to get better. You could get a sinus infection when fluid builds up in your sinuses and germs grow. Often, contracting a virus can lead to sinus infections, but bacteria can also cause them.

Other causes of sinus infections include:

  • Seasonal allergies
  • Previous colds
  • Having a weak immune system
  • Having nasal polyps

Symptoms of Sinus Infections

While the most common symptom of sinus infections is a stuffy nose, other symptoms you may experience include:

  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tooth or ear pain
  • Bad breath
  • Mucus dripping down your throat
  • Thick green or yellow nose discharge

Sinus infections are common and clear up within a few weeks with proper treatment. If your sinus infection persists and worsens, seek medical attention. If left untreated, sinus infections can progress to more severe health problems such as cavernous sinus thrombosis, a brain abscess or meningitis.

Is It Okay to Fly With a Sinus Infection?

You can fly with a sinus infection, but to avoid unnecessary pain and sinus pressure, it’s best not to fly. The changes in air pressure while flying can cause your symptoms to worsen. When your sinuses are clogged, your body can’t equalize the pressure difference, so you feel pain in your head. Flying with a sinus infection could lead to you aggravating your cold or allergies even more or developing vertigo, tinnitus or sinus barotrauma.

A congested nose combined with ear pressure while flying could also lead to more severe issues, such as Eustachian tube blockage. When the Eustachian tube gets blocked, there are risks of your ear drum bleeding or rupturing, resulting in hearing loss.

Tips for Flying Comfortably With a Sinus Infection

When flying can’t be avoided when you have a sinus infection, ensure you prepare for the flight by taking precautions. Before and during the flight, try doing the following tips:

  • Steam your sinuses: Steaming your sinuses helps open and clear them so you have an easier time breathing.
  • Use a saline solution: You could also use a neti pot with a saline solution to clear and moisturize your nose and sinuses.
  • Use a decongestant spray: Decongestant sprays are also great temporary fixes for clearing up your nose. If you use one, only use it for three days because extended usage can worsen your symptoms.
  • Stay hydrated: Before and during your flight, drink water and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Drinking water will help you stay hydrated and keep your nasal passages moist.
  • Sanitize your hands: Keep your hands clean as much as possible to avoid getting sicker or getting others sick. Use hand sanitizer if you can’t wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Balance the pressure in your head: You could perform the modified Valsalva maneuver to help balance the pressure in your sinuses, ears and head while on the plane. Close your mouth, pinch your nose shut, swallow, then blow into your nose with it still closed. Doing the maneuver will make your ears pop, hopefully relieving pressure in your head.
  • Chew gum or eat and drink: Having your sinuses and ears clogged simultaneously is uncomfortable. To get your ears to pop when the pressure changes, chew gum or eat and drink while on the plane. Adjusting your ears to the pressure will make the flight more bearable when you have a sinus infection.

Fly Privately With a REVA Air Ambulance

If your sinus infection worsens and you still need to fly to get home or reach a medical facility, an air ambulance is an ideal option over flying commercially. An air ambulance from REVA ensures you reach your destination fast and with access to professional medical help along the way. Our air ambulances are equipped with the latest medical technology and have highly experienced nurses and doctors who can help you with health care services.

Whether you have an emergency or non-emergency issue, our team members are well-prepared to stabilize you until you reach a medical facility.

Request a Quote Today

Have peace of mind while flying with a sinus infection by taking an air ambulance from REVA. Our team is ready to help you get home safely and quickly while providing quality care. Get started with your air ambulance service by requesting a quote today!