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Old Oct 9, 06, 6:50 am   #1
 
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OK fly with a sinus infection?

Is it safe to fly with a sinus infection? Even if it is, is it a bad idea?

Is there anything I can do to alleviate any problems (other than taking the train!), like maybe taking Claritin?

I have to travel to NYC tomorrow (Tuesday) from Chicago. I started developing a sinus infection yesterday (Sunday), and was able to start taking Zithromax right away. But I can still feel it.

I saw a couple things on the Internet saying it could cause 'discomfort' or 'pain' but nothing about it being unsafe. Does anyone know? Has anyone tried it?

I actually do have the option of taking Amtrak if this would be a problem, but it would take almost 19 hours.
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Old Oct 9, 06, 7:08 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capite
Is it safe to fly with a sinus infection? Even if it is, is it a bad idea?

Is there anything I can do to alleviate any problems (other than taking the train!), like maybe taking Claritin?

I have to travel to NYC tomorrow (Tuesday) from Chicago. I started developing a sinus infection yesterday (Sunday), and was able to start taking Zithromax right away. But I can still feel it.

I saw a couple things on the Internet saying it could cause 'discomfort' or 'pain' but nothing about it being unsafe. Does anyone know? Has anyone tried it?

I actually do have the option of taking Amtrak if this would be a problem, but it would take almost 19 hours.
I flew once with a pretty bad sinus infection ... it felt like my sinus cavity was going to burst. Now I visit the doctor and get his advice the appropriate med (usually decongestants) before flying when I have a sinus infection.
I cant say if it is unsafe but I can say it is extremely uncomfortable if the infection is bad enough
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Old Oct 9, 06, 7:10 am   #3
 
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I've flown with them before. Be sure to take a decongestant an hour or so before boarding. If you have a headache with it, take something for the pain (I use Excedrin... the caffeine is a plus). Make sure you drink lots too to keep from drying out (doubt you will NYC-ORD unless you get stuck on a tarmac). Long ago they had a prescription Entex LA that worked good for me, but they don't make it anymore AFAIK. The OTC Mucinex is probably the closest you'll find now.

As usual, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
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Old Oct 9, 06, 8:08 am   #4
 
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Thanks everyone. My pharmacist says two Sudafed every six hours, from now until before my flight tomorrow, then before the flight to double the dose.
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Old Oct 9, 06, 8:17 am   #5
 
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Also take Ocean (saline) nasal spray. Use it 30 min. before take off and landing.
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Old Oct 9, 06, 8:22 am   #6
 
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Consider using a decongestant nasal spray like Afrin if you still feel congested the day of the flight it may work better than Sudafed. I concur with the recommendation for Entex LA (now it's Entex PSE) from your doctor. It has a long-acting sudafed and a medicine to thin out your mucous. Tylenol Severe Congestion over the counter is similar, but not long-acting. The biggest risk with the sinus infection is that it will plug your Eustachian tube which connects the ears to the nose. You could easily rupture an ear drum. I have never heard of anyone rupturing a sinus flying, but some of the sinuses have pretty thin walls, just hope they rupture out and not in towards your brain
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Old Oct 9, 06, 8:30 am   #7
 
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Years ago, I flew while congested and didn't take any medication. It was torture on the ascent/descent. When I got on the ground, I couldn't hear out of one ear for the there days until I got back onto a plane. Interestingly, once we got to altitude on that second flight my "deaf" ear equalized and all sorts of brown(!) fluid drained from my nose.

Sorry for the nasty description, but by all means take medication.
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Old Oct 9, 06, 8:38 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cme2c
The biggest risk with the sinus infection is that it will plug your Eustachian tube which connects the ears to the nose. You could easily rupture an ear drum.
I can feel that my eustachian tubes are ok, and I can open them at will.
Quote:
I have never heard of anyone rupturing a sinus flying, but some of the sinuses have pretty thin walls, just hope they rupture out and not in towards your brain
You are joking, yes?
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Old Oct 9, 06, 11:35 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capite
Is it safe to fly with a sinus infection? Even if it is, is it a bad idea?

Is there anything I can do to alleviate any problems (other than taking the train!), like maybe taking Claritin?

I have to travel to NYC tomorrow (Tuesday) from Chicago. I started developing a sinus infection yesterday (Sunday), and was able to start taking Zithromax right away. But I can still feel it.

I saw a couple things on the Internet saying it could cause 'discomfort' or 'pain' but nothing about it being unsafe. Does anyone know? Has anyone tried it?

I actually do have the option of taking Amtrak if this would be a problem, but it would take almost 19 hours.
Four weeks ago my dentist and the doc diagnosed a facial pain etc as (chronic it later turned out) sinusitis. At first it felt like 2-3 beginning root canals. I have been on three 10 day courses of very pricy and powerful antibiotics and am now on a 3 week course of doxycycline. I asked and the docs said Zithromax was not the drug of choice for this. I go for a CT scan Wed. Personally I would NEVER consider flying right now. I hate the train but thats how I would travel. BTW the last time I Amtracked Chicago to NYC the 19 hr took 24 hr.

MisterNice
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Old Oct 9, 06, 10:09 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capite
I can feel that my eustachian tubes are ok, and I can open them at will. You are joking, yes?
Really the walls from the sinuses to the brain are pretty thin. It can be a significant complication of sinus surgery. Again, I have never heard of anyone flying and rupturing a sinus and leaking cerebrospinal fluid, but stuff happens. Look at the bright side, if you are the first, you will be in the journals.
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Old Oct 9, 06, 10:22 pm   #11
 
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Abit of scare mongering going on here. I flew at Christmas LGW-NAP with a bad cold I was actually considering not taking the flight as I was worried about my ears but I had no problems I took 4 sudafed 2 just before boarding then 2 more about 1 hour into the flight. If you follow your pharmacists advice you shouldn't have any problems. Yes peoples ear drums can be damaged but that is quite rare.
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Old Oct 9, 06, 10:28 pm   #12
 
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just remember to blow out. Use some ocean saline spray and a good decongestant. Chew gum. Good luck.
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Old Oct 9, 06, 10:32 pm   #13
 
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Good luck! I am a fan of the sprays myself. Quick hit right before take off and landing. I blew out an ear drum going into LGA about 2 years ago - thankfully on business because the medical bills for being treated on the plane and at the airport were steep but the company paid since insurance didn't.
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Old Oct 9, 06, 10:43 pm   #14
 
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My dr. recommends Sudafed a couple hours before takeoff and a blast of Afrin after boarding. Only use the Afrin for the flight, not at other times. Otherwise you could get a rebound effect with the congestion.
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Old Oct 9, 06, 11:07 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linsj
Also take Ocean (saline) nasal spray. Use it 30 min. before take off and landing.
Can't recommend saline highly enough. As someone who's had chronic sinusitis for 20 years, when my doctor recommended it 3 years ago it was magic. Start using it before your flight and for a couple of days after you land.

You might also be interested in a fast acting antihistamine, such as Benadryl. Note that this stuff is also in the same class of medicines as sleeping meds, so it can make you very drowsy. I take it whenever I get a bad infection.

A strong, black tea several times a day also helps, the tannins and heat in the tea are quite soothing.

You are lucky that the flight is short! Good luck.
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