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Old Sep 13, 04, 10:43 am   #16
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a case for camphor

I got caught out on a flight a couple of years ago.
As a child I used to have a lot of problems when descending - ear pain, nosebleeds the works (it's worth knowing that children are more susceptible to these things - I'm always sympathetic if a child cries when the plane goes up or down) but after years of problem free travel, I encountered the kind of excruciating pain you other ladies are describing when descending into Milan.

I was on Buzz, a LCC (with top class service) and it felt like there was a golfball in my head just at the point of exploding. The FA brought me a cup with camphor inside it and a cloth so I could inhale from it and it did so much to alleviate the problem.

I mention camphor particularly because it's someting that can be found in most countries - the brands that have been mentioned aren't always available.
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Old Sep 13, 04, 11:57 am   #17
 
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Just wanted to add that flying with a cold can cause it to turn into something worse. I flew with a bad cold and had to change planes twice. I thought I would die, the ear pain was so bad. A few days later, I came down with infections in both ears. The infections were so bad that the doctor could see the red, swollen insides of my ears without using the instrument they use for checking ears. She told me I had two "rip-roaring" ear infections. I was on antibiotics and perscription painkillers for a week. The doctor says that infections in the sinuses can actually be pushed into the ears by the pressure when flying, causing ear infections that might not have happened otherwise. The infections were so bad that I could not fly home from Montana to California! I was with my roommate at his brother's house, and we borrowed one of the brother's cars and drove back to California. I agree with everyone about taking Sudafed, etc. before flying. It does help.
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Old Sep 15, 04, 5:36 pm   #18
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Every time I travel I carry with me a Saline solution with methol or camphor. I then use it frequently once I am airborne. It is not addictive and it helps clear the passages.

Decongestants are great but for those of us who suffer for high blood pressure the use of such drugs is highly discouraged.
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Old Sep 15, 04, 11:12 pm   #19
 
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Originally Posted by aw
Decongestants are great but for those of us who suffer for high blood pressure the use of such drugs is highly discouraged.
Have you tried the Coricidan HBP line? My blood pressure is fine, but I just can't take decongestants...my heart pounds like it's coming out of my chest! I swear by the Coricidan.
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Old Sep 15, 04, 11:42 pm   #20
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Question why for women only?

not sure why this is in the Women Travelers forum - or may be that 'we men' can suffer more without telling others ?

(so far, when watching Gisela giving birth to our 2 daughters I fore sure did believe this was the other way round ...)
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Old Sep 27, 04, 5:16 pm   #21
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Thanks for the tip, sibley. No, I have never tried it but I'd make sure to check with my doctor the next time I travel. Thanks a million.
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Old Sep 27, 04, 7:55 pm   #22
 
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As a pharmacist by training (non-practicing), I can only share my protocol. As I get older I have begun to get these extremely painful experiences more frequently.

I take 60 mg of pseudoephedrine about 60-90 minutes before descent, then a couple of squirts of generic Arfrin in each nostril about 1/2 hour before descent. The pseudoephedrine works centrally to constrict the vessels and the Afrin topically. Since I started this, I have not had a problem.
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Old Oct 1, 04, 6:55 pm   #23
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Drixoral Cold & Flu - drat, I guessed wrong at the pharmacy just now & bought the Cold/Allergy. Guess I'll try grocery store tomorrow. I've got an earache or infection & earliest I can see doc is Mon now. I was hoping there'd be some OTC thing, but pharmacist said no. Grrr.

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Old Oct 8, 04, 9:37 am   #24
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Thanks everyone.

I've had a cold/cough for the past 2 weeks. My husband had pneumonia. We're flying tomorrow.

I'm still fighting the effects of the congestion. My ears crackle when I swallow.

I have the ear planes set to go and Tylenol cold for severe congestion ready. I may also go buy Afrin and use it.

I had ear pain once on decent. Never again. I thought my head was going to explode.

A FA was kind enough to give me two cups with hot towels in them. It worked, but I was in business, I doubt they would do anything for me in coach.

So, thanks again for your suggestions & wish us luck!

Mary
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Old Mar 2, 05, 1:35 pm   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analise
Lastly, bring cotton balls for your ears. They help enormously. I hope these ideas help. Good luck.
What do you suggest one does with the cotton balls?
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Old Mar 2, 05, 1:55 pm   #26
 
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Originally Posted by flymeaway
Ear block is nasty, nasty, nasty....my left ear drum actually perforated on a flight once, years ago, before I ever started flying for a living. It was really one of the worst pains I've experienced - and now I have some permanent hearing loss on that side. Yuck! Take care of your ears!
Yup, I did the same thing - ruptured both ear drums flying with a cold. Took almost 7 years for the pain to stop - yes, I really do mean SEVEN YEARS - every single time I swallowed, I felt sharp pain in my ears. I have permenent loss of low tones in one ear due to the damage. For years I carried a letter from my doctor stating that I could not fly with head congestion and requesting airlines allow me to reschedule flights for medical reasons if needed. Actually used it once long ago - I pointed out to UA that I was probably contagious as well as congested and they changed my ticket no charge. Doubt it would work these days, tho.

But I can't think of a single reason that could induce me to fly with congestion again - doc said next time I rupture an eardrum, I could lose the rest of my hearing.
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Old Mar 2, 05, 2:34 pm   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppy
What do you suggest one does with the cotton balls?
Have you been pondering this for nearly nine months? Sticking cotton in your ears helps to alleviate the pressure.
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Last edited by Analise; Mar 2, 05 at 2:36 pm. Reason: Miscounted the # of months
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Old Mar 3, 05, 9:50 am   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analise
Have you been pondering this for nearly nine months? Sticking cotton in your ears helps to alleviate the pressure.
Not quite. I haven't gotten sick in the past nine months. Now I've got a bit of a cold and some very long flights coming up
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Old Mar 4, 05, 3:41 pm   #29
 
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Thumbs up RE: Flying Colds

This was my post last September about flying with congestion, earaches and stuffy noses: For all the flying I've done in the last 50 years, this has not failed me:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
When I have to fly with a cold, ie: stuffed up nose, blocked ears, I try to buy some AFRIN, or a store variety, of a nasal spray (buy the 12-hour spray). It does wonders for 12 hours, and the altitude will hardly affect the symptoms. It should start to work within 3-5 minutes in clearing the nose, ears, and headache.

There is a caveat with these nasal sprays though. They are not to be used more than two squirts, twice per day, and no more than THREE DAYS in a row. This should take care of many problems when flying with a cold.
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Old Mar 7, 05, 8:05 am   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppy
Not quite. I haven't gotten sick in the past nine months. Now I've got a bit of a cold and some very long flights coming up
That's rough. Have 12-hour antihistamine with you along with cotton balls. I'm a fan of Drixoral Cold & Flu. Also, menthol-scented petroleum jelly helps if you rub it under your nose.

Of course there's always horse radish!
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