When you are traveling by plane, there are a lot of things to consider for your flight. One of the issues that most people don’t think about is sinus issues that can occur when the plane ascends and descends. These two points of your air travel cause cabin pressure changes that can aggravate your sinuses under certain conditions. Here’s what you need to know.
What Happens to Your Sinuses on a Plane
When your plane takes off or lands, the cabin pressure changes. Your body must change with it, and this can be somewhat painful if you have inflamed sinuses or an ear infection. When the pressure in the cabin changes, the body must equalize the pressure between the cabin, your sinuses, and your ears. There is a tube that runs from the back of your nasal cavity to the ear. When this tube becomes blocked, your body will not be able to equalize to the cabin pressure, which can cause a number of symptoms.
Causes of Inflamed Sinuses
Your sinuses or ears can become inflamed for a number of reasons, including asthma, allergies, cold, sinus infection, or ear infection. If you have any of these conditions, you should probably avoid flying. If you absolutely must fly, there are some precautions you can take.
Protecting Your Sinuses and Ears
You need to protect your sinuses and ears by making sure that they are able to come to the right equalized pressure. If you have nasal congestion blocking the air flow, you may be able to take decongestants before your flight to open up the airway so that appropriate pressure can be maintained.
If you fail to protect your sinus and ears during takeoff, it could lead to additional symptoms including vertigo, ringing in the ears, or even permanent hearing loss. In rare cases, the pressurization can cause a rupture of the eardrum.
If you have sinus issues and plan on traveling soon, it is a good idea to see a doctor and get treatment before your flight. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your appointment.