Flying with a head cold can be a painful chore for most people. Get a few tips on how to deal with the ailment while on a flight from this article.
As mentioned above, anyone would agree to the fact that having a head cold, and then taking a decision to take a flight, is a reluctant option to choose. People suffering from chronic sinus infections, or severe colds are well aware of how gruelingly painful can a flight be. The Eustachian tube does the work of maintaining an equilibrium in the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum.
However, diseases such as sinus infections and cold, create a blockage in this tube. For obvious reasons, this disrupts the equilibrium, and this is signaled by ear pain and discomfort. And while in a flight, the pain becomes worse, especially during the ascent and descent, because it is then that the air pressure inside the flight differs from that outside. So, it is always a better option not to fly with a head cold. But sometimes the situation takes the decision, and flight becomes mandatory.
How To Manage A Head Cold While Flying?
Here are some simple tricks to help you make yourself comfortable, and reduce the symptoms.
- Use of decongestants comes in handy during times when you are dealing with a head cold, and taking a flight. Both oral and topical decongestants prove beneficial in overcoming some of the blockages to air circulation. It is recommended to use the medication about 30 minutes before ascending and descending. However, if your travel is going to be a long one, then you may choose to use it as required. However, always be cautious enough not to overuse this stuff.
- Chewing a gum, eating, or yawning are some exercises that may provide some relief from the discomfort during the ascent and descent.
- Another method that can relieve discomfort is exhaling but with nostrils and mouth closed. You will know that the process has worked when you hear a popping sound in the ears (if you are having a congestion). Remember to exhale gently and not forcefully.
- You can avail special ear plugs in the market that are designed for flight travel. These ear plugs help in slowing down the changes in air pressure that occur on both the sides of the eardrum while the plane is taking off and when it is landing. Thus, when the pressure changes are slowed down, the pain and discomfort are also minimized.
- Keeping the body hydrated may also aid in reducing discomfort. So it is important to drink plenty of water or any liquid on board. This will help in reducing any throat irritation, which is a classic symptom of sinus infection. Sucking on hard candy or throat lozenges not only helps in keeping the throat moist, but also keeps your jaws in motion.
- Over the counter medications to reduce the pain is also recommended for people flying with a head cold.
- One more method that I am reminded about is pinching the nose, opening the mouth wide, and doing the act of swallowing. This will push some air into the Eustachian tubes, whose blockage is the main reason for the pain and discomfort during a head cold.
And so these are the methods that can help you manage the symptoms of head cold while flying, and without a frustrated feeling that would spoil the rest of the day otherwise. Hope these methods work for you, as they did for me. Have a nice flight…