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Sore Throat, Cough, Flu, Sinus Infections or Sickness After Flying on Airplane in Salt Lake City, UT

As we approach the holiday season, many people are being proactive and booking their flight to their destinations for the upcoming holidays. With the crowded spaces, long flights, and extensive travel plans we face, many people ask themselves, “Can flying on the plane result in a cold, flu, or sinus infection?” A group of researchers tried to look into the subject. Though the answer to this question is a challenge to answer scientifically, we at ENT Specialists would like to help people better prepare for their traveling.

Feeling Sick After Flying on a Plane?

With the largest study of its kind, researchers compared the overall sinus health of flight attendants and the time spent on the plane. With the amount of days spent in air travel, they indeed found a direct correlation between sinus symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and thick nasal discharge manifesting. There are quite a few reasons air travel may have a negative influence on sinus health, a few of the most common are:
1) Contaminants in air supply. Multiple contaminants in the air supply from the air cabin carry potential harm to the sinus region as the cycled air continues to blow through the airplane.
2) Dryer than average air. Airplane air, being so dry, works against the natural cleaning of the sinus mucous membranes.
3) Change in biometric pressure. Playing a role in introducing bacteria into the sinus cavities the cabin’s change in barometric pressure is also a concern.

Frequent Flying & Sinus Infections

Though it does not prove the actual cause, the researchers are quick to point out at that their study shows an association between frequent air travel and sinus problems. Additionally, other factors that contribute to the sinus infections and other such ailments are disrupted sleep cycles, as well as exposure to other environments at their point of destination. This is among the first studies regarding the correlation between sickness and frequent air traveling, especially sinus issues.

How to Prevent a Sinus Infection when Flying on an Airplane

Fortunately there are ways to prevent sinus infections, cold, and flu while you travel, and they include:
1) Before and after air travel, frequently rinse with nasal saline. This practice is an effective way to help clear out the unwanted pathogens and irritants from the sinus area.
2) Avoid touching your face with your hands while on the flight until you can clean up and use hand sanitizer frequently.
3) Be sure to get adequate nutrition and sleep.
4) Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water since the dryness compromises sinus health that is common in air travel.

Treatment of Sinus Headaches, Nasal Congestion & More

If the sinus infections persist, consider making an appointment with ENT Specialists. We can perform an exam and run some lab work if needed, to find the underlying problem and help prescribe optimal treatment. If you experience frequent sinus infections, especially in association with air travel, we can also help you find relief during your travels. Call ENT Specialists today and let our experts take care of your sinus infections.

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