Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I survive a long international flight with a sinus infection?"
I?m taking my medication but I?m nervous that the high altitude will aggravates my symptoms.
Sinus infections and other complaints involving the head and neck are often discussed with physicians, especially otolaryngology-head and neck surgeons, before traveling. This is likely because of the potential for chronic complaints, as well as the common annoyance that these can be. They are also quite common. In general, if you are worried about an acute infection, you should speak with your doctor before traveling. Signs of an acute infection include colored nasal drainage, nasal congestion, headache, fever, a cold that won't seem to go away, etc. These are the things that may need to be treated before traveling, as well as anything else that you are worried about. If, instead, you are worried about managing the symptoms that you already have, then you should optimize your sinus status before traveling by both using and packing the medications that you have been prescribed. Nasal steroids are common medications that can have tremendous benefits for many patients, but often take some time to be maximally effective. Additionally, a decongestant such as a pseudoephedrine product can help many people tolerate travel better. While these are available over the counter, you should both follow the package directions and speak with your doctor before starting a new medication. Please speak with your doctor.
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