How Can I Relieve Sinus Pressure When Flying?


Flying can create many issues when it comes to the sinuses. The sinus cavity is highly sensitive to pressure changes, environmental changes and changes in humidity. When you fly, you will experience all of these drastic conditions changing multiple times, potentially leading to sinus congestion, pressure and pain. There are effective ways to prevent and treat these conditions when flying.

Use Medication

  • Use medication to both prevent and treat sinus pressure when flying. Take a decongestant one hour before your flight takes off. Buy a 12-hour tablet, so you don't have to remember to take the next dose during or after your flight, as you may forget because of all the hustle and bustle of traveling. Use a nasal-spray decongestant in combination with the oral decongestant. Nasal spray is liquid, so be sure to buy one with a container less than three ounces to pass Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inspection. Spray the nasal decongestant as soon as you board the plane to get the most effective result. Take an expectorant a few hours before your flight if you find you've been having nasal congestion to clear any excess fluid from the sinus cavity and surrounding areas. Drink plenty of water while taking these medications as they can lead to dehydration if not taken with water.

Use Natural Remedies

  • Buy a package of nasal strips from a pharmacy before your flight. When you first board the plane, place one nasal strip on your nose and leave it on for the duration of the flight. Use saline nasal spray to keep the sinus cavity moistened and hydrated because the atmosphere in a plane is dry and cold. Saline spray is liquid, so be sure to have a container less than three ounces to pass TSA inspection. Go to the bathroom if you find your sinuses are getting congested and run a towel or wash cloth under hot water for 20 seconds. Place the hot wash cloth over your face to sooth any sinus irritation. Take eucalyptus and peppermint oil with you on the flight and apply three drops of each on your upper chest, allowing the fumes to open your sinus cavity.

Chew, Eat and Drink

  • Chew, eat and drink during the entire flight to reduce the amount of sinus pressure that can build up. Chew gum continuously during your flight. Eat food, such as hot and spicy foods, that will encourage sinus openness Avoid mucus-producing foods and drinks such as dairy and foods that are high in processed sugars and wheat products. Drink plenty of water or other clear liquids. Drink hot tea herbal tea such as peppermint tea to loosen any clogged mucus in the sinus cavity. Continue to chew, eat and drink with these guidelines 24 hours after the flight, as well to help reduce the chances of developing congestion after the flight.

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