Air Travel and Sinus Congestion: Two things that often go hand-in-hand. Here are some of the best remedies for preventing congestion while traveling by air. Also, the best treatments if you find yourself stuffed up during a flight.
According to Dr. Garrett Bennett, a sinus and nasal surgery expert in New York, “understanding how air travel and your sinuses are related can be critical to prevent sinus pain and pressure.”
In addition to ear pressure changes during take-off and landing, if you have sinus congestion prior to air travel, this pressure change can drastically. This can worsen ear pain, sinus pain, make colds worse, and also magnify allergy symptoms.
Preventing Congestion Prior to Travel
One of the best ways to clear your sinuses of congestion prior to air travel is through nasal rinsing. Using a nasal rinse bottle will clear the sinus cavities and remove debris. Also, the saline solution will help reduce inflammation of the nasal membranes. Sinus inflammation is one of the primary causes for feeling congested.
Additionally, nasal rinsing helps clear bacteria from the nose. Germs are easily transported to the mouth, nose and eyes by our hands. The very dry air inside an airplane causes the nasal membranes to dry out. This leaves your sinuses less able to do their job fighting bacteria and preventing infection. As Dr. Bennett points out, “An airplane has the same or even lower relative humidity as a desert. The dry air decreases the flow of mucus in the nose and lets bacteria and viruses stick to the dry mucosa inside the nose.”
Moisturizing the Nose During Air Travel
To keep the nasal membranes moisturized during a flight, a nasal mist is a great solution to add humidity to the dry conditions during air travel. It also helps relieve sinus congestion. Dr. Bennett advises, “use a saline solution during the flight to minimize the damage caused by the dry air and low humidity. Use it approximately once an hour, in an effort to maintain moisture in the nose.”
Related Topic: Are You Breathing Polluted Air?