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Child recovering from Mastoiditis. Is it safe to travel by air?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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My 3.5 year old son has just been treated for mastoiditis (3 days in hospital on antibiotics). He has recovered well with the treatment and my question is whether he can fly? He is scheduled to fly from Melbourne (Australia) to Tasmania (Australia) (approx. 1 hour flight) on Friday 23 December. Thank you.
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 7 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Mastoiditis includes all inflammatory processes of the mastoid air cells of the temporal bone. The cause of this is mainly attributed to the blockage of the Eustachian tube (the tube which connects nose and the ear).

If the child has been successfully treated for mastoiditis and without any nasal symptoms such as cold, nasal block or nasal discharge, he can definitely travel by flight.

Before travelling ensure that the child does steam inhalation (2-3 hours before the journey), so the inflammation around the Eustachian tube is reduced. Use saline nasal spray just before the journey as it helps in nasal decongestion and prevention of barotrauma. Apart from all these, give the rest of the prescribed medicines as per schedule.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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