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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is travelling by flight safe after recovering from ear infection?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Albana Sejdini

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 6514 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 7 Jun 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hey dr,

I will be flying on a plane next week and I recently recovered from etd or some sort of ear infection that came about after having a cold and I can finally hear normally again after about 4 weeks of having a blocked right ear. What concerns me is that going on a plane could possibly trigger it and I was wondering what I can do to prevent it. I feel perfectly normal at the moment but would it be worth getting special ear plugs or taking a decongestant such as pseudoephedrine before the flight even though I feel fine or should I not worry about it?

Kind Regards,
XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Should not worry if ear infection is completely healed

Detailed Answer:
Hi dear XXXXXXX

I have gone through your medical history carefully and understood your concern.

If you have completely recovered from ear infection, there is nothing you should be worried about.

What you might experience during the flight is the changes of pressure (similar to clogged ear). I usually recommend my patients to chew up chewing gum during the flight.

Can wear ear plugs but I usually do not recommend them as they carry the risk of ear infection.

If you'll get sick from the flight, then can take antisickness medication before. Otherwise, no need to take even when it comes to pseudoephedrine.

Have a nice flight and wish you'll enjoy it.
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 6 minutes later
The infection has definitely cleared up but I am prone to get them along with eustachian tube disfunction as I have had it quite a few times in the past so with that in mind I guess just trying to not get sick would be best. In terms of ear plugs if they were to be kept clean would I be at risk of getting an ear infection by using them and also when you say antisickness medications are there any you would recommend would vitiam c help?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 32 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Following answers to your questions

Detailed Answer:
Hi back XXXXXXX

1. If you apply good hygiene in the ear plugs, that would minimize the risk of infection.

However, the outer ear is a transit pathway from outside to inside the ear. If you apply ear plugs, the dirties will travel along from outside to inside the ear, putting at risk for infection although you might have cleaned them well.
This explains why I do not recommend. However, as you might have problems with Eustachian tube, wearing them during flight can help. Just clean them well every time you put them on.

2. With regards to motion sickness medications, you may find over the count with the name of Dimenhydrinate (commonly used) and Meclizine.

3. vit.C supplements will boost immunity, can take to prevent severe cold onset or infection relapse.

Hope it answered to your questions.
Dr.Albana

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 5 minutes later
Thanks for clearing that up dr one other thing I forgot to ask what would be the best way to clean the earplugs and with what?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 13 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Alcohol cotton/swab

Detailed Answer:
Hi back,

First use, buy and clean them with warm water and soap, dry well and rub with alcohol cotton.

During the flight, rub with alcohol cotton before use (make sure they are well dry before putting on) and after use.

All the best.
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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