What’s worse than having a cold? Flying with a cold and if you’ve experience this first hand you know there is no exception to this. The constant sneezing, coughing, and sniffles will not only wreak your journey with the unavoidable discomfort but, also ruin the experience of your fellow passengers. However, we are not in control of our cold and the ordeals that it brings along with itself but, there are surely a few things you can do and keep in mind to prevent the germs from spreading and eliminate the risks.
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Should you even fly with a cold?
If you have a terrible cold that couldn’t be suppress even with the most powerful medicines then, think twice before flying. Even if the initial hours seem alright, after a point the discomfort will certainly overshadow everything else and your fellow passengers will be exposed to the vulnerability of catching the infection. According to researches, people who sit within two rows of someone who has flu or symptoms of it have 3.6% increased chances of being susceptible to the ailment themselves.
Sometimes traveling with a severe viral infection might not make your ears pop and that is because the mucous membrane has a tendency to swell under the influence of cold. This inflammation, in turn, disrupts the functionality of the Eustachian tube- the one which is responsible for equalizing the air pressure between the inner ear and the surroundings. Even if there’s the slightest possibility of canceling the air tickets, you should take resort to it and fly after you have successfully gotten rid of all the germs.
Before you start flying…
If you must fly, then here are a few things that you should have at hand before boarding the plane.
- Consume decongestants
There are several medicines in the market whose composition is aimed at relieving the congestion from cold within a few hours including paracetamol and Sudafed. They can efficiently reduce the swelling of the Eustachian tube if ingested within 24 to 12 hours of the flight.
Wear a Mask
Do your fellow passengers a favor and wear a mask. I recommend swinging by the hardware store and picking up an N95 mask. The N95 mask filters at least 95% of airborne particles.
Drink lots of water
Hydration is key to overall well-being. When I am sick I’ll ask the flight attendants for hot water. I just make sure to keep drinking water and the heat soothes my throat.
If your stuffy nose is bothering you the most then the best way to remove the tribulations would be using nasal sprays 30 minutes before the take-off and 30 minutes prior to the descent.
Carry a few gums or lozenges
Keep drinking water at frequent intervals in the flight even if it means visiting the loo multiple times. Hydrating the body is essential to control the nasal secretions from drying that can lead to further afflictions in the nose and sometimes cause terrible headaches. Additionally, chew a piece of gum or suck on candy so that the movement of the jaws encourages the change of pressure to de-clog the Eustachian tube.
The Breathe® Vapor Stick is a portable little stick made with essential oils that can be applied directly onto the skin. I carry one of these with me at all times. When I’m stopped up I just swipe some underneath my nose. It helps almost instantly.
Do not forget to carry a pack of tissues when you are traveling in the airplane and always have a hand sanitizer near your bag. Every time you have a drippy nose or can sense a cough, capitalize on the tissues and clean your hands with the sanitizer so that your fellow passengers are spared from the repercussions of the flu.
ClearUp: Alleviate your sinuses with the ClearUp made by Tivic Health. This is an FDA approved little device that you use around certain points on your face to release sinus pressure.
ClearUp is a small, handheld device, that easily glides along the outside of the nasal passages — the cheek, nose and brow bone — to deliver low current electrical waveforms that stimulate the nerves under the skin to help relieve sinus pain. ClearUP will be available over-the-counter without a prescription by mid-2019. It is FDA approved.
Eustachi: If you cannot get your ears to pop this little device, the Eustachi, will make sure that they do. It’s easy to use, in fact, it is so easy to use your kids will be able to do it.
Have you flown with a cold? Do you have any tips? If you do please leave them in the comments below.