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FAQ: Air Traveler's Handbook 3/4 [Monthly posting]
Section - [3-4a] Air Pressure Problems (Colds)

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If you have a cold, traveling by air can be painful due to the fast
pressure changes. The following are some suggestions for dealing with
the pain:

   +  Swallowing a lot during takeoff and landing (the times of the greatest
      pressure changes) can sometimes help. Some folks recommend
      chewing gum.

   +  Drink lots of fluids (water, not caffeine or alcohol) to help
      prevent dehydration from the dry cabin air. Dehydration can
      make your cold feel much worse.

   +  Ask the flight attendant for two hot moist towels (e.g., the
      kind they usually give to first class passengers to freshen up)
      and two styrofoam cups. Put the towels in the cups, and
      hold one cup over each ear. You may look funny, but the warm
      moist air will dramatically decrease the pain very quickly.

   +  You can help equalize ear pressures by pinching your nose and
      blowing softly. Blow GENTLY, by a series of light puffs. Do this BEFORE
      your ears start to hurt. Do not hold your nose while sneezing,
      or you may damage your ears.

   +  Talk to your doctor. There are drugs that he or she may be able
      to prescribe (e.g., Seldane). Some people report that taking
      Sudafed or other decongestants helps. A sinus spray may also help.

The FAA advises pilots to avoid flying when they have colds, due to
the difficulty of equalizing ear pressures.

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Top Document: FAQ: Air Traveler's Handbook 3/4 [Monthly posting]
Previous Document: [3-4] Smoke-Free Flights
Next Document: [3-5] Special Meals

Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Single Page

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM