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Air travel with an ear infection
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Avatar_universal
Air travel with an ear infection
On Wednesday Aug 6 I went to the ER after experiencing pain in might right ear for 4 days. I was given a prescription for drops that I've been putting in my ear twice each day. Treatment is to end tomorrow. The pain is gone but there is stuffiness in my ear. My concern is, this coming Friday I must travel via airplane for 1-1/2 hours. Ordinarily during air travel I experience uncomfortable ear pressure. But I'm concerned there might be more problems because of my current ear infection. Can you recommend any precautions I could take to prevent any complications?
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233190_tn?1278553401
Surgeon has kindly addressed your question in his comments below.  

I agree with the OTC sudafed.  Another consideration would be a prescription sudafed/guaifenisen combination (i.e. Duratuss, Guiafed etc.), where the guaifenisen can also help in the draining of the sinuses.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
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Avatar_universal
as a former flight surgeon, I can tell you there is some chance of more pain than you are used to. However, most cabins are pressurized to no higher than 8000 feet, and although it could be uncomfortable, it's not likely to be too bad. The best advice is to get a combination decongestant/ antihistamine such as actifed or the generic equivalent. If you don't want the sleepiness of the antihistamine part, just get a decongestant, such as pseudo-ephedrine (sudafed). Take it an hour or so before take-off.
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