Monday, November 27, 2023

Can My Child Fly With An Ear Infection

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What Are The Complications Associated With Airplane Ear

Flying with a child who has an ear infection

Complications from airplane ear are rare. Rarely, severe pressure in the ears may result in a perforated eardrum, which happens with sudden pain that goes away quickly. Usually a perforated eardrum will heal without medical attention after a few weeks. Call your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms that may occur with perforated eardrum:

  • Hearing loss.
  • Nausea from a spinning sensation .

Dealing With Kids Ear Pain While Flying

A long, fun-filled family holiday to a far off destination is one thing that everyone looks forward to every year. Brightly colored memories are made that lasts lifelong. As a Parent, during an upcoming air travel, there are so many things to juggle with kids around and ear ache is one among them. Regardless of which airlines you travel by or which seat you occupy one thing that many travelers face is the problem of discomfort in the ear and it tends to be little more prominent in case of kids. Are you up for an air travel with your family anytime soon? Is ear discomfort and ache a reason of your quandary? Read on to know how to tackle this problem and make the best of the journey for your kids.

What Causes Ear Pain In Kids When Flying?
Symptoms Of Ear Pain In Kids While Flying

Common symptoms of discomfort that your child may often complain of while landing or take-off are:

10 Tips For Easing Ear Pain While Flying

Kids are sensitive by nature. A new environment itself can be a dampener to their mood if not dealt with well. Travelling by airplane restricts their movement a lot which makes them fidgety. Earache during the travel will only lower their spirits because of which they may not look forward to air travel in the future. Its better to prepare them for the travel beforehand.

  • Try yawning: Yawning helps in balancing the pressure between the inner ear and outer environment.
  • What Is The Treatment For Aeroplane Ear

    Whilst in the plane, the treatment is the same as all the measures described in the prevention section. So, try one or more of the following:

    • Suck on a boiled sweet.
    • Have a drink, ideally through a straw or sports bottle.
    • Yawn or open your mouth widely as if you were yawning.
    • Pinch your nose closed with your fingers and blow through your nose until you feel your ears ‘pop’.
    • For babies, give a dummy to suck, or a drink from a bottle.

    If the measures above fail to help, although the pain may be severe, it normally goes quickly. If it does not settle, take painkillers such as paracetamol until it does go. Fluid or mucus sometimes accumulates in the middle ear for a few days after the flight, which may make hearing rather dull for a while. This happens if the Eustachian tube is still blocked, and is more likely if you had a cold before flying. To clear it, you could try one of the measures in the section above. For example, the Valsalva manoeuvre, a decongestant or the balloon which you blow up through your nose . On a flight full of people, blowing up a balloon through your nose might be embarrassing but if your ears are still blocked afterwards you should be able to use it in a less public place!

    You should see a doctor if the pain or dulled hearing does not clear within a few days.

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    How Is Airplane Ear Diagnosed

    Airplane ear usually goes away once the plane lands. A formal medical diagnosis is usually unnecessary. However, call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

    • Ongoing pain.
    • Vertigo
    • Ear drainage or bleeding.

    Your doctor will examine the ears, may order a hearing test or measurement of ear drum pressure . The doctor may then suggest options to alleviate the symptoms of blockage and pain.

    Infections Inside The Ear

    My child has an ear infection. Is it safe to fly?

    Antibiotics are not usually offered because infections inside the ear often clear up on their own and antibiotics make little difference to symptoms, including pain.

    Antibiotics might be prescribed if:

    • an ear infection does not start to get better after 3 days
    • you or your child has any fluid coming out of the ear
    • you or your child has an illness that means there’s a risk of complications, such as cystic fibrosis

    They may also be prescribed if your child is less than 2 years old and has an infection in both ears.

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    Is Air Travel Safe For Young Children With Bad Colds And Ear Issues

    If a decade ago youd asked your doctor if young children should fly with ear infections, nasal allergies or bad colds the likely answer was an emphatic no, that flying with these conditions could damage the ears. Today, if you asked, the likely answer is a conditional yes.

    1. No studies exist to help make the decision. While saying no is prudent, doing so ruins long planned family trips, often unnecessarily. Worse, sometimes it strands families on vacation. The scenario: An infant is cranky and is feverish, or an older child has an earache. They are seen at a medical facility, a diagnosis of ear infection is made, medication is prescribed, and delay in flying is recommended. That delay may be until the pain/fever subside, or until a course of antibiotics is completed, which may be five to ten days.

    2. Ear infections are greatly over diagnosed. Especially in emergency care clinics, the kind often found in resorts. Children are often seen by personnel with limited experience in examining screaming, struggling young children, in removing wax from the ear canals to visualize the ear, and in deciding if an infection is present. Not to miss an infection, treatment is prescribed, to be on the safe side.

    Hi Readers:


    Family Health: Can Your Child Travel With An Ear Infection

    Sun | Family

    The Associated Press

    The holiday plans are set and the plane tickets are in hand, but your toddler has developed a nasty cold and keeps tugging on her ear. Should you travel with your child right now or delay your plans until she feels better?

    Bad colds, the flu or upper-respiratory infections often trigger middle-ear infections in young children. A child’s eustachian tubes, which ventilate and drain mucus from the ears down the back of the nose and the throat. They are short, narrow and horizontal rather than long and vertical as in an adult.

    This anatomy makes your child’s ears vulnerable to poor drainage or blockage, particularly during a cold, and provides easy access for germs to travel through the tubes into the middle ear. Infection is the result of the fluid buildup, which is an excellent breeding place for bacteria.

    Symptoms of a middle-ear infection can include pain, a sensation of blockage or fullness, ringing in the ears, general crankiness and fever. Some children are more prone to middle-ear infections than others, with most outgrowing the susceptibility as they reach school age, and as their eustachian tubes grow.

    Once your doctor diagnoses an ear infection, your child will probably be put on a 10-day course of prescription antibiotics with over-the-counter pain relievers recommended as needed. However, you may have to take a second look at your family’s travel plans.

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    Why Are Some People Affected More Than Others

    The Eustachian tube is normally closed but opens from time to time when we swallow, yawn or chew. In most people, just normal swallowing and chewing quickly cause air to travel up the Eustachian tube to equalise the pressure. Some airlines offer sweets to suck and eat when the plane is descending, to encourage you to chew and swallow.

    However, the Eustachian tube in some people does not open as easily and so the pressure may not be equalised so quickly. For example, some people may have a more narrow Eustachian tube than normal. Also, if you have any condition that causes a blockage to the Eustachian tube then the air cannot travel up to the middle ear. The common cause of a blocked Eustachian tube is from mucus and inflammation that occur with colds, throat infections, hay fever, etc. Any condition causing extra mucus in the back of the nose can cause this problem.

    How Does A Person Get Airplane Ear

    infant child ear Pain when flying in airplane

    The Eustachian tubes are slim tubes that connect the ear with the nose and throat. They open and shut every time you swallow or yawn to keep the air pressure even between the ears and the nose/throat. If air pressure changes too quickly for the Eustachian tube to react, then there may be too little or too much air behind the ear drum. You can feel this pressure difference. It can also interfere with sounds vibrating through the ear drum and the hearing bones.

    Every time a plane takes off and lands , the air pressure changes and the ears need to adapt. Until the Eustachian tubes equalize the pressure, the difference between the inside and outside pushes on the eardrum. This pressure difference causes it to hurt and not work properly. Sounds may also become muffled.

    The discomfort of airplane ear worsens when flying with a cold, nasal congestion or allergies.

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    Flying With Toddler With Ear Infection

    View Full ProfileswiseAnyone have experience with flying when their toddler has an ear infection? Our pediatrician said it is safe to do it, but I imagine it’ll make things more uncomfortable than usual for him.Our son is 21 months old and has an inner ear infection in his left ear I’m just not sure how much the change in pressure might exacerbate his symptoms.Thanks in advance for any insight offered!View Full ProfileView Full ProfilebeforeView Full ProfileswiseView Full ProfileswiseWhen he woke up congested and coughing, though, it was clear that his immune system was fighting more than one battle. My pediatrician advised me to bring him back for another check today.So I am satisfied with their advice and course of action. We’ve been in now 4 times with a 5th time scheduled. They have closely watched things.After today’s visit, the right ear looks almost back to normal, but the left ear still needs to heal. So we’ve postponed the trip until Saturday afternoon.

    Urgent Care Or Emergency Room

    Urgent care centers are clinics that remain open nights and weekends but are less expensive than the emergency room. They’re meant for dealing with illnesses and injuries that aren’t life-threateningsuch as ear infections. Most communities have at least one, but if you can’t find an urgent care clinic and you have insurance, call the member services number for help.

    If your child does not have insurance, is under the 6 months, and has symptoms that need to be evaluated by a doctor right away, head to the nearest ER. Legally your child cannot be turned away regardless of your ability to pay.

    A child needs to be seen by a doctor immediately if she:

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    Flyings Effect On The Ears

    When flying, a popping sensation in the ears signifies a change in pressure. This sensation is caused by pressure changes in the middle ear, an area behind the eardrum of each ear. The middle ear is attached to the back of the throat by the Eustachian tube.

    When the cabin pressure changes, the Eustachian tube equalizes the pressure in the middle ear by opening and letting air in or out. When you swallow or yawn, your ears pop. Thats the pressure in your middle ears being adjusted by your Eustachian tubes.

    If you dont equalize the pressure, it can build on one side of your eardrum, causing discomfort. This is often temporary, though. Your Eustachian tubes will eventually open and the pressure on both sides of your eardrum will equalize.

    When the plane ascends, air pressure decreases, and when it descends, air pressure increases. Flying isnt the only time this happens. Your ear also deals with changes in pressure during other activities, such as scuba diving or hiking to and from higher altitudes.

    Keeping your Eustachian tubes open is critical to preventing barotrauma. If you have a severe cold, allergy, or ear infection, you may want to consider rescheduling your air travel. If you cant reschedule, do the following:

    • Take a about an hour before takeoff, then follow the medications usage instructions.
    • Uses a decongestant nasal spray.

    Top Tips For Travelling With An Ear Infection

    Ear, Nose, Mouth &  Throat

    The Christmas break is fast approaching and many families are counting down sleeps until their well-earned summer getaway. The bags are packed and the online check-in is complete but what happens if your little one develops an ear infection in the lead-up to jetting off?

    Good news – Dr Chris Brennan-Jones, Ear Health Researcher from the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, based at Telethon Kids Institute, says that a badly-timed ear infection doesnt need to dampen your holiday plans.

    Here are his top tips for travelling with an ear infection so that the kids can fly safely and hit the pool in no time.

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    How Come My Ears Hurt On A Plane

    If you have ever been on a plane journey, you’ll know that by the time the pilot announces that the plane has begun its descent to your destination, your ears will have already given you this message. They start to feel a bit odd, either feeling blocked or painful.

    It’s all due to pressure changes. As the plane starts to lose height, the pressure in the air around you changes. Until the pressure inside the tubes behind your eardrum adapts, the pressure inside and outside your ear is different. This pushes the eardrum in, stretching it and giving you pain.

    Are There Any Complications

    Complications are extremely unusual, or millions of people wouldn’t be flying on a regular basis. Very occasionally, the eardrum can be put under so much pressure that it bursts , leaving a hole in the eardrum. If this does happen, the pain usually goes away immediately. Perforated eardrums usually heal well without any treatment.

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    Care Advice For Ear Congestion

  • What You Should Know About Ear Congestion:
  • Most often, this is from a blocked ear tube . This tube normally drains the space behind the eardrum.
  • It is usually not caused by an ear infection.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
  • Swallow and Chew More:
  • Swallow water or other fluid while the nose is pinched closed. Reason: makes a vacuum in the nose that helps the ear tube open up.
  • After age 6, can also use chewing gum.
  • If chewing doesn’t help after 1 or 2 hours, use a long-acting decongestant nose spray. An example is Afrin.
  • Dose: 1 spay per side, 2 times per day as needed.
  • Don’t use for more than 3 days. Reason: can cause rebound swelling in the nose.
  • Allergy Medicines:
  • Nose allergies can cause ear stuffiness.
  • If your child has hay fever or other allergies, give an allergy medicine. An example is Benadryl.
  • See the Nose Allergy care guide for other advice.
  • What to Expect:
  • Can You Fly With An Ear Infection

    Air travel & Ear Infections

    It is clear that some people may face ear related problems while traveling by plane, and the chances of experiencing a problem increase when you already have an ear infection. The question is, “Can you fly with an ear infection?”Or, should you postpone your plans? There is no clear-cut answer because it usually depends on how serious your infection is.

    You may want to avoid traveling by air when you have a bulging eardrum or are suffering from an acute infection. The pressure will increase a lot during takeoff and landing, which can be even more dangerous for kids with a severe infection. This may even cause the eardrum to burst.

    It is also a good idea to postpone your trip if your child has developed an ear infection just before your scheduled trip. Even if it doesn’t cause any rupture, it may still lead to serious ear pain during a plane journey. It is better to wait for a couple of days before taking your next flight. Some airlines may waive the rescheduling fee if you can produce a doctor’s note.

    The good thing is that you can fly even when an ear infection is not completely gone after 48 hours. Be sure to check for the signs of discomfort, though, to be on the safe side. If your child feels uncomfortable during the flight, you can always use an ibuprofen or acetaminophen .

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    When Should You Avoid Flying

    Since travelling by plane can be very uncomfortable when you have an ear infection, it is best to avoid flying whenever you are feeling ill. It is especially important if the ear infection is making it harder to clear your ears as this means you are more likely to experience problems. If your ears feel full and blocked or you keep getting the sensation that they arent able to pop properly, then flying is probably going to make this worse. It is especially important for children to avoid flying with an ear infection as they are at higher risk due to having narrower Eustachian tubes.

    If you must fly when you have an ear infection then you can reduce the risk of serious problems by making sure that you clear your ears several times as you take off and land. You can do this by chewing gum or swallowing. It might also help to use a decongestant or nasal spray before you fly as this can reduce the inflammation that is making your Eustachian tubes narrower. It is also a good idea to consult a doctor before you fly. You may be able to take medication such as antibiotics to speed up your recovery. The doctor can also check your ears and confirm whether it is safe for you to fly. If you have a very severe ear infection then it may be necessary to delay your travel plans to avoid serious problems.

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