Flying to Paris in 3 days with a head cold!! eek!

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#1
New Jersey
996 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Caught a head cold and am pushing fluids, vitamin C, am stuffed up and am really worried about blowing out my eardrums on the plane. Read somewhere about "Ear Planes"--earplugs that are supposed to equalize ear pressure. Cancelling the trip is not really an option... fighting this cold with all I can!!!
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1996 American Hawaii Cruises "Independence"
1999 Paris/London (land only!)
2000 NCL"Dream" Scandanavian Capitals (Vantage)
2001 HAL"Rotterdam" Mediterranean cruise
2002 Vantage River Cruise-Amsterdam-Passau (ext to Prague, Budapest)
2003 HAL"Ryndam" Alaska (Vantage land tour also)
2004 Vantage--Iceland (land only)
2006 (Feb) Orient Lines South America Antarctica (Vantage) "Marco Polo"
2007 (Oct)GCT--Australia, NewZealand, Fiji (land only)
2008 (Oct)Vantage--Africa (land only)
2009 (Jan)RCCL Eastern Caribbean--'Serenade of the Seas'
2009 (May)Vantage River Cruise-Moscow to St. Petersburg
2011 (Jan)RCCL. Western Caribbean--'Radiance of the Seas'
2011 (July)HAL--Bermuda--'Veendam'
2011 (Oct)China & Yangzte River with Vantage
2012 (no BIG trips.. but did enjoy DisneyWorld with grandkids!!
2013 (May)Amazon/Machu Picchu & Galapagos (Vantage)
2013 (Sept)GCT US National Parks-gov't interrupted
2014 (Jan)HAL 'Statendam' Panama Canal
2014 (July)Treasures of France RiverCruise (Vantage)
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#2
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Oh no how awful... Go see your doctor and see what he suggests for your ears. Certainly a strong over the counter decongestant at the very least to dry you out!


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#3
Naples Fl and Valparaiso In
187 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Have used ear planes in similar circumstances many time. They work.


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#4
New York
7,316 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
My wife got me started using Zicam Rapid Melts at the beginning of a cold. I make fun of the "homeopathic" claims [which are double bogus because these things actually contain zinc, while true homeopathic medicines don't contain any measurable active ingredients -- but I digress], but these things do seem to work. Not that they cure the cold overnight, but they definitely seem to lessen the intensity of the symptoms -- which is what you are most concerned about for your flight. [But avoid Zicam nose spray -- it can ruin your sense of smell permanently.]
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#5
NW Ohio
8,070 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
My Dr recommends, if I have a cold or am congested, Afrin nasal spray an hr before the flight takes off and again an hour before landing. He recommended this to me because I came down with a cold in Hawaii and flying home drove it into my sinuses, giving me a sinus infection. He specifically said not to use it other than those times, as it can cause a "rebound"effect, making people dependent upon it.
Good luck!

Becki
#6
Long Island, New York
4,359 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by rjscott
My Dr recommends, if I have a cold or am congested, Afrin nasal spray an hr before the flight takes off and again an hour before landing. He recommended this to me because I came down with a cold in Hawaii and flying home drove it into my sinuses, giving me a sinus infection. He specifically said not to use it other than those times, as it can cause a "rebound"effect, making people dependent upon it.
Good luck!

Becki
My Dr. said the exact same thing, only he said to spray with Afrin about 15 minutes before take-off and landing. It works! As for avoiding catching a cold ON the plane, I know it's been denied in some circles, but DH and I swear by Air Borne, twice a day every day starting 10 days before trip and continuing daily during the trip. I'm not saying it will work for everyone, but it works for us.
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#7
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Get the Dr to give you a Z Pak just in case this turns into a Sinus Infection and you are in Europe and can't reach medical care easily....


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#8
Denver, CO
820 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Don't be in a hurry to pop antibiotics and decongestants unless absolutely necessary. Decongestants are practically guaranteed to give you a rebound effect, and antibiotics can give you gastrointestinal trouble, especially when you're already on a trip and more susceptible to an upset stomach.

I had a deviated septum for 15+ years (finally got it surgically fixed), which had resulted in every head cold turning into acute sinus infection, because my sinuses just couldn't drain. The only thing that worked was physically rinsing my sinuses out. The hardcore way: mix up 2 parts sea salt in 10 parts water and use an oral syringe to spray it into each nostril. Works like a charm but really burns My surgeon recommended NeilMed nasal rinse - it's not medicated, so won't create a rebound effect, but unlike salt, it's pH-balanced, so doesn't burn. There are other similar rinses, which as long as they are just simple saline solutions and not decongestants, can be liberally used. Basically the idea is that the more of that nasty stuff you wash out of your sinus cavities, the easier you're making it for your body to heal up.
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#9
Rhine, Germany
1,627 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Hello pbnjrockette,

Originally posted by pbnjrockette
Caught a head cold and am pushing fluids, vitamin C, am stuffed up and am really worried about blowing out my eardrums on the plane. Read somewhere about "Ear Planes"--earplugs that are supposed to equalize ear pressure. Cancelling the trip is not really an option... fighting this cold with all I can!!!
That is sooo unfortunate! I hope these earplugs work, otherwise such a long flight must be agony.

Hostjazzbeau mentioned homeopathy. I find the stuff - the real stuff, not some zinc concoction - works well. But I would see a proper homeopath for this I would not risk self-medication before a holiday.

I hope you will feel better soon and can fully enjoy your cruise.

notamermaid
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#11
606 Posts
Joined May 2002
I've used EarPlanes for years - with much success. It's important to use them exactly as directed and not try to make one set last forever. The best thing they do for me is regulate the pressure of take-offs and landings. I would not fly without them. I hope you feel better and have a great trip!
#12
New Jersey
996 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Thanks for all the fabulous suggestions!

Have purchased the "Ear Planes" and have Nasal spray for use before flight and a saline spray to keep lubricated during the flight; lots of tissues and a ziploc bag for on the plane, a ton of sugar-free lozenges (can't do menthol). Saw my health provider and she has prescribed a steroid as I am allergic to Z-pak. (Ears are full of fluid and sinuses are packed---fuller than my suitcase!!) Still have 48 hours to go and am trying to stay as stress-free as possible!
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BLOG...Paris to Normandy/Paris to Provence 2014 http://aroundtheworldwithcliffandpat.wordpress.com/

1996 American Hawaii Cruises "Independence"
1999 Paris/London (land only!)
2000 NCL"Dream" Scandanavian Capitals (Vantage)
2001 HAL"Rotterdam" Mediterranean cruise
2002 Vantage River Cruise-Amsterdam-Passau (ext to Prague, Budapest)
2003 HAL"Ryndam" Alaska (Vantage land tour also)
2004 Vantage--Iceland (land only)
2006 (Feb) Orient Lines South America Antarctica (Vantage) "Marco Polo"
2007 (Oct)GCT--Australia, NewZealand, Fiji (land only)
2008 (Oct)Vantage--Africa (land only)
2009 (Jan)RCCL Eastern Caribbean--'Serenade of the Seas'
2009 (May)Vantage River Cruise-Moscow to St. Petersburg
2011 (Jan)RCCL. Western Caribbean--'Radiance of the Seas'
2011 (July)HAL--Bermuda--'Veendam'
2011 (Oct)China & Yangzte River with Vantage
2012 (no BIG trips.. but did enjoy DisneyWorld with grandkids!!
2013 (May)Amazon/Machu Picchu & Galapagos (Vantage)
2013 (Sept)GCT US National Parks-gov't interrupted
2014 (Jan)HAL 'Statendam' Panama Canal
2014 (July)Treasures of France RiverCruise (Vantage)
2015 (Jan)EXOTIC INDIA & THE SACRED GANGES (Vantage)
2015 (May) US National Parks (Vantage)
2016 (Jan) HAL 'Zuiderdam' Partial Panama Canal
May 2016 HAL' Rotterdam' North Cape (Norway)
Sept 2016 Douro Rivercruise w/Madeira pretrip (Vantage)
#14
Australia
1,144 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by pbnjrockette
Thanks for all the fabulous suggestions!

Have purchased the "Ear Planes" and have Nasal spray for use before flight and a saline spray to keep lubricated during the flight; lots of tissues and a ziploc bag for on the plane, a ton of sugar-free lozenges (can't do menthol). Saw my health provider and she has prescribed a steroid as I am allergic to Z-pak. (Ears are full of fluid and sinuses are packed---fuller than my suitcase!!) Still have 48 hours to go and am trying to stay as stress-free as possible!
Just read up on Ear Planes as I have not heard of them. Noticed a warning to not use in cases of severe sinus congestion.

Link for your reference. http://www.travelgear.com.au/ear-pla...ar-protection/

I hope it all clear up quickly and your have a comfortable flight and a marvellous cruise.
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#15
Long Island, New York
4,359 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Oh my...desperate times.....have you tried a Neti pot to wash out your sinuses?
I won't describe it hear but it does help. It won't cure you, that's what the drugs are for, but it will speed the process and it's readily available at places like CVS. It's simple to use, not too expensive, can be used over and over again, and at worst if won't do anything, but it won't hurt you since no "drugs" are involved. Good luck.
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#16
New Jersey
996 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
again, thanks all! Yes, HydroKitty... NetiPot has been among my arsenal!! Using just plain warm water though as sinuses are verrry tender. Not nearly as clogged up as a few days ago. Feeling a bit better and it can only improve in 24 hours!! Just dreading the ear popping on the plane--hope those "ear planes" do the trick! Just heard from a fellow traveler who developed Bronchitis last week--we sure are a sorry bunch! (plus it's raining in Paris... pat
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1996 American Hawaii Cruises "Independence"
1999 Paris/London (land only!)
2000 NCL"Dream" Scandanavian Capitals (Vantage)
2001 HAL"Rotterdam" Mediterranean cruise
2002 Vantage River Cruise-Amsterdam-Passau (ext to Prague, Budapest)
2003 HAL"Ryndam" Alaska (Vantage land tour also)
2004 Vantage--Iceland (land only)
2006 (Feb) Orient Lines South America Antarctica (Vantage) "Marco Polo"
2007 (Oct)GCT--Australia, NewZealand, Fiji (land only)
2008 (Oct)Vantage--Africa (land only)
2009 (Jan)RCCL Eastern Caribbean--'Serenade of the Seas'
2009 (May)Vantage River Cruise-Moscow to St. Petersburg
2011 (Jan)RCCL. Western Caribbean--'Radiance of the Seas'
2011 (July)HAL--Bermuda--'Veendam'
2011 (Oct)China & Yangzte River with Vantage
2012 (no BIG trips.. but did enjoy DisneyWorld with grandkids!!
2013 (May)Amazon/Machu Picchu & Galapagos (Vantage)
2013 (Sept)GCT US National Parks-gov't interrupted
2014 (Jan)HAL 'Statendam' Panama Canal
2014 (July)Treasures of France RiverCruise (Vantage)
2015 (Jan)EXOTIC INDIA & THE SACRED GANGES (Vantage)
2015 (May) US National Parks (Vantage)
2016 (Jan) HAL 'Zuiderdam' Partial Panama Canal
May 2016 HAL' Rotterdam' North Cape (Norway)
Sept 2016 Douro Rivercruise w/Madeira pretrip (Vantage)
#17
Australia
1,144 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by pbnjrockette
again, thanks all! Yes, HydroKitty... NetiPot has been among my arsenal!! Using just plain warm water though as sinuses are verrry tender. Not nearly as clogged up as a few days ago. Feeling a bit better and it can only improve in 24 hours!! Just dreading the ear popping on the plane--hope those "ear planes" do the trick! Just heard from a fellow traveler who developed Bronchitis last week--we sure are a sorry bunch! (plus it's raining in Paris... pat
A friend just cruised in Alaska - she flew out with URI and antibiotics. Collapsed on Rocky Mountaineer with pneumonia. Ambulance called and 4 days in hospital.

Please take care - let's know how you get on.
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Strath


HAL Ms Zuiderdam Alaska 05/25/2013
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HAL Ms Noordam Aust/NZ 03/25/2016
#18
Long Island, New York
4,359 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by pbnjrockette
again, thanks all! Yes, HydroKitty... NetiPot has been among my arsenal!! Using just plain warm water though as sinuses are verrry tender. Not nearly as clogged up as a few days ago. Feeling a bit better and it can only improve in 24 hours!! Just dreading the ear popping on the plane--hope those "ear planes" do the trick! Just heard from a fellow traveler who developed Bronchitis last week--we sure are a sorry bunch! (plus it's raining in Paris... pat
Pat, I have the same problem with ear popping and the best thing that works for me is to spray afrin about 15 minutes before takeoff and landing AND to chew gum while taking off and landing. I never tried (or heard of) ear planes, but I will look into them.

Good luck and at least you'll be in a country with good medical care!!
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#19
Texas
202 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I use Ear Planes on every flight. I'm convinced that due to a combination of seasonal allergies and small facial structure, my ears don't handle the pressure as well as others and I used to routinely get off planes with my ears having a clogged sensation that could last until the next morning. Since I've started using Ear Planes, I do not have this problem -- I think I remember one time and it dissapated fairly rapidly. I'll need to try the Afrin technique next flight out! I normally take a sudafed prior to a flight to dry myself out, which works for shorter flights.
I've used the name brand Ear Planes as well as the Walgreens and Walmart store brands and they all seem to work equally well.
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Debbie
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#20
Long Island, New York
4,359 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
How do they work? I've never heard of them, but then I don't have a Walmart or Walgreens nearby. Are they like head phones or ear buds?
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Sailed:
Greek Islands and Turkey, Louis Perla, October, 2006
Castles on Rhine, Vantage, Aug/Sept. 2008
Egypt and Jordan, Vantage, Jan/Feb. 2009
Holland and Belgium, Vantage, April/May 2010
Alaska, HAL Statendam, June, 2011
Costa Rica, Star Flyer,Vantage, Feb. 2011
Russia and Ukraine, Vantage, Aug/Sept. 2012
Panama Canal, Celebrity Infinity, April/May 2013
Columbia & Snake Rivers, ACL , June, 2013
Gateway to the Black Sea, Vantage, June/July 2014
Trans Canada Rail Odyssey ,Vantage, June 2015
Switzerland Rhine & Mozelle, Vantage, August 2015
Southern Caribbean, Celebrity Eclipse, March 2016
Canada-New England, Celebrity Summit, Oct 2016
Caribbean, RCI Grandeur of the Seas, Jan, 2017

Other:
England
Bermuda
Italy
France
Monaco
Greece
Turkey
Iceland

Not yet Sailed:
Scandinavia-Russia, Celebrity Eclipse, Aug, 2017
Norway Fjords, Celebrity Eclipse, Aug, 2017
South America & Antarctica, Infinity, Feb. 2018
British Isles, Celebrity, August, 2018