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Can I fly if I have a cold or the flu?

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There's no point adding stress to your already stressed-out upper respiratory system, and that's what the change in air pressure will do. Flying with cold or flu congestion can temporarily damage your eardrums as a result of pressure changes during takeoff and landing. If you must fly, use a decongestant and carry a nasal spray with you to use just before takeoff and landing. Chewing gum and swallowing frequently can also help relieve pressure.

SOURCE: Charles B. Inlander, president of The People's Medical Society, a nonprofit consumer health advocacy organization, and author of
77 Ways to Beat Cold and Flu.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 8, 2019

SOURCE: Charles B. Inlander, president of The People's Medical Society, a nonprofit consumer health advocacy organization, and author of
77 Ways to Beat Cold and Flu.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 8, 2019

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What is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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