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How can I relieve stuffiness when flying?

Chewing gum or making a yawning motion in the throat can "clear" the ears, which will help reduce pressure in the sinuses. If you are having some congestion before a flight, it might be a good idea to take an over-the-counter decongestant that contains phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine. Take the medicine about half an hour before takeoff. Depending on the length of your flight you may be able to take a second dose before landing.
Jill A. Grimes, MD
Family Medicine
Over-the-counter products such as nose sprays like Afrin can help relieve a stuffy head, nose, or ears if you need to fly. Make sure to put it in ziplock bag for security, but then use it when you are seated on the plane to reduce ear discomfort upon takeoff. Gum, mints, or any beverage will help clear your ears as well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.