Ouch! Coping with the aches and pains of travel
Vaccinations protect you against the diseases you may encounter during a holiday or business travel. An experienced travel medicine professional is trained to weigh up the risks and recommend vaccinations, along with malaria or other medication, based on your personal medical history and the risks involved in your specific trip.
But, on any given day during your holiday, you are much more likely to experience minor aches and pains that contract a serious disease. So, we have some advice to prevent or relieve the most common of those nigglng little problems that can take the gloss off your travel experience.
EARACHE: Avoid pain with methods tried and true, and new
Typically, flight-related earache is caused by the effect changes in air pressure have on the middle ear cavity. Earache can be especially painful if the Eustachian tubes connecting the middle ear are blocked.
The more common remedies include chewing gum or sucking on a lolly, swallowing or blocking your nostrils while blowing your nose to increase inner ear pressure. All may work in a given situation.
Also getting good reviews are disposable patented pressure-regulating earplugs called EarPlanes (pictured). They consist of two elements; a hypoallergenic silicone ear plug and a ceramic pressure regulator. As the cabin air pressure changes, a pressure differential is created across the ceramic filter, causing air flow through the filter.
Available in both child and adult sizes, Earplanes are suitable for travellers who generally have difficulty equalising ear pressure on flights or are flying with a cold, allergy or sinus condition. However, the manufacturers warn that they should not be used if severe sinus congestion has caused the Eustachian tubes to become completely blocked. If you get an ear infection just prior to departure, don’t delay in getting the problem treated.
TOOTHACHE: Have a pre-travel check up
Toothaches may also get worse during a flight thanks to the changes in air pressure. It cal also occur at high altitude destinations due to abscesses, broken fillings, or root canals with small air pockets. We recommend a check-up before you go as it’s the way to be completely sure small dental problems don’t become big, costly, painful ones far from home. As a short-term solution, relieve the pain with over-the-counter medications like Advil, Motrin or Ibuprofen.
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