Chest infection after flyonh

I seem to be developing a trend of getting horrid chest infections, and suffering asthma after flights, I end up on antibiotics and steroids. This is my second time in three months. Anything we can do on flights to prevent getting germs??


38 Replies

Me too everytime Maybe use a mask it may helo a little bit when youre flying

Thank you, not a bad idea x

When i flew home from Hong Kong last year i had a woman behind me who lent forward towards me and sneezed and coughed all the way hom ni covering her mouth or nose !!!

ooh gross xx

You could try Nasalguard Cold and Flu block - rub around your nostrils just before you get on the plane, and remember to breathe through your nose all through the flight. After you have landed, use Vick's First Defence, to clear out any bugs that weren't stopped by the first. And if you think your throat is feeling a bit sore, as if a cold it starting to bite, gargle with Corsodyl mouthwash (or dilute TCP, or salt solution). And be careful not to touch your face and hair with your hands, especially around your eyes. These things have helped me keep cold-free this winter, despite being in a concert hall with someone coughing and sneezing behind me, and on a busy train with several sniffers, etc.

Thanks very much x

That all sounds very plausible. I've spent a lot of my working life in planes and found that Tea Tree oil dabbed on a handkerchief and some on the nostrils pre-take off was very effective and worked for me.

Ergendl is right. I take those precautions as I fly to Marseille every few weeks and works for me. I use Vicks First defence before, during & after flights and take antiseptic hand wipes - the seat belt is one of the germiest places plus loo handles & flusher of course. One cannot be too careful as you've discovered.

Wow sounds like good preventive measures. No cold in winter , never heard of such a thing for forty years! I've never heard of these products in Australia ( heard of Vicks) . Must look around. Good advice . I can't handle masks (the ones I've tried) though as someone suggested -can't breath. I always breath through my nose .

Here are links to them, Mardi - you might be able to trace something similar in Australia:

All the best, M.

Thanks so much ! I will look it up.Marion.

It was explained to us that since no smoking came in the air on planes is actually worse for people who are prone to infections, not sure there is anything you can do that will actually work, maybe a mask, would your GP prescribe your antis and steroids to take as a precaution before fying

Thanks xxx

Hi Rose, a mask sounds a good idea, not nice looking though. Oh and getting chest infections or flare ups is not confined to airflight, it often happens to me and I travel by coach. I put it down to being more active thus lowering my resistance to germs, my freind says its the germs flowing through the air vents which we can't do much about. Hope the mask works if you try one.

Thank you xx

Hi Rosemary

I have the same problem I fly quite a bit to turkey and 2016 I flew 4 times there... sadly I got one chest infection after another and laryngitis in fact I was sick constantly for 4 months.......:( short of wearing a mask what can we do 😢

Thing is I've been off work sick with chest infections twice now since January. They are not so happy. But I don't know what I can do my birth family are in Ireland and I'm in the UK xx

I always use First Defence before a flight and on long haul I wipe the whole area I am sitting in, screen tray headrest arms etc with the best bacterial wipes I can find. Have managed the last couple without infection!

Good luck💐

Interesting, thanks X

since they stopped smoking on flights they don't circulates the air in the plane as often. My husband works all over the world and always gets off the plane feeling rough

Pretty gross right? Thanks for replying X

its b cause your breathing every one elses germs as the air is recirculated hankie over you nose mite help

Try wearing a mask of ffp3 standard as a minimum protection and put a plug of Vicks up each nostril. Will help act asa filter for the germs in recycled air. A nuisance I know but worth a try . I find it reduces the infection risk

Thank you xxx

Sorry, but I am on Oxygen and Vick is a no go area !! x good info for those who are not on Oxygen !! xx

I use a Buff rather than a mask, but you have to remove either to eat and drink so not sure if it helps. Never take a window seat, all the air vents are there, so concentration of germs there. Wipes, hand gel, cold block, first defence...I do the lot. Of course what we really should be doing is making a big fuss to get the airlines to clean up their air systems.

Sorry but what is a Buff ??

A garment that is a finely knitted tube you can wear over your face or hair. I bought mine from Amazon.

Thanks, agreed.

Flying in commercial flights is probably the worst thing you can do. Trapped in a sealed tube with 200 others breathing re circulated air. A recipe for picking up infections. More especially when you are sitting with air pressure equivalent to 12000 feet up a mountain. Airlines cut and save costs by not changing the filters and by providing inadequate oxygen air mix in the first place.

What can you do. Well obviously reduce the time you spend flying. Secondly, if your condition is so sensitive, do what the Chinese and Japanese do wear a medical face mask. To he'll with what people may think. Better looks than anti biotic again.

Thank you so true x

You have my sympathies

I get that when I am not flying sick of that off to doctors tomorrow

I just fly over to Lisbon Portugal from NS Canada and started getting worse. They said on the news a while back there building the planes with better air qulity ...People were coughing around me plus a women was spraying some kind of mist on herself in front of her... Maybe that is the reason why I fall sick. Come to think same thing happen when I wen to Florida

It's pretty gross right? Maybe try the first defence nasal spray and antibacterial wipes and mask, we will look like we are preparing for surgery X

My friend travels that way she dosn't have any breathing problems going to try that. On long flight its hard lots of people coughing ... Thanks for replying

Any environment where you breath recycled air increases the risk of infection. You are sharing air with anything up to 300 strangers after all. Tea Tree oil trick (already suggested) is one I have heard but you will need to keep it topped up for the duration of the flight. I am on daily antibiotics anyway (it was for post leukaemia treatment; now combined clarythromycin for COPD as well). This can boost the immune system enough to avoid minor infections.

Be aware also that if it is the asthma that is most affected this may be the dry air and slight pressure reduction of cabin air. Breathing anything with a raised humidity may help anyway. Or discuss with doctor and use a suitable nasal drop?

But I have to confess to not having flown at all now for 10 years - but then I am just a coward... ;-)

BTW breathing only through the nose is I have been told, not effective - the nasal set up warms air better but does not have any more notable anti-bacterial properties than breathing by mouth. And you cannot do pursed lip breathing to overcome breathlessness.

Thanks everyone for the useful information. I was on the verge of not flying again due to the infections that ho with it. Maybe shorter flights and try those tips will help.

Kind regards.

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