5 doctors weighed in:

Is it safe to fly if my child has an ear infection?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sarah Kohl
Travel Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

It is safe, but may be uncomfortable for your child to fly with an ear infection.
You may want to give pain medication such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen prior to take off. A dose of a decongestant nose spray may also help; as always check with your doctor before giving any medication. If possible, changing your itinerary will allow your child's ear to heal before travel.

In brief: Yes

It is safe, but may be uncomfortable for your child to fly with an ear infection.
You may want to give pain medication such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen prior to take off. A dose of a decongestant nose spray may also help; as always check with your doctor before giving any medication. If possible, changing your itinerary will allow your child's ear to heal before travel.
Dr. Sarah Kohl
Dr. Sarah Kohl
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1 comment
Dr. Patrick Melder
Topical anesthesia - like auralgan can help as well if there is no hole in the ear drum
Dr. Anna Meyer
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery - Pediatric

In brief: uncomfortable

It is not unsafe, but it may be miserable, especially during the descent, as he/she will have a hard time equalizing pressure in his/her ears.

In brief: uncomfortable

It is not unsafe, but it may be miserable, especially during the descent, as he/she will have a hard time equalizing pressure in his/her ears.
Dr. Anna Meyer
Dr. Anna Meyer
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Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics

In brief: Yes

Ear pain in flight is caused when air pressure stretches the ear drum. Cabin pressure pushes air out of the ear space during take off and has difficulty returning during landing.
During an ear infection, mucous & pus replace the air.Cabin pressures seldom alter that fluid so kids with ear fluid or infections often do very well. Kids with fluid on one side often complain about the other.

In brief: Yes

Ear pain in flight is caused when air pressure stretches the ear drum. Cabin pressure pushes air out of the ear space during take off and has difficulty returning during landing.
During an ear infection, mucous & pus replace the air.Cabin pressures seldom alter that fluid so kids with ear fluid or infections often do very well. Kids with fluid on one side often complain about the other.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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In brief: No

If your child has recently been diagnosed with an ear infection there may be an increased risk of eardrum rupture with the changes in pressure that occur during flight.

In brief: No

If your child has recently been diagnosed with an ear infection there may be an increased risk of eardrum rupture with the changes in pressure that occur during flight.
Dr. Scott J. Wolfson
Dr. Scott J. Wolfson
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