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Ear infection, flight - on holiday

12 replies

Notcool1984 · 18/10/2018 16:36

In Beijing and due to fly home on Tuesday. My five year old has an ear infection and has been on antibiotics since yesterday (oral and ear drops). The doctor here suggested flying home two weeks later which with schools back next week, another child with me and work is a logistal nightmare.
Does anyone have experience of flying with a treated ear infection? Obviously her health is most important to me.
Thank you!

OP posts:
RB68 · 18/10/2018 16:45

My advice would be don't do it - you may have treatment but after 24/36hrs it won't be having an impact. The flight forced different pressures and if there is any fluid or swelling it could cause a burst ear drum mid flight. I just wouldn't risk it for minimum 5 days when I would have Dr relook at her. Work/School etc not alot you can do unless you are able to fly back with other child leaving poorly child with relative etc

RB68 · 18/10/2018 16:47

Shld say we did a long flight when DD had had an ear infection we thought was cleared - we flew had two weeks away came back and within 2 days were back at GPs and admitted to hospital for intravenous IV and cat scans due to mastoiditis (infection spread to small bones behind ear etc and this can cause hearing loss so def wouldn't recommend that even though we did it unknowingly

SisterFrancisBeaverhausen · 18/10/2018 16:49

We flew earlier this year when dd2 had an ear infection. She was a few days into the treatment (oral antibiotics) and she was fine, in fact it was dd1 who complained of ear pain! The GP said it was fine to go, it was a shorter flight though, only 2 hours.

Notcool1984 · 19/10/2018 01:48


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tryingtobemybestme · 19/10/2018 01:52

I would NOT fly back with the ear infection!! My dad flew home from Bali shortly after starting treatment for an ear infection. Less than a week after he got back he ended up in hospital with Bell's Palsy. They think the infection was able to spread more due to the pressure changes during the flight.

HPandBaconSandwiches · 19/10/2018 02:22

If your DD has a middle ear infection then the pressure will change. Add a flight and yes she could be in agony right up to the point her eardrum perforates.
By Tuesday it may well have cleared but you need to go back and have a doctor look at her ear on Monday and decide. You don’t have to choose now.
It’s difficult and frustrating but really, you’d very much regret getting on that flight is the ear is still infected. The pain is pretty indescribable Sad

Notcool1984 · 19/10/2018 03:31

Thanks everyone, will try and see a doctor on Monday :)

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Larasshadow · 19/10/2018 07:06

Definetly follow doctor's advice rather than what you read on the internet.

Our DD got an ear infection on holiday and had started treatment with ear drops, think she was on the for 4 or 5 days before we flew home (4 hour flight) she was absolutely fine other than a sore non infected ear.

AliceLutherNeeMorgan · 19/10/2018 07:16

When you say “the doctor has suggested”, is that their formal advice?

Have you had involved your travel insurance to see the doctor? If so, and you don’t follow their advice, you won’t be insured to fly. Worst case scenario there is an absolute nightmare - and that’s without the long term health risk. But I agree a lot can change by Monday, so fingers crossed!

Notcool1984 · 19/10/2018 16:45

They said "I suggest delaying flight for 1-2 weeks" but then offered some nasal spray and decongestant of we have too. Communication was limited and I can see NHS website says not to use decongestants..?

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youarenotkiddingme · 19/10/2018 17:01

I use a steroid nasal spray because my ear drum gets sucked in! So I can see why they might have suggested it.

However I'm no dr and would take their advise. I'd want them to say on Monday if safe to fly or not. Not 'we recommend'.

Beijing is a long flight and you certainly can't do anything once your airborne and it's not like short haul Europe flights (usually when kids have ear infections from all the swimming!) where even if there's an issue you've landed in an hour or 2.

LokiBear · 19/10/2018 17:02

If she is already on antibiotics you will be fine. Dd1 had an ear infection a few days before flying home from Mauritius this summer. She went from continually sobbing in pain to sobbing because we wouldnt let her swim within 48 hours.

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