This is topic can flying hurt people with lyme?? in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
i have a ton of head pressure lately.

so will being in an airplane cabin cause any problems? i imagine my ears starting to bleed, nose bleeds, etc., all kind of things.

how will this pressure effect the ketes? will i get a headache, etc?

anybody flown, (i'm sure you have) with lyme? how did you do?

i think i read once where somebody used pressure to treat lyme? would this be the same thing?
Posted by MichaelTampa (Member # 24868) on :
The pressure on head combined with airplane is a good question and hopefully someone will have info/advice on that for you. I don't know about that.

I will chime in regarding EMF's. If you're sensitive to those, just note that flying will expose you to a decent-sized dose of that, so you could get symptoms from that. EMF's do stir up the bugs and grow faster, at least the fungus/yeast, but possibly others as well.
Posted by lymeinhell (Member # 4622) on :
The last time I got on a plane was in 1995, just shortly after the first time I got sick. It was from NJ to Denver, and when we hit those altitudes, I thought my head was literally going to crack in half. I spent the next week with altitude sickness and then had to do it again.

Needless to say, that was my last flight.

I've been told by those that get head pressure to take Benadryl AND Sudafed D right before the flight, but haven't tested this theory.
Posted by 17hens (Member # 23747) on :
A friend of mine was diagnosed with mycoplasma when he told his LLMD that every time he flew he would be really sick for a few days. Apparently that (reaction to thin air?) is a symptom of myco.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
I can't take any sinus meds due to high blood pressure
Posted by Rene (Member # 4870) on :
I have flown multiple times without any problems.
Posted by momintexas (Member # 23391) on :
We were told no flying by 2 of our Dr's.

1) because of head pressure - we have bad enough head pressure right here on the ground.
2) Too much close exposure to lord knows what people are carrying
3) as mentioned above - patients with mycoplasma tend to get worse after flying
4) He mentioned the altitude and thinner air is not good for immune compromised patients.

I do know of several people with Lyme that can fly and have no issues. Our last flight (3 years ago)was not good and we have not flown since then.
Posted by jackie51 (Member # 14233) on :
Gosh, one more thing to think about. I've flown many times with no problems.

I recall one of my kids got sick from flying. She was fine when we got in the plane, but got sick within an hour of being off the plane. Was sick for 2 days. It was only a 3 hour flight.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
egads. this would be a very long flight from dallas to vancouver. then from fairbanks back to dallas.

alot of time in the air.
Posted by sickofsick (Member # 29258) on :
We fly every couple of months to the doctor. Doesn't seem to increase symptoms.
Posted by Lymetoo (Member # 743) on :
Benadryl is OK with heart problems.
Posted by lymeinhell (Member # 4622) on :
Maybe just the Benadryl will help? My neighbor swears that if you take BOTH Benadryl and a decongestant it works.

I can't take most decongestants either, although Afrin spray is a decongestant that's quite ok for folks with high BP. I've used it on occasion and was ok with it.

Doesn't sound like we've been much help. Sorry bout that!
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
oh no ya'll have, really. i think for me it's the tension and stress associated with the packing and getting there. once i'm onboard then i'm ok. i tend to go to bed early like about 8 or so.

he goes to see shows and all, but not me, i crash.

i don't seem to be as nervous either.

but the flying terrifies me and my husband is a pilot!!

he got so mad at me on one flight because i was absolutely irrational. we had a lot of turbulence and i had my nails in his legs. he finally asked me if i wanted him to get out and hold the plane up!!

one one flight i sat down and then realized the woman next to me was a nun!! that about did me in..
Posted by sk8ter (Member # 8671) on :
First, those who have heart issues, the altitude cabin pressure is about 7,000 feet. Anyone who had any kind of heart issues especially tachs should not be in altitude. Secondly, the low oxygen at these levels help the bacteria to thrive...that is why you feel worse, Thirdly, if you have hypercoagulation, which many do, this is an issue. Please make sure you take some kind of systemic enzyme for flying.... Benedryl is NOT safe for those that have tachycardia or arrhythmia. The anti-histamines are one of the worst for people like that, however I take Claritan with no issues because it does not have the adrenaline type substance in it. Hope this helps..God Bless
Posted by lymeinhell (Member # 4622) on :
Well that would explain why I felt like total crap. Thanks Sk8ter.

Randi, you sound like me when I travel. I don't fly, but do travel quite a bit, and am always a jittery mess until we get on the road. Once I know I have everything packed and get myself out the door looking mahvelous, I totally chill. The hours leading up to that, I'm a mess.

But getting out and away is always a refresh to the mind and body, and I look forward to it. So maybe if you look at this trip from that perspective, and enjoy the parts YOU want, it'll all go well.
Posted by dal123 (Member # 6313) on :
How can u travel this far from DFW to Vancouver then to Fairbanks, but you cannot travel to see a LLMD in a neighboring state within 6-6 hrs of travel, you know u really need to see a good Lyme dr to help with your many issues.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
simple...husband wants to go and i'd rather not fight with him over travelling to see a doctor. even bringing up the lyme issue sends him into a rage...

his friend's wife in oklahoma is still in the hospital with stage 4 liver failure. he has been calling at least twice a week to see how she's doing. all i hear is "she's really ill. not some imaginary illness. she's a trooper. she deals with it. she doesn't complain"
yada yada yada...

he mentioned going to stay with him because the son has to go back in the military. he's staying with his father for a month, driving him back and forth. i told him "hey, great idea, stay as long as you want, i'm fine. i can take care of myself. hell, stay a month..."

course she's perfect and i'm well, not...
Posted by Dogsandcats (Member # 28544) on :
I made a 5 hour flight last year and did not have any complications. Of course our flight left at the crack of dawn, I was so tired I slept the whole flight.

I usually don't get up out of my seat much. But now I try to drink more water and get up and use the restroom. Not a fun event on a plane, but necessary.

Randibear - you are wonderful just as you are.!!
Posted by chaps (Member # 25286) on :
Here's some logic to consider:

Hypberbaric chamber therapy is used to kill Lyme and other pathogens. It's an oxygen therapy, but when the pressure is released, it is done slowly so that nitrogen will be gradually expelled via the lungs upon exhalation and won't bubble up in the system, causing decompression sickness (the bends).

Scuba diving has also has the same effect, inhaling compressed oxygen when (and other components) at depth. But is it perhaps the nitrogen that is slowly released upon ascent that kills the bugs? People with lyme should be cautioned about scuba diving, because for those with trouble detoxing, as Lyme patients often do, the body will also not expel the nitrogen as readily upon ascending, therefore, they are at higher risk of decompression sickness even when operating within normal guidelines.

Going up in a plane to areas of less atmospheric pressure is the same as ascending from deep underwater to the surface. So flying might actually kill Lyme and co's.

So those who felt sick for a week after flying may very well have been herxing from killing bugs.

The last time I flew, I didn't have problems ascending, but when the plane was descending, I was having wicked pains in my lower jaw. I've experience head pain before when descending, but not in the jaw.

I certainly hope that's not an indicator of a cavitation.
Posted by Razzle (Member # 30398) on :
I've flown numerous times with Lyme.

Homeopathic Lycopodium can help with the anxiety about upcoming events (anticipatory anxiety) least, it works very well for me - specifically, I was terrified to fly, and the homeopathy helped.

Also, I get horrendous motion sickness when in any moving object (or looking at moving objects). Benadryl helps a ton with this - I have to make sure I take it about 30 minutes before take-off and then I'm ok for the rest of the flight. I can repeat a dose of Benadryl if the flight is longer than the 6 hours the Benadryl lasts.

I also know that I cannot put anything in my stomach (solid or liquid) while on the plane, or I'll vomit during the flight (yuk!). But I can eat during layovers between flights and be fine (as long as I'm taking Benadryl too). Something about the change in altitude that freaks out my stomach...may have to do with the gastroparesis and poorly functioning sphincter at the bottom of my esophagus...
Posted by hadlyme (Member # 6364) on :
I fly all the time and feel fine afterward. I even flew right after having menningitis and four days in the hospital. Stress from anything will and can make us sicker.
Posted by 'Kete-tracker (Member # 17189) on :
1 of the ladies who posts on this board sometimes goes flying with her hubby, & even occasionally to an appt. with her LLMD in NY!
I don't recall she's ever said she "wished [she] hadn't flown".
But that was in a small, single-engine plane that rarely went above a couple to 3 thousand feet, so air pressure isn't that much less.

If this head pressure you're experiencing is in the middle of your skull, it shouldn't get worse with commercial flying, but if you have swelling along the Eustachain tubes (passageways to middle ear) & feel pressure in the area of your ears, you should resolve that before you go up in a jet.

Now, if you suffer from "vertigo" [dizzy] ... stay grounded.
My mom had that & a 1/2-hour commuter flight wore her Out!
Posted by Dogsandcats (Member # 28544) on :
My sis-who does not have Lyme- has horrible ear pressure when getting off the flight thru the next day.

Any ideas what would help, it hurts quite bad.
Posted by anuta (Member # 22646) on :
Me too, I've flown many times with Lyme.
Since my mane symptoms are nasal, pharyngeal and sinus inflammation, it does get worse after the flight. But the worsening only stays for one day, then it goes back to normal bad. Flying never affected any other symptoms.
Posted by linky123 (Member # 19974) on :

I used to be a flight attendant and we used a little trick to relieve ear pressure.

Ask the FA to get two coffee cups (styrofoam) and put a paper towel in each.

Then ask her to put hot water from the coffee maker, enough to get the paper towels wet, but not drippy - squish the excess moisture out with the bottom of the cups.

Put the cups over your ears. It is not a cure but the steam relieves pressure - especially on descent when people have the most trouble with the adjustment in cabin pressure.

Works like a charm.

The FA will probably already know how to do this.


Taking a decongestant before the flight helps too. I did this many times to keep my ears from blocking.

I didn't know about natural rememdies back then, but sudofed or something like it works well.

Drink lots of water before, during and after the flight. The humidity is very low on the plane and you will dry out if you don't.

I was always drained after a trip, but a few hours of good sleep was all I needed.

I did have undiagnosed lyme, "fibromyalgia", at the time.

Hope this helps.

[ 03-09-2012, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: linky123 ]
Posted by burnsjw (Member # 11819) on :
I have had altitude sickness too the last few times I flew. I was in higher altitude.
Posted by sparkle7 (Member # 10397) on :
Sorry you have to go through feeling invalidated by your husband, randi... It must make it difficult. He is wrong to do that but you have to do what you can to live & survive. Just know that he is wrong. Our illnesses are not hypocondria. They are real.

The sad thing is that when the media does come out & validate our illness - like in the case of fibromyalgia - no one usually apologises for all the unkind things they said. It's usually when the beancounters figure out a way to make money off of an illness like fibromyalgia that they start to validate it in the media.

Could be a long way off with Lyme & the other related illnesses. Hang in there. You are not alone. We have to keep strong to survive.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
yeah i mentioned my symptoms the other night and he started with the "well, hell, you've had every illness there is, why not this? i swear can't you at least accept that you're just getting old. if you'd loose weight and exercise you wouldn't be in this mess....and on and on and on and on...."

i just start crying and it makes it all the worse...

so i have to keep everything inside, nobody to talk to just this board.

if it weren't for you guys, i'd be lost...
Posted by manybites (Member # 33750) on :
Randibear we all have been disappointed from friends and family mostly the ones that have suffered for years in this disease and it is hard .Just be strong and try to treat yourself to get better.
Posted by linky123 (Member # 19974) on :
Posted by dal123 (Member # 6313) on :
Why don't you just stay at home & let him take that trip up North, detox from HIM while he's away, love yourself and revalidate yourself, & don't say anything around him. Ignore him if you have to live with him. Why does the mention of Lyme throw him into a rage? Bet he's afraid for himself. You don't need to be validated by someone who is emotionally abusing you.
Posted by Catgirl (Member # 31149) on :
Chaps, good stuff. I recently went on a trip and was away from my computer the whole time. Even though I flew, I felt better than I had in a long time.

Randibear, I second Manybites.

It irritates me when friends or family dismiss what I have to say about lyme. People are sometimes too quick to judge (I'm not talking about anyone here).

No one has a clue about anything until they actually go through the same exact thing. This applies on so many levels (even lyme).

I know for me, whenever I bring up lyme, sometimes people around me infer that I'm a hypochondriac. Whatever floats their boat.

A friend of mine recently went into the hospital for emergency surgery. My friend had just switched jobs, and his healthcare with the new company hadn't kicked in yet.

He applied for cobra with the old company, but never heard from them. Long story short, he was stuck without insurance.

My friend is a raging republican--anti Obama. Yet, the fact that Obama care could actually save him in this situation was something he probably never would have considered until this happened.

Sometimes people cannot relate until they are put in a situation that forces them to understand another person's plight.

Hang in there Randibear. [Smile]
Posted by Atta (Member # 30786) on :
Big Hug to you Randibear. Trust yourself. We are not hypochondriacs! Seriously, who would want to fabricate this kind of lifestyle? If I'm going to make something up then I'll make up something awesome like, I'm the long lost grand-daughter of the last royal family of some rich far off kingdom. Way, way cooler.

As for the flying, my energy crashed last year when made a 5 hour flight. In the past two years prior to that I had flown 8 times from Singapore to the U.S. and always rode the waves of jet lag just fine but this was all before the Lyme and Candida treatment. My symptoms manifested in major muscle weakness and fatigue and then I got the flu and was throwing up-something that hadn't happened in over ten years. Acupuncture did help though-3 sessions in one week.

And for my ears, I've always put ear plugs in right before take off and then again before we start to descend and I slow my breathing waaaay down. It's taken care of my ear problems every time.
Posted by CherylSue (Member # 13077) on :
Good info
Posted by Clint31 (Member # 16420) on :
Originally posted by Rene:
I have flown multiple times without any problems.

Same here
Posted by coffee71 (Member # 17467) on :
I had flown before I was diagnosed with Lyme ( I had suffered from Lyme symptoms long before I was dx) and while I was on IV abx treatment.

Traveling to destination by plane and car would take 24 hours. All symptoms would get 10 times worse. Jet lag would last for 7 days- I would sleep for days, legs heavy, brain fog, felt like zombie.

Two years ago I found tablets called Nojetleg and during the flight I drunk huge amounts of water.

I brought my own water bottle (1 liter size) on the plane and I kept asking for refills-flight attendants were looking at me like "what the heck you are doing with that much water". And I recovered from my "jet lag " within two days.

Last year I was diagnosed with POTS - this diagnosis perfectly explained why water was so beneficial for recovering from long flight.

So during my this year flight I would give my water bottle to flight attendants and told them that I have medical condition that require me to drink "huge" amounts of water and they did not gave me "a look"

I also drink a tomato juice with salt!! and pepper, no alcohol or coffee during flying.

Even if you do not suffer from POTS our Lyme bodies are drained of water because we take so much meds and supplements.
Posted by coffee71 (Member # 17467) on :
And yes I absolutely agree that mycoplasma flares up as a result of flying - from personal experience.
Posted by coffee71 (Member # 17467) on :
One more little detail- clonazepam.

I take it as needed, but definitely one tablet before flying. It calms anxiety and it is great help for my neurological symptoms.

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