Sinus Pain in-flight

On the last two flights I went on (within the same week), I suffered extreme pain in my upper row of teeth on the right side as well as my jaw (I know there is a sinus near there). The pain spread towards my eye area and it felt as if my eye was about to pop out. This didn’t occur to me at all during take off or cruise, only halfway through our decent :/

I had the sniffles during both flights (a mild cold) but would be this enough to cause a blockage in my sinuses or could there be a more serious infection or problem at hand. Have any of you’s experienced anything like this?

I will be going to the doctors soon but I would just like to hear any of your stories regarding sinus pain


I have experienced this. It’s called Aerosinusitis, it’s inflammation and sometimes bleeding in the sinus due to the air pressure within the cabin. Usually more evident after a flu, or a chest cough I may add.
I recommend a nasal spray, like the ones you use for a flu or however. One before, during and after landing.
Hope this helps!


This happened to me aswell once. I didn’t know what to do… I was kinda scared but it worked itself out…


Same here I had no idea what was going on, I though it was the end. Did you do anything in particular or did it just fade away?

1 Like

It faded away as I kept filming my approach into NZAA

(I did tell my mum, and because she knows a lot about the human body - she kinda explained it to me. I didn’t understand back then tho lol)


I did use a nasal spray after some research for my second flight. It wasn’t as bad as the first, but definitely a painful annoyance

1 Like

@jessefayers… MaxSez: A lot of folk suffer from sinus problems or middle ear pressure (closed airway) during flight. The military teaches a technique called “Valsalva” during Flight training which off times relives both the sinus and middle ear pressure and accompanying headache immediately. Try it next time, Works for me;

“The Valsalva maneuver or Valsalva is performed by moderately forceful attempted exhalation against a closed airway, usually done by closing one’s mouth, pinching one’s nose shut while pressing out as if blowing up a balloon.” (WWW)


Were you congested before boarding the plane? The pressure change in the cabin might be causing your pain.

My only suggestion is some chewing candy (during takeoff and descent). That has always helped me. Hope you feel better.


Ive had that once. I felt exactly like you said. Dont know how it happened tho

1 Like

I went to a specialist a few days ago for sinus issues becuse my ear has been bothering me since the last flight i was on 11 months ago. My eustachian tube was blocked shut due to allergies and my ear had never fully “popped” since that flight. Im going on a flight again in november so he told me to use expanding ear plugs to help keep pressure away from the ear drum just in case. Not sure if that would help you or anyone else in this instance or not through.

1 Like

The reason why the pain occurs in a descend is a big difference in pressure between the mouth and the sinus or middle earth caused by an obstruction in this case slime. Because the cabin pressure increases while descending, slime flows from the mouth to the tube connecting sinus or ear (eustachiustube) and clogging it. When descending further the bigger the pressure difference in the cavity and the mouth resulting in some cases tremendous pain…
To solve the problem in many cases is as Max said the Valsava technique or chewing gum or nose spray. Hopefully back in chape soon! Cheers


I did this on my second flight every couple minutes while ascending/decent but the pain still got to me on the way down. The second flight wasn’t as bad as the first though …

Yes I was as my nose was a little bit blocked. But I never knew something so small could hurt so much. Hope it gets better in the summer

I had this pain last Wednesday on both my flights. When we were descenting into Frankfurt and I got really sharp pain in my head and eye. I decided to sleep straight after I got the pain and I woke up as soon as we touched the runaway. On my second flight, the pain occured again but it wasnt as bad. My nose was blocked so on my 2 flights coming up in 3 weeks, im gonna use nasal spray before I board to see if the pain will go on landing.

Even something small could be painful. I’ve had major sinus pain in flight too, and if my nose was even a little blocked, It could be very painful.

1 Like

I fixed the same issue with a simple decongestant thirty minutes before the flight. I recommend Sudafed 12 hour, it’s available over the counter and it’s been the most effective relief for my whole family. Use only as needed, follow the instructions and consult your physician before use.


Thats’s exactly what I do.


will try this next time, thanks

i’ve had this multiple times before - especially prominent drinking alcohol before and during a flight (not sure if its related). So so painful though! best thing to do is get a hot towel/tissue and rest it against the area of pain - really does the trick but only a short term solution. Except for that just shut your eyes and try and get some sleep!