So not very long ago, I had this terrible experience of flying on one of the flights in Europe. Having been on million flights before that, my only question was “Oh God, Why me??” and “This is it, this is my last flight ever…blah blah blah“. But thats a very naive decision to make.. Isn’t it? . How is it ever possible, for me, who is born with a soul to travel tie down myself with this fear?? So I started working towards figuring out what had gone wrong and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But on quite a research I found out its quite common and it could have happened with anyone and everyone.
So here’s what happened….
I was boarding my flight with the best feeling of being in my own bed after a long vacation, munching on a chocolate (becoz by the end of my trip, i am feeling food sick). 5 minutes to take off, I feel a striking pain in my right ear. I hold to my ear, comforting myself that its just the pressure change and everything will be back to normal and praying for it to be back to normal :(.
Another 5 minutes into the fly, I m having a feeling of drop on my right eyebrow, which later stretches to my cheeks and my lip. Panicked, I call for the attendant. But with the plane still trying to ascent , its very difficult to get someones attention. Lucky for me, my boyfriend who was now half away towards almost jumping out of plane, decides to sooth me down. Once the seat belt sign goes of, we call for an immediate assistance. The steward address the situation and ask us to move to the empty rows where I can be attended.
Tracing back to all the possible scenarios of what could have gone wrong, we narrowed it down to probably sugar rush (I know its silly but I dint know better). After a lot of cups of tea and water, they searched through the first aid kit. Ear drop was the only close medical supply available. Lucky for me it did help. After about 30 minutes into flight, I felt my face coming back to normal. Thanking GOD for the miracle for saving me out of paralysis, i hold to my seat with my fingers crossed.
So what actually happened to me?? In medical terms, its known as Alternobaric facial nerve palsy or baroparesis which usually happens over-pressurization of the middle ear. So that was something I could relate to. I have having a really bad cold and a stuffy nose to add to it.
Things you should consider :
- Make sure you are cold and cough free during travel
- In case you do end up with a cold, make sure you are able to breathe (no stuffy nose)
- Even after all the precautions, you do end up with a cold and stuffy nose, make sure you have a lot of steam inhalation to clear your nose, also another alternative could be “Octrivin” which gives you a relief for a long time.
- Ear plugs or cotton is ur best friend , make sure to stuff your ears so that the pressure change is a bit minimised
- Drink a lot of hot liquids before flight
- Suck on a candy during ascent
- Keep your self hydrated through the flight
- Try to keep calm and try doing some breathing exercise during ascent and descent
So, to conclude, hiding away from travel is not the solution. There is always a way, if you have the will for it. Hopefully, there are couple of you, who might my terrifying experience to help them coping with their travel fears.
So, Happy Traveling.