Is it safe to fly while chemosis is present?

Doctor Answers 7

Flying with Eye Swelling

I would ask your doctor if it is okay as they will be aware if there is anything else going on. If it is just chemosis, I would have some natural tears or lacrilube with you as the eye may need some extra moisture.


Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Flying after blepharoplasty

Thank you for your question. While chemosis itself should not pose a problem question I strongly suggest checking with your surgeon to see if he or she has any objection to your traveling an airplane when you have an ongoing problem with your eyes following surgery. Best of luck.

Brian Biesman, MD
Nashville Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Can one fly or travel with chemosis

Thank you for sharing your question. There should be no problems flying or traveling while the eyes are chemotic. Frequent lubrication is important, because dryness will increase the sweling. Inform your surgeon of your plans to travel.
Good luck,

Rest required after eyelid surgery

Hi Catherine,

It’s best to be conservative and not fly when your eyeballs are swollen. When did you have your eyelid surgery? It is strongly recommended that you stay within 30 minutes of the surgery center where you had your procedure done, for at least 5-6 days after the procedure.

While chemosis is relatively common after lower blepharoplasty and is treatable with steroid or anti-inflammatory drops and lubrication, it can take a week or two for the lymphatics to work normally again. Since the air inside the cabin of a plane has a humidity level of 10-20% (much lower than a comfortable typical humidity of 30-65%) you can expect to be dehydrated which can cause problems like dry skin and scratchy eyes. Being in a low-humidity environment has another potential problem – you’re at increased risk of catching a respiratory virus like a cold. When the air you breathe is too dry, the mucous in your airway can’t do its job, and viruses or bacteria can enter more freely. Lastly, it would be best to have at least one postoperative visit with your surgeon prior to flying home.

Jan Zemplenyi, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Chemosis and flying

Hi Catherine,

Thanks for your question. It is certainly is safe to fly with it but it will likely get worse due to moisture changes.  Lubrication is the key to improving the swelling you have in your eyes. Keep your eyes closed and keep your eyes lubricated and moist. Good Luck

All the best,
Carlos Mata MD, MBA, FACS
@chemosis @blepharoplasty @docmata #drcarlosmata
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Chemosis: is it safe to fly with?

You can fly even if you have chemosis, but critical to its early management is to keep your eyes moisturized using good quality ocular lubricating tears, gel, or ointment.  Gentle massage of the eyes (through the closed eyelids) can also help.  Its important to get this addressed in the early few weeks after surgery whenever possible otherwise it become more difficult to manage.  I will sometimes put my patients on both topical and oral steroids to help hasten the resolution.  Rarely minor surgical procedures can speed the resolution.  Be in touch with your surgeon.  Best regards.

John R. Burroughs, MD
Colorado Springs Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Yes, but your chemosis will be worse.

The chemosis is made worse by drying.  Airplanes have very dry environment.  Bring artificial tears and use them every 30 minutes.  Also use bland ophthalmic ointment as bedtime.  See your surgeon if the you are having an issue when you return from your trip.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.