Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat’s Dr. Josef Shargorodsky Co-Authors Largest Study Revealing a Relationship Between Airline Flight Time and Sinonasal Disease.


NEPTUNE, NEW JERSEY – Research suggests a possible association between nasal symptoms, sinusitis diagnosis, and airline flight time.

Researcher and Otolaryngologist, Dr. Josef Shargorodsky, in work performed jointly with colleagues from Johns Hopkins Hospital identified these findings in the recently published study in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. The study is the first large-scale evaluation of the relationship between airline flight and sinonasal symptoms.

“Sinus disease represents one of the most common healthcare problems affecting our population. We also know that airplane cabin air contains multiple contaminants that carry potential harmful irritants to the human respiratory system. And, the changes in barometric pressure in flight may also contribute to respiratory conditions,” says Dr. Shargorodsky, the lead author of the study. "The main purpose of the research study was to determine if there is a true correlation between commercial airline flight and sinus disease.”
A total of 583 active flight attendants participated in the study, and were asked about their work history and sinusitis symptoms. The overall study sample consisted mainly of women from the United States. Participants were evaluated for working patterns, including number of years, days/month, trips/month and hours/month, as well as smoking habits. These individuals were also questioned about respiratory sinus symptoms.

Research findings revealed:

• Increased number of working days per month revealed a significant association with respiratory symptoms, including sneezing, need to blow nose, and thick nasal discharge.
• Number of international flights per month was significantly correlated with several respiratory symptoms, including coughing and facial pain and pressure.
• Increased number of shorter flights may also have a higher amount of harmful exposure to sinus and respiratory triggers.

The study found that there appears to be a relationship between airline flight and sinonasal symptoms. The research revealed that increased flight time may be associated with more sinonasal symptoms. And, individuals taking a greater number of shorter flights may be at greater risk for sinus disease and respiratory issues than individuals taking fewer, but longer flights. “I had always suspected that there was a direct correlation between airline flight and sinus issues, but now we have research that backs this hypothesis,” says Dr. Shargorodsky. “Individuals that fly often, and even occasionally on international flights, might want to see an otolaryngologist to discuss treatment options to help minimize their symptoms.”

Dr. Shargorodsky is board certified in pediatric and adult Otolaryngology, and is also fellowship trained in Rhinology. He practices at Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat in Neptune, New Jersey. (

About Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat
Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat, located in Neptune, New Jersey is committed to providing the highest quality, state-of-the-art medical care, and an exceptional patient experience. Coastal’s award winning, fellowship trained and board certified physicians treat basic and complex ear, nose and throat disorders in both children and adults. Patients receive comprehensive care from highly trained Otolaryngology sub-specialists close to home, making distant travel to New York City and Philadelphia unnecessary. The surgical sub-specialties at Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat include: including Rhinology, Head and Neck Cancer, Pediatric ENT, Laryngology/Voice and Neurotology.