Q. My father has cough for two months and lung changes in CT. Can he travel?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sushrutha Muralidharan
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 25, 2021

Hi doctor,

This is regarding my father’s medical condition. I want to know is he in a serious condition or is he good to travel. He had the same cough problem for the past two months and was treated by different doctors. Once the medication is done, then the cough started again. At last, he took a CT scan, and this new treatment is going on. I am attaching the prescription and CT scan for reference. Kindly give your opinion.



Welcome to

According to your statement, your father has been suffering from a continuous cough for the last two months.

According to the CT (computed tomography) scan of the chest (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), bilateral interstitial thickening was noted, suggestive of ILD or interstitial lung disease. However, Covid pneumonia should be ruled out by performing RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test for COVID-19.

As your father has a lung condition, his oxygen levels may be below. Again, low air pressure during air travel also reduces the amount of oxygen in the air. For patients with significant lung diseases, a small decrease in available oxygen can cause significant symptoms like feeling unwell, respiratory distress, etc.

So, at first, check your father's oxygen saturation level by ABG or arterial blood gas analysis or pulse oximeter. If his oxygen saturation level is normal or 96% or above, then he can easily make his air travel

Again, if he needs oxygen inhalation daily, then he can carry portable oxygen concentrators and CPAP (continuous airway pressure therapy) machines or nebulizers if the airlines permit.

Your father's lung condition does not prevent him from flying. Even if your father uses oxygen, he can travel on a plane. After seeing his oxygen saturation level, if needed, then you can inform your respective airlines, and the airline authority will make arrangements for a safe air journey for your father.

I hope this was helpful.

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