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Headache After Every Flight -- Advice?  
User currently offlineJawed From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 482 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 19597 times:

After every flight (the flights I take are usually around 4 hours long) I get a headache. Sometimes even a migraine.

I'm trying to drink lots of water, but I sometimes get headaches even when I'm fully hydrated.

I've heard that it may be a problem with my sinuses drying out. Would it help to periodically squirt water mist into my nose during the flight, to keep them moist?

Has anyone else had this problem, and have you found any solutions?

[Edited 2007-11-28 13:58:01]

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCaspritz78 From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 19582 times:

Heard of this problem and have it sometimes myself. In my case it is a sinus problem and saline nasal spray helps me preventing any headache but didn't have the problem every time like you. Maybe you should see a doctor, best you go to a nose, throate and ear doctor and let him take a look. Do your ears hurt, too? If yes you really should see a doctor.

User currently offlineXtoler From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 953 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 19543 times:

I usually just hit the hotel bar once I get to my overnight, that get's rid of the headache. No, really, you probably should go see and EN&T doctor. You may have an ear problem and could be close to blowing an eardrum or two. It happenened to my roommate, but she immediately went to a doctor and they gave her whatever it was she needed. The drawback was she wasn't able to fly for 6 weeks, but her eardrums sealed back up and she was back to flying with no problems. The only other thing I can think of is, if you feel sick before your trip, don't fly. I'm guilty of still flying, but we have to make money. If you are a little older in age and you aren't feeling well, take the losses, call in sick, go to the doctor, and you'll make the money a later day and be back to work that much faster. As cold and heartless as the airline industry seems to be, usually your immediate boss should understand and not want you to fly. Of course I say this now and never followed that advise, so I always suffered. I know it sucks to use sick days when you could turn them into vacation days, but in the long run, you'll be better off.


EMB145 F/A, F/E, J41 F/A, F/E, because my wife clipped my wings, armchair captain
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27027 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 19532 times:



Quoting Caspritz78 (Reply 1):
In my case it is a sinus problem and saline nasal spray helps me preventing any headache

Yes I have had this problem also and I use the same and take 2 Tylenol. I think a Doctors visit wouldn't do any harm just in case. It could just also be that you are susceptible to any kind of pressure.


User currently onlineSuper80DFW From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 1695 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 19481 times:

I think it might be motion sickness without nausea. It happens to me w/nausea and wo/nausea. It just depends. Also, if possible, try to sit on the opposite side of where the sun beats in. I'm sorry about this. Flying shouldn't make you feel bad, its supposed to be fun (unless you fly AirTran, they want you to have a bad time flying).


"Things change, friends leave, life doesn't stop for anybody." -- EAT'EM UP EAT'EM UP KSU!!
User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4836 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 19465 times:

Can be caused by pressure in cavities in your face/head... most people normally only feel it on decent and equalise their ears, but you can get pressure in other air cavities... try equalising using the pinched nose method during climb and cruise periodically... might seem like you are increasing the pressure there, but it is actually opening up blockages...might help you.  Smile


56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineCorsair1107 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 19445 times:

Might also be caused by neck and jaw tension from sitting still for a long time, you can clench your jaw and not even realize you're doing it if you are sufficiently distracted (by IFE, view outside, etc.).


Flown on: DHC-6/8, F100, B1900C, 717, 727, 737, 757, 767, 777, 319, 320, C152/172, E135/145, DC-9, MD-83/88 CL600
User currently offlineEirbus06 From Ireland, joined Apr 2006, 253 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 19434 times:

Happens to me on occasion.Came back from SFO to AMS last week and had a pain in my head the whole 10 hours.Got some sleep in AMS and boarded another flight the same day(to ORK) and had no headache.Maybe tiredness? Happened to my friend,he went to the doctor and the doctor said that it was from drinking fizzy drinks and alcohol prior to boarding,but you said that you were hydrated so i would take a visit to the doctor just to be safe.Hope this helps.

User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 8, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 19423 times:



Quoting Jawed (Thread starter):
After every flight (the flights I take are usually around 4 hours long) I get a headache. Sometimes even a migraine.

I'm trying to drink lots of water, but I sometimes get headaches even when I'm fully hydrated.

Could be mild altitude sickness. Do you ever have problems above about 6,000'?

Tom.


User currently offlineBrenintw From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1654 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 19418 times:

If you're getting a migraine, it could have something to do with the specific aircraft you're flying in. Some people have migraines triggered by rhythmic stimuli. I know people who can't be in a room that has strobe lights -- they trigger migraines for them. It's possible that the engine rumble, or some kind of resonance in the airframe is triggering a migraine for you. Could even be the flickering of the lights.

Do what has previously been mentioned: go see a doctor.

If you always fly in a particular type of plane (say a WN 737, or NW DC-9) try to find a different type on the same route and take that instead to see if that alleviates the problem (unless you happen to be crew for an airline, and can't change type).



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently offlineQqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2283 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 19359 times:

I know you've said you are drinking plenty of water, but be sure you really are. You should drink at least one litre on a four hour flight... optimum would be two, but I know it's not easy to carry water. I've been dehydrated on a plane twice before and the feeling is truly miserable. In both cases I drank three litres of water before starting to feel better.

Also, using a saline solution like Ocean nasal saline can go a long way to ensuring nasal health. My doctor recommeded that to me. Also, if you find it hard to drink the required amount of water, try adding something like EmergenC. Not only will it flavor the water it will boost your immune system with all the vitamins and hopefully help you fight off those headaches. Good luck!



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineJawed From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 19318 times:

Thanks, I will definitely try that amount of water, and also the nasal spray next time.

Quoting Qqflyboy (Reply 10):



User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5472 posts, RR: 30
Reply 12, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 19312 times:

There are some good suggestions in here, the water one especially. If it's a sinus problem, take a decongestant, like a cold/flu pill. They usually do a good job of opening things up..., (better than straight tylenol), but many of them also contribute to dehydration.

In case it's a tension thing, get an inflatable neck pillow. A real necessity for sleeping on a plane. Also works well in the car and office...

Good luck.



What the...?
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 13, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 19282 times:

Avoid any alcohol for at least 12 hours before flight and drink more water (better would be Gatorade, if available) than you think you need to. If you're urinating at intervals of greater than 30 minutes, you can safely drink more water. If you're urinating more frequently than twice per hour, don't increase your fluid intake. One to two liters per hour per 100kg body weight should be fine. Regardless of the above, go see an EN&T doctor at your earliest convenience and have your blood pressure checked, as well as your ears and sinuses.

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