Why does my nose bleed after a long flight and is it normal?
Nose bleed is common among passengers of long haul flights. In many cases the nose bleeding starts after the flight and not during the flight. My husband had a 16 hour flight yesterday from Buenos Aires to Doha and his nose started to bleed after the flight. Obviously I am concerned and decided to read up about it. Could it have something to do with the dry air and cabin pressure? Maybe high blood pressure and can precautions be taken?
What causes nose bleed after a long flight?
First of all I would like to make it clear that I am not a medical doctor nor am I qualified to give medical advice if you suffer from nose bleeds. The purpose of this article is to inform travellers that nose bleed happens to other travellers as well. Dry cabin air is a major contributing factor but if you are dehydrated, the effect can be worse. Try to avoid alcohol, coffee and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
If your nose showed signs of irritation before you fly, make sure that you keep the nasal passages moist. The dry cabin air could irritate it more and nose bleeding could occur afterwards. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a saline nasal spray before you travel.
High blood pressure could trigger nose bleeds during or after flights. Nose bleeding is often associated with high blood pressure. If If you suspect that you might suffer from high blood pressure, make an appointment and see your doctor as soon as possible.
Injuries to your nose could also cause nose bleeds after a flight.
How to stop a nose bleed and when is it a good idea to seek medical help?
My brother used to suffer from terrible nose bleeds when he was a child. My parents often rushed him to the ER when they couldn’t stop the bleeding at home. If your nose starts bleeding, sit or stand with your head above your heart. Tilt your head forward and pinch your nostrils – just below the center part of your nose. Apply pressure for about 10 minutes. It should stop the blood flow. Do not tilt your head back. Why? The blood will run into your throat. Don’t blow your nose for 24 hours as the bleeding might start again.
If the above does not work, find a medical center right away and seek medical help. Medical personnel are available at airports.