Why does my head hurt when the plane descends?

Why does my head hurt when the plane descends?

This rare headache felt on aircraft descent is probably due to the squeeze effect on the frontal sinus wall, when air trapped inside it contracts producing a negative pressure leading to mucosal edema, transudation and intense pain.

Why do I get a sharp pain in my head when flying?

The exact cause of airplane headaches remain unclear, but it’s likely due to several factors such as the shape of the sinuses, as well as the speed of the aircraft, cabin pressure, and even the maximum altitude reached.

Why does my forehead hurt when I bend down?

Sinus headache causes pain in the front of the head and face. It is due to swelling in the sinus passages behind the cheeks, nose, and eyes. The pain is worse when you bend forward and when you first wake up in the morning. Headaches may occur if you have a cold, the flu, a fever, or premenstrual syndrome.

Why does my face hurt when the plane is landing?

Typically, sinus barotrauma is preceded by an upper respiratory tract infection or allergy. The affected person suffers a sudden sharp facial pain or headache during descent, which increases as the aircraft approaches ground level. The pain can ultimately become disabling unless the ambient pressure is reversed.

Why does my forehead hurt when flying?

“The major changes in cabin pressure at take-off and landing may cause tissue damage and inflammation in the sinuses. This releases the substance PGE2, which can make the blood vessels in the brain expand and thus cause head pain,” says Master’s student Sebastian Bao Dinh Bui.

How do you get rid of a pressure headache when flying?

Follow these steps:

  • TAKE IBUPROFEN BEFORE YOU BOARD. If you know you’re prone to aviation headaches, take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent (i.e. ibuprofen) one to two hours before takeoff to get ahead of any inflammation or pain.

Why does my head hurt when I bend over and stand up?

Dehydration headaches are a secondary headache disorder caused by dehydration, a condition during which you lose more fluids than you take in. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll likely experience head pain that increases when you move your body, particularly when you walk, bend over, or move your head from side to side.

How do you relieve head pressure on a plane?


  1. Relieve pressure by chewing gum, yawning, sucking on candy, and breathing with your mouth open.
  2. Avoid sleeping while the plane is landing to make sure that you are swallowing enough.
  3. Take a decongestant pill or nasal spray before the flight.
  4. Do not let a baby sleep during descent.

How do you fix altitude headaches?

Treating altitude sickness

  1. stop and rest where you are.
  2. do not go any higher for at least 24 to 48 hours.
  3. if you have a headache, take ibuprofen or paracetamol.
  4. if you feel sick, take an anti-sickness medicine, such as promethazine.
  5. make sure you’re drinking enough water.
  6. do not smoke, drink alcohol, or exercise.

What does a headache feel like on a plane?

From these completed surveys they found that everyone described the pain as severe. The headache causes a stabbing or jabbing pain that starts suddenly usually on one side of the head. It mainly affects the area of the forehead above the eye. Within minutes of the plane touching the ground, the headache usually goes away.

What is a’peculiar headache’on a plane?

In a paper published online in the journal Cephalalgia, Italian neurologists report on 75 people who suffer from what they describe as a “peculiar headache.” It’s peculiar because it tends to occur while on a plane and usually lasts less than 30 minutes. It also seems to mostly affect men, and it typically flares up during the flight’s landing.

Why do I get Headaches on long flights?

There can be other reasons for flight-related headaches: Air travelers may get a migraine or tension-type headache from a lack of sleep, stress, or holding their neck in an awkward position during a long flight. And more than half the participants in this study also appeared to suffer from another type of headache.

Is aviation headache more common among people with sinus problems?

According to a 2012 study published in the medical journal Cephalalgia, the pathophysiology of aviation headache does not appear to be any more common among people with sinus issues. There does appear to be a higher occurrence among men, however. That’s in contrast to migraine, which affects three times as many women as men.