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Dehydration results from not consuming enough fluids and can be a common complaint. On aircraft, it is often a result of a lack of moisture in the cabin or insufficient water consumption. Symptoms will vary depending on age. It is important to drink enough fluids to combat dehydration while flying. 

Drinking liquids while flying 

You should drink at least two glasses of water on long-haul flights. Particularly on flights lasting for longer than four hours, not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration. As such, be sure to drink enough fluids when flying. 

Dry air on aircraft 

There are a few precautions you can take against the dry air on aircraft: 

  • Drink plenty of water. 
  • Use a good moisturizer. 
  • Carry eye drops. 
  • Use a nasal spray. 
  • Be sure to have your medication with you if you suffer from asthma. 

Signs of dehydration in infants and children 

  • Dry mouth 
  • Dry eyes 
  • Low urination 
  • Sunken eyes and cheeks 
  • Lethargy and irritability 

Signs of dehydration in adults 

  • Excessive thirst 
  • Low urination 
  • Dark urine 
  • Tiredness 
  • Dizziness 

Groups at risk of dehydration 

Everyone can experience dehydration, but some are at greater risk: 

  • Infants and children 
  • The elderly 
  • Those with chronic illness 

Conditions caused by dehydration 

Deep vein thrombosis: Dehydration can lead to deep vein thrombosis by causing blood clotting in the veins. 

Brain swelling (edema): Dehydration can lead to edema in the brain with the swelling of cells. 

Heart attack: Dehydration can lead to a thickening of the blood, which in turn makes the heart pump harder. This can cause serious damage to the heart. 

Hypotension: Dehydration can lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure. 

Kidney failure: Dehydration can cause kidney failure as the amount of blood which goes to the kidneys falls. 

Complications caused by dehydration 

Urinary system and kidney problems: Dehydration can cause the prolongation or recurrence of urinary tract infections, kidney stones and kidney failure. 

Seizures: Dehydration can lead to involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes loss of consciousness. 

Hypovolemic shock: Severe and sudden dehydration can prevent the heart from pumping blood. Low blood volume can cause a decrease in oxygen levels, which can in turn lead to hypovolemic shock (low blood volume shock). 

Dry mouth and lips: Dehydration can cause a dry mouth and lips. You can avoid this by taking a few simple precautions: 

  • Use a heavy moisturizer on your lips before boarding the aircraft. 
  • Use a moisturizer before applying lipstick. 
  • Put olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil or honey on your lips before sleeping. 
  • Drink enough water while flying.
We recommend that you take a few measures to make sure you enjoy a comfortable flying experience. If you would like to know more about a particular topic, please contact our call center.