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:
Signs of dehydration in infants and children
Signs of dehydration in adults
Groups at risk of dehydration
Everyone can experience dehydration, but some are at greater risk:
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: