The problem started when the aircraft which im in started to change altitude to prepare for landing. I suddenly felt a headache for at least 20 seconds then its gone. I felt that the sudden change of air pressure is sqeezing my head. I was surprise to notice traces of blood in my mucus when I went to the restroom. I went to our company doctor. My blood pressure is normal. The doctor advised me to get a CBC and Im still awaiting for the test result. Its four days now and traces of blood is still present. Got my last x-ray last July and my chest is normal. Need your advice.
The headache and blood in your mucus are an uncommon combination. They are probably unrelated. However it is possible that you had a transient rise in blood pressure, resulting in both headache and a broken blood vessel somewhere in your respiratory tract. Put the headache aside for a moment, especially if it has not returned. The most likely problem, with the combination of blood in your sputum and air travel, would be a pulmonary embolus. This is a blood clot in an artery of the lungs. Talk about this with your doctor to see if there are any other reasons to suspect this problem. If not, it might be reasonable to wait a few days for the blood in your mucus to clear up and go away.
Funny you should mention pain during aircraft travel.
I had the same problem a couple of weeks ago but I did not get the inflammation until last Saturday (at least noticably).
Like you, I have clear mucus but small clots/streaks of blood on the back of my throat and I had nausea/fever. I went to the doctor and after examining me (I had ear infection and symptoms of sinus problems), determined I had a Infection of the throat/ears/sinuses. They told me inflamation (inflammation) was the likely cause of the bleeing and prescribed me a back-to-back course of Antibiotics.
I am 35...dont smoke (I smoked as a kid for a while but stopped 20yrs ago) and I am a fitness fanatic, I hardly drink.
That said, these past few days since Saturday the bleeding streaks really havent subsided however there has been improvement in my overall condition (no fever and ear probs subsiding...my sinus areas around my eyes still ache.
The streaking/production of blood is not huge (wouldnt fill a teaspoon) but the small clots (like the tip of an eraser on a pencil) are concerning, despite my Docs' reassurances.
The weird thing is my phlegm is not overly productive, its actually clear save for the streaks of blood. My chest is completely clear...I dont even have any cough at all.
It does tend to settle down in the afternoon/evening.
I went back to the Doc today expressing concern with the blood streaks and she re-assured me to wait out the course of the antibiotic and it will very likely resolve itself soon...
Also being a triathlete (normally resting pulse 48 and super Blood Pressure, I remember training hard just the day prior to these symptons and 'pushing through'...I regret that now!
Amazing what searching the net produces...I think I have found the cause of our troubles:
BAROSINUSITIS (or AEROSINUSITIS)
During deep sea diving, the change in sinus pressure may be very high, causing transudation, bleeding, and edema, especially when pressures exceed 350 to 500 mm H2O. During flying, there is usually less change in pressure than diving. When there is obstruction of the ostia, changes in sinus pressure similar to that of diving may occur.
The Sinus Block
If you have never had a sinus block, it is easy to underestimate how painful it can be. Anyone who has suffered pressure-induced sinus pain will assure you it is extreme and quite incapacitating. The cause of sinus pain is very much like that of ear pain, and it occurs on descent if there is blockage due to inflammation.
People often think if there is a mild amount of pressure at 4000 feet, surely it will not be so bad at ground level. Wrong!
In those few seconds of final approach, the pressure change is so much it can cause excruciating pain. The head feels like it is about to explode. Vision can become blurred or double. Blood vessels inside the sinus sometimes burst, filling the sinus cavity with blood.
Sinuses are air-filled cavities in the bones of the face and skull, and are connected to the nasopharynx by small openings. If these openings are obstructed by nasal congestion, there may be considerable pain on descent. The Valsalva manoeuvre may help, but it is better not to fly with nasal congestion, head colds, hay fever or sinusitis. However, if it is essential to fly, the use of a decongestant spray before take-off and before the start of the descent may prevent the problem.
- Cathay Pacific Website
Barotrauma sustained from flying or scuba diving can cause hemorrhage within the paranasal sinus cavities with subsequent epistaxis.
Recurrent sinus barotrauma is an uncommon condition but it may terminate the career of an aviator. Sinus barotrauma occurs almost exclusively on descent and probably results from occlusion of the sinus ostia through a combination of mucosal disease and anatomical abnormalities. Traditional methods of treating sinus barotrauma have achieved mixed results. In a study by O
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