Nasal sprays could prevent leg clots on long-haul flights, new research suggests.
Anti-allergy drugs that suppress certain immune cells protect mice from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a study implied.
If effective in humans, such medication could replace current DVT treatments, which carry bleeding risks, according to the researchers.
DVT, which usually causes blood clots in the leg, affects around 600,000 people in the UK each year.
If the clot dislodges and travels to the lungs, it can result in a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
Nasal sprays could prevent leg clots on long-haul flights, new research suggests (stock)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg.
It is associated with being inactive for a long time, such as after an operation or during a journey, as well as being linked to a family history of the condition, pregnancy and obesity.
Symptoms include pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the affected area.
If the clot dislodges and travels to the lung, it can cause a deadly pulmonary embolism.
This occurs in around one in 10 DVT cases.
Anti-clotting drugs are given to prevent the thrombosis growing and dislodging.
The risk of developing DVT can be reduced by wearing compression stockings and staying as active as possible while on flights.
People should also maintain a healthy weight, not smoke and exercise regularly.
'Turning off' immune cells protects against DVT
Researchers from the University of Birmingham genetically-modified mice to not express a certain type of immune cell, known as mast cells.
'Turning off' the gene that creates mast