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Health Tips For Air Travel - A Complete Guide

By James Fletcher
Everyone loves to go flying away on tropical holidays. But do you know how to keep you and your family healthy and safe whilst up in the air? Below is a health guide to flying, some health tips and some important information.

Air Quality

When you fly, the air is recirculated for use for the whole flight. This results in poorly oxygenated air that can be high in carbon dioxide and germs. The symptoms that you can experience from breathing in the aircrafts stale air include headaches, colds, flu's, dry skin and sore eyes. Those with respiratory problems and cardiovascular disease are at an increased risk of developing some of the above problems. Drinking water helps your body minimize some of the above threats. Make sure to never drink alcohol on a flight. Skin moisturizes and saline sprays can also help your body from becoming dry and dehydrated.

Pressurized Cabin

Planes are also pressurized but as a plane increases in altitude, the pressure in the cabin does decrease slightly. This change in pressure can cause health problems such as earaches and hemorrhaging, chest pains, severe intestinal gas and even toothache. To try to limit these problems, wear loose fitting clothes, do not fly immediately after having surgery and try to avoid flying if you have a cold or the flu. Also try to have food and drink that is bland and does not contain any carbonation (no fizzy drinks).

Pregnancy & Flying

Pregnant women should also be wary of when they fly. Flying exposes individuals to levels of radiation higher than that experienced on land. Flying can also place other stresses on a developing babies. Mothers planning to fly should always seek advice on whether flying will be safe for the week of pregnancy they are in.

Fear Of Flying

Some people also hold great fears of flying. Although the statistics show flying is extremely safe, people still often have a morbid fear of getting up in the air. People who experience these symptoms should always see their doctor before flying. Your doctor will be able to prescribe you with sedatives that will relax you during the flight.

Blood Clots - Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis and blood clots are another danger of flying. Deep vein thrombosis is also known as 'economy-class syndrome' because of the close and cramped seating experienced by these passengers. Deep vein thrombosis however can effect all people within a plane including those in first class. There has been many suggestions on how to combat dvt, but many of these have proven unreliable. Asprin can help minimizing the chances of having a stroke or heart attack but does little use to prevent blood clots. Likewise, compression stockings are of little use unless they are custom designed and fitted. The best way to minimize the chances of dvt is to walk around the plane at least once every 2 hours. You should never sleep on a plane as this increases your chances of developing a blood clot.

Jet Lag

Jet lag is the change of your 'body clock' that occurs when you fly across different time zones. Jet lag occurs when your body gets out of sync with the date and time. The symptoms of jet lag include fatigue, exhaustion, irritability, disorientation, head aches and general tiredness. Preventing or minimizing jet lag involves some of the points above. Don't drink alcohol and be sure to drink plenty of water during the flight. You can also try to adjust your body clock before you leave. If you work out what the time difference will be when you arrive, you can start adjusting your body clock before you leave for your trip. Maybe start waking up earlier by an hour each day, and going to bed an hour earlier before you leave. Obviously this will depend on which way the time will alter depending on if you travel east or west. You can also plan your travel times so you arrive in the daytime, as this will give you time to adjust. Arriving at night time often makes it hard for you to go straight to sleep on arrival.

In summary, below are some healthy flying tips:

- Drink plenty of water during your flight
- Never drink alcohol when on a plane
- Wear loose fitting clothes
- Walk around regularly on the flight. This can help stop life threatening clots from forming. Speak with your doctor before you fly about other ways to combat clots.
- See your doctor if you have a fear of flying. Your doctor will be able to prescribe some sedatives.
- Pregnant women should seek advice of their doctor before flying
- Try adjusting your body clock before traveling to minimize the experience of jetlag

More great healthy living tips and advice is available at our site. Please visit us for more information on topics such as how to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, health tips and much more.
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