Modern Australian



Up and away: the impact of flying on your health

  • Written by House Call Doctor


These school holidays, many people will take to the skies, unaware of the risks flying can pose to their health.

Brisbane based house call doctor Ryan Harvey said it was important flyers familiarised themselves with the dangers.

“For the frequent flyer, it is important to consult your local GP if you’re concerned about the dangers of flying because symptoms may not show straight away,” Dr Harvey said.

“Luckily there are simple steps which can be taken throughout a flight which can minimise the impact flying has on your health.”

TOP 4 HAZARDS OF FLYING

DVT

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a blood clotting condition that can be fatal if left unattended. DVT happens in the legs, and the risk is higher for longer flights. Pregnant women, the elderly, the obese, those with a history of heart disease, and those who have recently had surgery are more prone to the condition.

Move as much as you can and wear inflight socks or compression tights to help increase your blood flow to your legs and heart to avoid DVT.

 

CONSTIPATION

Sitting for long periods of time, such as on a long haul flight, causes our digestive system to slow down. This can lead to us feeling gassy and constipated. The best way to combat this is to move around the plane, drink lots of water and steer away from caffeine and alcohol.

BREATHING

Shallow breathing can be a major concern as cabin pressure can mimic high altitude. Lack of oxygen can lead to light-headedness, aching joints and difficulty concentrating.

“This is a cause of concern when it comes to flying, if you experience such symptoms, make sure you alert a flight attendant as soon as possible so they can increase the airflow to the cabin,” Dr Harvey said.

JET LAG

Following a flight, flyers must be aware of the risks of jet lag.

“Insufficient sleep can affect your body and mind – and side effects can mimic those of chronic fatigue,” Dr Harvey said.

“They can include exhaustion and memory loss.”

 

HOW NOT TO GET SICK ON A PLANE

REST

A good night’s sleep the night before a long flight is key to protecting your health. There is no guarantee that you’ll get any decent rest on the plane, amid loud passengers, food delivery and in-flight announcements – so plan ahead.

PACK SNACKS

Meals on planes can be different to what you are used to. Pack your own healthy snacks but be aware of restrictions of what you can and cannot take on board.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

It is easy to become dehydrated during a flight, so ensure you are drinking plenty of water throughout your flight.

CLEAN YOUR AREA

Wipe down tray tables, arm rests and head rests if possible to ensure your area is clean.

STRETCH AND WALK AROUND

When on the flight, it is important to encourage blood flow and loosen up muscles to prevent stiffness, pressure wounds and aching muscles. It is also vital for avoiding circulatory conditions, like DVT. Get up regularly and walk around the plane. You can also do minor exercises, such as circling your feet, and stretches while sitting at your seat.

CHEW GUM

Cabin pressure rises significantly during take off and landing which makes your ears pop. This sensation can be painful – chewing gum or even yawning relieves the pressure in your eustachian tube (middle ear) allowing air to flow freely and quickly.

MOISTURISE

With 50 per cent of air being recycled on broad, and constant air conditioning, your lips and face can become dehydrated. Carry a flight approved moisturiser and lip balm and apply regularly.

 

 

Health Features

Modern magnesium: the pharmaceutical-grade topical relief health product

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and is required for 1,200 of 1,600 bodily functions. Responsible for biochemical reactions, magnesium ions act as enzyme co-factors...

Top 5 Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures for Men in 2019

A few years ago, you wouldn’t have heard many men talk about cosmetic procedures but today, clinics have more male clientele than ever before. Advances in cosmetic medicine make it so...

5 Sleep-Friendly Bedroom Tips for Career Women

It is becoming more evident that women have a role in Australia's workforce. The career woman is not only driving the economy forward but may revolutionize it with enough time...

6 Signs it’s Time to Consider Laser Tattoo Removal

If you have a tattoo, you’ll know that there’s nothing quite like the feeling of staring at the new art on your skin after a tattoo session. This feeling alone...

What to do about Vape Tongue

You might have heard the term Vape tongue at one time or another if you enjoy using electronic cigarette, you might have even experienced it yourself. The dreaded vape tongue...

What Health Issues Seniors Should Worry About

At some point, each one of us has health concerns. For some, it can happen early on in life, either because of a preexisting condition or perhaps because of lack...

Popular articles from Modern Australian

Why you should hire equipment for your next party or eventLiving life without fearFive Trends That Will Transform Beauty Moving home is always complicated but even more challenging in SydneyWhy Chocolate Can Be Good For YouHow to Choose the Right Wedding SuitTop 5 Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures for Men in 20192019’s Unforgettable Valentine’s Day Ideas In SydneyFashion Trends to Know in 2019David Lennon:   Five reasons to get your car loan sorted before visiting a dealership5 Sleep-Friendly Bedroom Tips for Career WomenTop 5 Car Finance TipsAustralian Bathroom Design Trends for the Upcoming Season6 Signs it’s Time to Consider Laser Tattoo RemovalLocal Moving Checklist