|Posted on June 26, 2010 at 5:22 PM|
Air travel has its specific set of health problems and we may have heard of some of them.
The important health issues are:-
Jet lag is caused when you travel through multiple time zones. These changes in time zones confuse your body's inner clock and produce biochemical cahnges Inferior turbinate the body. Symptoms of Jet lag include fatigue, insomnia, disorientation, headaches Overeating, smoking and drinking alcohol can worsen jet lag.
Tips for dealing with Jet Lag:
• Do some gentle mild exercise while airborne and upon arrival .
• Adjust your sleep time before you leave on your trip to match your destination time zone.
• Don't stay on your home time zone. Change your watch to your destination time zone and try to adjust to the new time zones as early as you can
• Drink enough water.
The ear is made of 3 parts- outer ear, middle ear and inner ear.During flights the ears are subjected to changes in air pressure. The middle ear is connected with the back of the nose by the eustachian tube which equalizes air pressure in the middle ear to that in the encironment.
People often have more problems during landing. If the Eustachian tube is not functioning properly due to a cold or allergy the eardrum will be retracted inward due to the negative pressure building in the middle ear, producing ear blockage,impaired hearing and evn ear pain during descent.
Tips for dealing with Ear Pain:
What makes you prone for ear problems while flying?
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) can sometimes occur during long flights due to inactivity. Blood flow slows down, especially in the lower legs, and clots can form. Sometimes there are no symptoms until several days after the flight when DVT can be mistaken for a cramp in the legs. It is a serious medical condition requiring emergency treatment. Overweight individuals are at risk for DVT.
Tips for preventing DVT:
• Flex your legs frequently (at least every 30 minutes) while seated.
• Try compression stockings
• Avoid sitting with your legs crossed for more than a few minutes.
• Drink enough water.
• Avoid dehydrating beverages such as alcohol & caffeine.
• If you have DVT risk factors discuss your flight travel plans with your doctor and you may be given a prescription of DVT preventing medicines
Motion sickness can occur in turbulence, while turning or even in routine flights.At such times inner ear fluid mechanisms can be affected and produce the unpleasant symptoms of dizziness, nausea, increased salivation, sweating and even vomiting
Tips for dealing with Motion Sickness:
• Try sitting near the plane's wings. This will reduce the motion felt.
• Try over the counter medications or visit an ENT specialist for a prescription before flying
• Try Ginger (capsule form) and peppermint (mint-flavored candies).
• Eat lightly before and during your flight.
• Sit at a window seat.
• Don't read.
• Open your air vent.
Other Travel Health Advice
• Try not to fly within twelve hours after dental work because the change in cabin pressure can be painful.
• Avoid drinking alcohol.
• Carry your health prescriptions and short medical history including allergies. Keep important medications in your hand baggage[ make sure you have your doctor;s prescription orders for these for security reasons]
Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal
MBBS MS ENT[AIIMS]
Consultant ENT & Head & Neck Surgery
Sonia & Prateek's ENT Speciality Center,Sahakaranagar, Bangalore
ENT Specialist Bangalore