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5 health problems with air travel

Victor LitvinenkoNews
5 health problems with air travel. Source: freepik.com/author/freepik

Well, if you are already planning to travel, then we will tell you what can happen in the flight. There is no need to perceive aviation as "treacherous". Airplanes and airline companies take measures to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers. However, for long flights, it is recommended to take certain measures to reduce the risk.

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be associated with air travel, especially for people who spend long periods of time sitting during a flight. This condition is sometimes called "long-haul flight syndrome" or "economy class syndrome".

Causes of deep vein thrombosis

  1. Prolonged sitting position
  2. Low humidity and dehydration
  3. Restricted movement
  4. Risk factors:
  • Previous thrombosis
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • overweight
  • neoplasm
  • older age
  • pregnancy
  • sitting by the window

It is recommended to reduce the risk of developing thrombosis:

  1. Get up and move around the cabin regularly, doing leg exercises such as ankle rotation and knee flexion and extension.
  2. Drink enough water to prevent dehydration.
  3. Avoid large intakes of alcohol and coffee as they can contribute to dehydration.
  4. Consider wearing compression garments to help reduce the risk of blood clots.

Decompression sickness

Also known as altitude sickness, it occurs due to rapid changes in atmospheric pressure, such as when an airplane takes off and descends. It is associated with a risk to people at high altitudes, including passengers and crew members. Under normal conditions, atmospheric pressure increases with altitude. The body adapts to these changes, but problems such as decompression sickness can occur when there is a sudden drop in pressure.

Symptoms of decompression sickness:

  • Burning or tingling sensation in the skin.
  • Pain in the joints and muscles.
  • Dizziness and nausea.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • 'Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.

Decompression sickness can be a serious and even life-threatening condition. Therefore, airline companies and aircraft crews follow strict protocols and procedures to prevent its development. Among other things, aircraft maintain a certain cabin pressure, and passengers are provided with instructions on how to behave in the event of a change in cabin pressure.

Hot drinks

  • The water used to make tea and coffee on board is poured into tanks at the airport. Interestingly, a bacteriological study shows that hundreds of cultures are sown from this water, including conditionally pathogenic ones. Moreover, they are resistant to disinfection because they form biofilms.
  • This raises the following question: is this "acclimatization" diarrhea in the first days definitely not related to the "drinks" we drink during the flight?
  • It is a great idea to give preference to bottled water only during the flight.

Bacteria on the seats

  • According to a study, multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus lives for 168 hours in a seatback pocket (don't pull out to flip through this booklet), and E. coli lives for 96 hours on the armrests (wet wipes should help you).
  • Interestingly, folding tables on an airplane are 8 times dirtier than a toilet flush button.

Contagious passengers

It's important to be attentive to your health and take the necessary precautions to stay safe on long flights.

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