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Are There Medical Risks For Airline Passengers When They Fly?

Aug 14, 2008
When flying on commercial airlines, most airline passengers develop some medical problems which are usually minor. However, sometimes these symptoms can develop into more serious medical conditions.

The next paragraph lists some common symptoms.

Typical in-flight symptoms you may experience are ear-popping, nasal congestion, dehydration, headache, constipation or diarrhea, loss of appetite (may be caused by the in-flight food), light-headedness, problems with coordination, inability to concentrate, confusion, irritability, anxiety, sweating, fatigue, swollen lower legs and feet, and motion sickness. Some of these symptoms can also be associated with jet lag. In addition, jet lag can affect your sense of orientation in terms of time and place. Your sense of well-being can also be disrupted.

Some medical symptoms can be reduced or eliminated by doing a few simple things.

If you drink plenty of water, juice, or soda, every half hour or so, it can help prevent dehydration and dryness in the throat, nose and eyes. Alcohol, as well caffeine should be avoided or consumed in moderation as they can cause dehydration and disrupt sleep patterns.

It is common for people's bodies to swell when they fly. If you wear loose clothing, it will help to relieve this swelling. This will also add to your in-flight comfort.

Try and sit in an aisle seat so you can get up and walk around a bit. This will help the circulation in your legs and reduce the chance that you will develop a serious medical condition called deep-vein thrombosis.

If you experience jet lag when you fly, you may want to consider taking a melatonin tablet or capsule in the early evening (your time) to help you adjust to the time zone at your destination. You may still have to take a dose of melatonin for the next three or four evenings in a row before you go to bed in this new location to help you readjust your biological clock. If you have never taken melatonin before, you should ask your doctor or local pharmacist for more information in regards to the suggested dosage.
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