Jet lag, earaches and more: this is how you will treat the medical problems due to flying

Tens of thousands are expected to take a break from the depression and trauma that plagues the country this summer, to breathe some air and try to feel a little sanity for a few days. But the road to vacation can be full of bumps.

Passenger planes fly at an altitude of about 33,000 feet (about 10 km), and already with the rise to an altitude of 18,000 feet, many changes occur that affect the human body. One of them is a 50% drop in atmospheric pressure, and with it a decrease in oxygen concentration and expansion Gas, two phenomena responsible for most malfunctions in the body, these are the main problems, and this is how you can deal with them in peace:

swelling
This is one of the most common phenomena during flights: with the increase in altitude, the gas spreads throughout the body as well, and the result is the accumulation of gas in the digestive system, bloating and abdominal pain. In the days before the flight it is recommended to drink a lot.

If you suffer from constipation, discuss it with your doctor, because constipation itself is one of the main causes of gas formation in the digestive system. Before the flight, you can use glycerin suppositories or an enema to release an exit, which will make it easier for you during the flight.

dryness
The air in passenger planes includes 50% new air that comes from the outside, and 50% recycled air filtered by special filters and replaced on average every three to four minutes. This air is very dry, and its relative humidity is around 5-20% – similar to desert conditions. The dryness is not only very disturbing, but causes difficulty in breathing and causes dryness in the skin and eyes, which is especially disturbing to those who wear contact lenses.

You can relieve the dryness by drinking plenty of water during the entire flight. If you wear contact lenses, it is recommended to remove them before the flight. If you suffer from dry eyes, take tear substitute drops or sterile moisturizing eye wipes with you. For dry lips use a moisturizing lipstick, and for dry skin use a moisturizing cream.

Air hostess (Photo: EngImage)

ear pain
The rise to altitude causes changes in the spread of gases in the audio system as well. On Earth, pressure is balanced between the ear and the outside through the Eustachian canal, which connects the ear with the oral cavity. But when lowering, a process takes place in the same tube and the result is pressure on the eardrum and tremendous earaches.

The way to reduce the pain is through the pump action: close the nostrils and blow under pressure through the nose. The ears will be filled with air that is compressed into the tube connecting the ear to the mouth and into the sinuses. Yawning and chewing gum will also help balance the pressures.

When there is swelling of the mucous membranes, as during a cold, it will be impossible to balance the pressures. In this case even a simple runny nose can cause a rupture of the eardrum. In such cases, it is recommended to postpone the flight as much as possible, or to use cooling medicines that will reduce the runny nose and congestion in the nose.

You can also use painkillers or ear drops such as otidine. If the pain continues even hours after landing, you should consult an ENT doctor, who, if necessary, will perform a puncture of the protruding eardrum.

Toothache
Passengers suffering from caries, or after filling or root canal treatment, may suffer especially during take-off: gas trapped in the area is spreading, and may cause excruciating pain. Take care of your dental health and visit a dentist at least once a year. If you suffer from pain in the days before the flight, go to the dentist as soon as possible. During the flight you can use painkillers if necessary.

jet lag
Our bodies operate according to a biological clock set based on our genetics, and also exposure to sunlight. The passage through lines of longitude to a destination where the hours of light and darkness are completely different may cause the phenomenon of jet lag, in which the natural synchronization between the body’s systems is disturbed.

what can you do Already during the flight, set the clock to the time in the destination country, and plan the activity according to the “new” time. If you wake up earlier than desired in the morning, you can try taking a pill containing melatonin, the same hormone responsible for the activity of the biological clock, to try to fall asleep again until the desired waking hours.

If you suffer from insomnia that lasts more than a week after landing, consult your doctor about the need to use new generation sleep medications such as Zodorum or Stilnox, which help you fall asleep quickly and do not cause drowsiness in the morning. Some doctors will recommend the drug melatonin, which is sold in different countries even without a doctor’s prescription.

Traveling by plane, illustration (Photo: Inimage)

Deep vein thrombosis
Tourist compartment syndrome, and in its medical name DVT – deep vein thrombosis, is a condition in which deadly blood clots form in the veins of the lower limbs due to immobility. For years it was common to think that long flights, in which the limbs do not move enough, significantly increase the risk of the formation of clots.

The danger in these clots is their tendency to detach from the veins of the lower limbs and move in the bloodstream to the lungs, heart or brain, where they cause a stroke, lung damage or a heart attack. The most dangerous place for the development of venous thrombosis is near the window, because these passengers tend to move less than those on the aisle side.

At higher risk are people after surgery, pregnant, people with a history of clotting disorders, smokers, those suffering from obesity and women taking birth control pills containing estrogen.

If you still sit by the window on the flight and suffer from one of the risk factors, you can reduce the chance of blood clots forming during the flight as follows: make stretching movements of the lower limbs, get up and walk as much as possible during the flight. Prefer to sit in the aisle seat. Use compression socks that go below the knee. If you suffer from clotting problems, consult your doctor about the need to take anticoagulant treatment before the flight.

infections
If after the flight you suffer from a fever, a runny nose or a cough, no wonder: the planes are full of bacteria and viruses in the toilets, on the seat in front of you, on the TV remote, on the screen and the air conditioning vents. Shards of rock also fly from the passengers next to you in front of you or behind you, and can infect you.

To reduce the risk of infection, take disinfectant wipes with you on the flight, and pass a wipe on the seat handles and the food tray. It is recommended to disinfect hands after visiting the bathroom and before meals. In the meantime, it is recommended to adhere to the vaccination routine: every fall be sure to get vaccinated against the flu. 65 years old and older, diabetics and patients suffering from immunosuppression should also be vaccinated with the Pneumovax vaccine against the pneumonia bacteria.

By Editor

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