Air Travel – Can It Cause Airline Passengers Medical Problems?

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 following paragraph lists a number of 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.

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

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

Most people’s bodies tend to swell when they fly. Wearing loose clothing helps to relieve this swelling. It will also add to your in flight comfort.

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

If you experience jet lag 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 another melatonin pill for the next three or four evenings in a row before you go to bed in this new location to help you reset your biological clock. If you’ve never taken melatonin before, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information in regards to the suggested dosage.


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