Airplane Travel Causes More Health Problems Than Just Increased Stress

It is no question that travel can be stressful.  Some people opt to fly for a number of reasons; convenience, quicker, and no wear and tear on your personal vehicle.  Depending on how far you are traveling flying can end up being cheaper too. 

Did you know though you actually put your body through a lot every time you fly?  Not just the stress of travel, but some people get extreme stress or anxiety when flying.  This can be for fear of technical troubles, bad weather or turbulence.  Make sure that if you are one of these people that flying increases your stress levels, learn what calms you so you manage your stress and anxiety in a healthy way.  

 

Cabin Pressure

Along with an increase in stress and anxiety during a flight a lot can happen to your body overall.  The decrease in cabin pressure can have a huge effect on your body.  One thing that can happen to your body is bloating.  The gases in your stomach can become overactive due to the drop in cabin pressure.  Try and avoid carbonated beverages or naturally bloating foods before you board the airplane. 

You could also experience a sick feeling or nausea while flying.  Again with the drop in cabin pressure it can make you feel dizzy, nauseous, or even a bad headache.  You can take nausea medicine or pain reliever to help decrease those symptoms. 

Another main thing to make sure you do to help with these effects from the lower cabin pressure is to stay hydrated.  Drink lots of water before, and during the flight. 

Changes in cabin pressure can also cause ear pain or discomfort.  To help with this you can chew gum or eat sweets. 

While in flight the cabin pressure decreases and the amount of oxygen in the cabin will be decreased to about 75%.  With this decrease in oxygen it can make you feel sleepier.  To help fight the sleepiness you can stay hydrated, or if you can take a little rest on the plane. 

 

Cramped Spaces

Airplane seats are not the comfiest things to sit on.  The cramped spaces and seats that don’t give you all the support for your body can lead to some terrible effects as well.  You could experience back or neck pain, from not sitting in a supported seat or having to hold your neck in a crazy angle.  Back pain can be more apparent on longer flights as well when you are sitting for an extended period of time. 

Another thing to be aware of on long flights is Deep Vein  Thrombosis which can lead to poor circulation and swelling of the feet.  This can also cause blood clots which can be very dangerous.  Make sure you get up and walk the aisle of the airplane when you can to stretch your legs and keep circulation moving. 

Some other things you may experience when flying is jet lag, dry skin, and unable to taste foods. 

 

Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder that occurs when you travel quickly over multiple different time zones.  Jet lag can lead to exhaustion, inability to concentrate, memory problems, constipation, indigestion, and even diarrhea.  The main thing you can do to try and eliminate the affects of jet lag is to try and adjust to the new time zone as quickly as you can. 

Your skin can go through quite a lot while flying.  It can end up drying out due to the lack of humidity and moisture in the cabin air.  The dry air can dry your skin out causing your natural oils to produce more oil than normal which can lead to break outs.  You should make sure you moisturize before the flight, and if it is a long flight you can moisturize during.  Some people may even like to use a face mask while on the airplane.  As a little self pamper time on top of keeping your skin moist. 

It has been scientifically studied that while on an airplane your taste buds do not respond the same way.  It has something to do with the cabin pressure, dry air, loud noise, and low humidity all combined that can cause you to not taste your food correctly.  You can try drinking tomato juice.  This will taste better in the airplane than when on the ground, and help your taste buds taste savory items.

 

Recirculated Air

Chances of you becoming sick while on an airplane are almost one hundred percent higher.  This is because the air on the airplane is recirculated, you are in a confined space, and the cabin has low humidity.  If there is a single person who is ill on the airplane their germs just keep getting recirculated throughout the cabin. 

So what can you do to keep yourself well?  Make sure you wash your hands before and after your plane ride.  Make sure you hydrate your body to help your body fight off germs.  Also you can carry hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes to wipe down your hands after you touch surfaces on the airplane or wipe down the tray table and arm rests.  

 

Conclusion

Flying can do a lot to your body.  The main thing is to be aware and know how your body will respond.  Make sure to drink lots of fluids.  If you are on a long flight try to get up and stretch your legs when you can. Know what you need to carry on with you to help manage your stress and anxiety if you experience that with flying. 

Airplane travel increases your chances of bloating and messes with your taste buds.



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HealthStatus Team

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.

Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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