Aircrafts are enclosed spaces—the perfect opportunity for risks and illnesses to disseminate.
As a result of the pandemic and to highlight the importance of a passenger’s health during a flight, numerous airlines have shared the following regulations:
These procedures may reduce the possibility of illnesses that could affect passengers during a flight. However, this does not mean you should ignore basic health tips that are not usually announced by these airlines.
A study from the University of Alabama saw that certain germs can potentially survive up to a maximum of 7 days within an aircraft. In addition to this, planes promote reduced circulation of oxygen and lower humidity, resulting in the drying of the mucous membranes of the throat and nose.
What happens if this occurs?
Our body’s capability to protect us from diseases deteriorates.
Passengers tend to sit for long periods of time during a flight. Combine this with the cold temperature and low humidity of a plane, and you may come out at risk for developing Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. This is caused by blood clotting in the veins of the deep leg region due to lack of body movements. The condition can be life-threatening when the clot breaks. Those who struggle from twisted or enlarged veins are most likely to be affected by DVT.
Meanwhile, some travelers who experience high blood pressure may be affected by the low levels of oxygen inside a plane.
What about the famous jet lag?
Jet lag is a problem frequently experienced by travelers who fly to a destination that has a different time zone. Its intensity depends on how many time zones you have crossed. Symptoms of jet lag can range from diarrhea and nausea to anxiety and confusion.
Experiencing dehydration and temporary hearing loss are also inevitable when traveling by plane. The former is caused by the cold temperature and low humidity inside an aircraft while the latter is caused by the immediate change of altitude and air pressure during the departing stage of a plane.
Last but not the least, passengers may be at risk of being exposed to other travelers who are affected by air-borne diseases and illnesses.
Aside from organizing your baggage and budgets for the entire duration of your trip, you should also know the health protocols you can and should apply before, during, and after your flight. These simple tips are the deciding factors between a safe and a troubled trip:
Despite some countries announcing that face masks are no longer mandatory, you can still benefit from wearing them during a flight. Whether it be a surgical mask or an N95 respirator, these accessories can protect you from droplets, airborne diseases, and harmful particles by filtering them.
Enclosed planes have a humidity of around 10% to 20%; this means a passenger’s body is at risk of dehydration. It is best if you can bring supplies such as warm water, electrolyte beverages, skin moisturizers, and saline solutions so you can prevent yourself from experiencing dehydration. However, before doing this, you must take note of the rules corresponding to the allowed amount of liquids you can bring inside a plane.
As mentioned earlier, DVT is a condition that can cause blood clot in deep leg veins. Always remember that your body will have the tendency to stay in one position for a long time during your trip. A good way to prevent this is by stretching your body every now and then or by walking to and from the restroom or any spacious area to maximize blood circulation.
The temperature inside a plane tends to be really low so passengers are advised to layer themselves with sufficient clothing. By doing this, you are ensuring your body will be warm enough to withstand the cold throughout the trip.
Alcohol is known for thinning the volume of blood and preventing blood cells from clotting. It also limits cells from absorbing oxygen and dehydrates the body even more. Because of this, refrain from drinking alcohol before, during, and after a flight.
Seats in a plane are occupied by one person to another in each flight. Make sure to bring your own sanitizing wipes and alcohol solutions to sterilize chairs, armrests, seatbelts, tray tables, and windows that have been used by past travelers.
Due to the enclosed nature of airplanes, passengers inside it tend to share the same air and touch the same things repeatedly. By preparing your immune system through sufficient rest, good hydration, taking medical supplements such as vitamin C, and eating healthy food prior to a flight, you are treating yourself to a secured trip.
Proper breathing and meditation techniques will not only help you during a stressed flight but will also aid you in adapting to new time zones and altitude that your plane might cross.
A window seat is the best place for you to sleep during the flight because you have full control over the curtains or window shades. It will also help you avoid bumping passengers who are passing by the middle area especially when you are or are about to fall asleep.
Many travelers are recommended to keep their luggages by their seat—thus, overhead shelves and spaces around seats are quickly occupied by bags of other passengers. Make sure that you carry only the necessary items you need so you can have enough room for your legs and body.
Feeling uncomfortable or sick during a long trip to your dream destination or a flight back home is the last thing you would want to experience!
By being aware of these basic health tips and not just the overly-exaggerated guidelines usually spread throughout social media, you can ensure your travel encounters will remain memorable and pleasant.
You will help not only yourself but also other passengers by assuring them that you are in good health. There is no be-all and end-all method to avoid every disease in the world, so the best decision you can make is to be wary and prepared at all times.
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