Air Travel Health : Jet lag, motion sickness and other issues of air travel

Harvard Men's Health Watch
  • Air pressure : Prevent sinus and ear problems by chewing gum and swallowing often. If you have a cold or active nasal allergy, use decongestants to prevent pain, hearing problems, and infections.
  • Blood clots : To prevent blood clots, mobility is the key. Ask for an exit row or aisle seat, for more leg room. Don't cross your legs. Stretch often, and pump your feet up and down for about 30 seconds every half-hour.
  • Infections: Most likely cabin air won't present a hazard, but your seatmate might. To maximize air exchange in your row, keep your overhead vent open.
  • Dehydration : Because cabin air is dry, you lose water every time you exhale. Drink early and often, but avoid beverages with caffeine and alcohol, which can worsen dehydration.
  • Stress: To reduce stress, arrive early, dress comfortably, and keep your travel documents secure but handy.
  • Jet lag : To minimize jet lag, get plenty of rest before your trip, and keep your schedule light on your arrival day. Don't rely on caffeine to wake you up or alcohol to put you to sleep.
  • Motion sickness : If you are prone to motion sickness, travel on an empty stomach. Keep your seat upright. Don't read or watch videos during bumpy spells.
Published: April, 2006

The article also discusses traveling with medical conditions and security screening's impact on medication and medical devices.

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