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|Air Travel Health Tips|
How can I improve plane travel?
Most people don't have any problems
when they fly, but it's possible to make airplane travel safer and
more comfortable. Here are some tips:
Carry enough of all of
your medicines in your carry-on luggage. Ask your doctor whether you
should change your dosages if your eating and sleeping times will
change at your destination. Bring enough medicine to last your whole
trip. Take extra medicine with you in case your return trip is
If you have diabetes or epilepsy, carry a notification
and identification card (such as the "Diabetes Alert Card" from the
American Diabetes Association). Have the name and phone number of
your doctor with you in case of an emergency. Remember to bring
along the names and dosages of all of your medicines.
The air in
airplanes is dry, so drink nonalcoholic, decaffeinated beverages and
water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
What can I do about
Get plenty of sleep before you leave.
drink a lot of alcohol.
Eat well-balanced meals.
Exercise as much as you can on your trip.
sleep medicines for only a few days.
Get used to a new time zone
by going along with the local meal and bedtime schedules.
Melatonin may help with jet lag, but no one knows how long it
can be used safely. Tell your doctor if you plan to take melatonin
or any other herbal or alternative medicines.
pain in my ears?
If your ears hurt when you fly, try taking a
decongestant medicine (such as pseudoephedrine) before you get on
the plane. You can also swallow often and chew gum during the
flight. Babies can suck on bottles or a pacifiers during the flight.
What else should I do?
Even healthy people can get
blood clots in their legs after long flights. Try to walk every now
and then during your flight (unless the crew tells you not to). It
also helps to drink water, stretch your calf muscles while you're
sitting and wear support stockings.
If your doctor wants you
to take oxygen when you travel, remember to tell the airline about
this well in advance of your flight. The airline will probably
provide oxygen for you for a fee. Federal air regulations don't
allow you to carry your own oxygen unit on a plane. You'll have to
make arrangements ahead of time for oxygen at your destination and
also for layovers between flights. You can also arrange for special
meals or a wheelchair ahead of time if needed.
to fly immediately after scuba diving. You'll need to wait 12 to 24
hours after diving. Ask your doctor or diving authorities for
guidelines on flying after scuba diving.