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Three steps you can take to protect your health while flying

by , 13 February 2013

Flying can be stressful on your body. “When it comes to passenger safety, media interest usually focuses on the drama of air crashes. The reality is, however, that the threat lurking within the aircraft cabin is just as worrying,” reports the Daily Mail. Here are three ways to protect your health while flying…

Yesterday, United Airlines confirmed the death of a male passenger aboard a flight to Utah reports, The Inquisitr. Apparently, passengers didn’t realise anything was wrong with the ‘sleeping’ man until the plane landed. While dying on a flight isn’t a common occurrence, studies show flying can be harmful to your health.
 
“In the US, for instance – where such statistics are carefully collated – there are around 14,000 medical emergencies a year and 350 in-flight deaths on the nine major US airlines. This far outnumbers the annual toll of deaths caused by air accidents,” reports the Daily Mail.
 
Three health risks you’re subjecting your body to when you fly and how to avoid them
 
#1: Blood clots: Don’t rule out a blood clot even if you’re young and healthy—you might have a higher risk! In fact, 85% of all blood clot victims are athletic, according to findings by Airhealth.org. 
 
To avoid developing blood clots on a flight, don’t wear tight clothing, cross your legs for long or drink dehydrating beverages like alcohol and caffeine. These impede circulation and can cause a blood clot. 
 
#2: Colds: “Contrary to common belief, a plane isn’t a Petri dish for germs,” says menshealth.com. “After the plane takes off, the cabin air goes through a series of filters about 20 to 30 times an hour, killing most bacteria and microbes. But beware of your neighbour: If he’s sick, you’re more at risk than you would be on the ground.” 
 
Here’s why: “Humidity in the cabin is usually maintained at less than 20% — about as dry as a tropical desert. And in an arid environment, our mucous membranes dry out even more and inhibit our ability to fend off bacteria or viruses like the common cold, explains the menshealth.com article. 
 
To avoid developing a cold on a plane, drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated has multiple benefits – including reducing swelling which could lead to blood clots – and is good for cold prevention because it keeps your membranes moist, essential for stopping germs in their tracks.
 
#3: Motion sickness: Your body detects motion through the eyes, ears, and skin. When you’re in mid-air, your senses may become confused and this can lead to motion sickness while flying.
 
To avoid motion sickness take ginger, suggests natural health practitioner, Dr Jonathan Wright. It’s the “best-proven treatment for nausea induced by a wide variety of causes, including motion sickness,” he explains.
 
The reason? 
 
“Most anti-nausea drugs work by blocking signals to the brain that induce nausea. Ginger, on the other hand, has a localised effect on the stomach. Since its presence in the stomach is a useful part of its action, small doses (250mg to 500mg) repeated often will give the best results,” Dr Wright says.
 
Use these three tips to protect your health from the dangers of flying next time you travel. You’re sure to land at the destination feeling refreshed and, more importantly – healthy. 



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