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5 Ways to Avoid Common Inflight Health Problems
Read on to learn how you can fly comfortably without the hassle of health problems!
By Doctor Anywhere, 31 May 2019
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Are you travelling this summer holidays? Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a newbie, we sometimes have to deal with annoying health issues during a flight. Flying at high altitudes while trapped in a small cabin can cause a bunch of uncomfortable conditions from headaches to dry skin and jet lag.

Dealing with discomfort is probably the last thing you’d want to do when you’re on a holiday. Fret not, we have some remedies for you. Read on to learn how you can fly comfortably without the hassle of health problems!

1. Ear Pain

During a flight’s take off or descend, some of us may experience pain or muffled hearing in our ears due to the rapid change in air pressure causing stress on the eardrums. It’s completely normal, and can be easily corrected. Here are some effective ways:

  • Pinch your nose and swallow
  • Pinch your nose and attempt to blow through your nose
  • Suck on hard sweets
  • Put a hot towel around your neck

2. Bloating & Gas

The gas in your stomach tends to expand during long flights, which increases bloating and flatulence. This is because air pressure decreases at high altitudes, causing the gas in your gut to expand. Unfortunately, the best way to deal with this is to simply ‘let it go’ by heading to the lavatory! But you can also try avoiding fried and fatty food before and during the flight; those kinds of food usually increase gas production.

3. Jet Lag

Long flights across different time zones can make you feel sleepy or sluggish for a period of time after you land. Symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, loss of focus and even digestive issues are all part and parcel of jet lag. Here’s some ways to cope with this:

  • Slowly adjust your body clock to suit the new time zone. For example, go to bed a little earlier, bit by bit, if you’re travelling east.
  • Do some exercise (way before bedtime) and drink lots of water
  • Manipulate your sun exposure to suit the new time zone to regulate your circadian rhythm
  • Limit light and devices when you’re ready for bedtime

4. Headaches

Flying at high altitudes may cause headaches that are jabbing, bursting or sharp in nature. This could be caused by pressure imbalance between the air inside the plane and your sinuses. Here’s how to deal with it:

  • Drink sufficient amount of water
  • Chew gum and suck on sweets
  • Stay away from alcohol
  • Take pain medications  

5. Bad Breath

Saliva production can slow down when you’re in flight, allowing bacteria to build up quickly. After eating sugary drinks, fried and fatty foods and sweets, food remnants in your mouth can cause bad breath. The way to prevent this is pretty simple:

  • Control what you eat – avoid garlic, onions, and fish but eat more vegetables and fresh fruits
  • Suck on a mint
  • Drink lots of water
  • Brush your teeth!

If you’re travelling soon, you can get a range of wellness items such as herbal candy, vitamins and supplements, ache-relief patches, moisturizers and more on our in-app Marketplace! Click here to shop today. You can also consult our doctors for travel medications and vaccinations on our app, and get medications delivered right to your doorstep.

 

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