It’s a fact of life; flying can be trying. If you’ve flown abroad, you can probably attest to the ravages of a long haul flight. However, without the wonder that is aeronautical engineering, travel as we know it would be obsolete. Whilst we love to see the world, dodgy tummies, aching sinuses and desert dry conditions can knock about the toughest of travellers.
So what exactly happens to your body after boarding a flight?
You won’t be able to hear or taste
A 1/3 of your tastebuds are numbed when flying at high altitudes. Dryness and air pressure changes can affect your ears, sinuses & taste.
You’ll become dehydrated
A 3 hour flight can shed up to 1.5 litres of water from the body. Aeroplane cabin humidity levels as low as 4% can cause the mucous membranes of your nose, mouth and throat to dry out.
You’re deprived of oxygen
Aircraft cabins are pressurised to 75% of normal atmospheric pressure (the same altitude as Mexico city). Lower oxygen in your blood can cause Hypoxia; a condition leaving you feeling dizzy, fatigued and headachy.
You’re sat in a tube of germs
Catching a cold is over 100 times higher when you are flying. ½ of the cabin air is re-circulated during a flight spreading germs and viruses.
You’ll drink poison
OK, perhaps that’s a little dramatic! However, in the past stored water on planes has been found to contain traces of E.coli and other harmful bacteria.
You’ll expand like a beach ball
Just like a bag of peanuts mid-flight, air pressure changes will cause you to inflate. A build-up of gas can lead to bloating, constipation and stomach pains.
Blood will pool in your legs
Lack of movement leads to fluid build-up around the body, increasing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
You’re exposed to cosmic radiation
During a 7 hour flight from New York to London you’re exposed to the same dose of radiation as an X-ray.
Top tips for flying on a plane
Flying can be a pain, but it's certainly worth the gain. Whether it's overcoming air-cabin dryness or keeping your belly bloat free a few handy helpfuls will beat those frightful in-flight feelings.
Booze slows down your metabolism making it even harder for your body to absorb oxygen.
Keep hydrated & moisturised
Drink lots of water, avoid caffeinated drinks, use eyes drops and keep plenty of moisturiser on hand.
Walk around the cabin
Keep moving and do the recommended in seat exercises to reduce swelling in your lower legs.
Drink bottled beverages
Avoid drinking stale, stored plane water and stick to juices and pre-packed drinks.
Wash your hands, use hand sanitiser and wear a face mask to combat the spread of germs.
Relieve sinus pressure
Swallow hard, gently pop your ears and work your jaw to help avoid sinus pain.
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