With the holiday season coming up, many people will be traveling to spend time with family and friends. While this is an unavoidable condition for many people during this time of the year, the fact is that flying in an airplane can have an effect on your health in many different ways. While these effects may not be life-threatening, they can often make you feel uncomfortable.
The first thing to understand is that the pressure, temperature and oxygen levels in airplanes can fluctuate. In addition, the humidity level in planes is lower than it is at sea level. All these changes can have an impact on our body’s normal functions.
Moreover, when you travel, you often have to deal with different time zones which could also mess up your body’s system. Also, traveling with and coming into contact with dozens of people during traveling can affect our health.
Specifically speaking, here are a few ways in which airplane travel can affect your health:
- It can increase your stress level. Airplane travel is accompanied by some very basic stressors such as long or slow-moving lines, the pressure of being on time, moving luggage across the airport, etc. In the airplane itself, there are additional stressors such as an uncomfortable seat, sitting with strangers, feeling cramped in limited space, etc. You can minimize the impact of these stressors by planning ahead, packing the necessary medications, traveling light, choosing your seat beforehand, etc.
- Airplane travel can dehydrate you. This is again due to the low humidity levels in airplane cabins. As the plane gets higher, many people experience dry throat, dry nose, and dry skin. You can prevent this from happening by packing an extra water bottle which you can refill in the plane. You can also wear glasses to reduce discomfort in your eye. In addition, lotion, eye drops and/or nasal sprays can help you deal with excessive dryness.
- Airplane travel exposes you to germs. Even with advanced filtering systems, commercial airlines can still make you sick because you are in close proximity to many people and their germs. People can often get sick because they can catch germs from passengers who cough or sneeze. Even the tray tables, seatbelt buckles, and other surfaces on eh plane can have germs which can make you feel sick. The best thing to do is to get a flu shot before you travel. Also, make sure you carry a hand sanitizer and keep your hands clean throughout the journey.
Overall, airplane travel can be tough, but there are preventive measures that you can take to make your journey more comfortable and to minimize the impact on your body.