Due to my recent relocation, I have become a frequent flyer, or as I like to call myself, a fabulous jetsetter. Unfortunately, there’s nothing jetsetter-esque about my BIL to LAX journey. In spite of the turbulent commuter planes and infinitely long lines through security, I’ve come to appreciate the little perks of being up in the air. I get to catch up on my reading, enjoy a cold glass of ginger ale, and nap.
And throughout my trips, I’ve mentally catalogued a few travel tips. For example, place your shoes/jacket in the first bin and not the last. This way you can put them back on while waiting for the rest of your belongings. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water before boarding the plane even if this means buying a $4 bottle at the terminal. Why? Three letters, D-V-T.
Deep Vein Thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. The blood clot, which occurs when blood thickens and clumps up, can break off and travel to an artery in the lungs. This blocks blood flow and is called a pulmonary embolism. PE can cause serious damage to the lungs and other organs or even death.
Traveling for a long time, especially on an airplane where the air pressure is reduced, can cause DVT. If you’re sitting for a long time, your blood flow becomes sluggish. As a result, the “blood may pool in major deep-leg veins, leading to clots” (Health.com).
Signs & Symptoms of DVT:
- Swelling of the leg or along a vein in the leg
- Pain or tenderness in the leg, which you may feel only when standing or walking
- Increased warmth in the area of the leg that’s swollen or painful
- Red or discolored skin on the leg
Though the chance of developing DVT while traveling is small, risk increases if travel time is longer than 4 hours. Here are some ways to help prevent DVT:
- Walk up and down the aisles of the bus, train, or airplane. If traveling by car, stop about every hour and walk around.
- Move your legs and flex and stretch your feet to improve blood flow in your calves.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol.
By ALYSSA LLAMAS