Tips for the Air Traveler
When you travel you are exposed to conditions that are beyond your control. However, you can be prepared to face these conditions. Being informed is your best medicine to face these conditions. To stay informed it is recommended that you download My Travel Health App from the Apple App Store. The App has a lot more information and provides tips for common travel- related illnesses, such as travelers diarrhea, malaria, respiratory infections, blood clots, heat exhaustion. A sample of the tips are included here. When you download the App you will have all the information on your fingertips. No internet is required to access the information once you down load.
Motion sickness is often caused by a conflict between the body’s sense of vision and its sense of balance. If you are prone to motion sickness during turbulence and / or bothered by the cabins vibration talk to your doctor before travel about medicine that you can take to help relieve the problem. Most people are not bothered by the cabins vibration while the aircraft is in flight.
Tip – you might be less prone to motion sickness if you have a window seat and can focus on the horizon during turbulence so plan accordingly.
The percentage of oxygen in cabin air remains virtually unchanged from ground through all flight conditions, but as altitude increases, the partial pressure of oxygen decreases. The altitude for a typical transatlantic flight is >35,000 feet above sea level. Inside the cabin, the pressurized altitude is equivalent to 5,400 to 7,000 feet above sea level. (Denver, Colorado, U.S.A., is 5,280 feet above sea level; St. Moritz, Switzerland is 5,978 feet.) Research by the National Academy of Sciences has concluded that these cabin altitudes are safe for healthy individuals, and because pressure changes in aircraft cabins are very gradual, most travelers do not suffer adverse effects.
If you suffer from an obstructive pulmonary disease, an upper respiratory or sinus infection, or certain cardiovascular conditions, there could be some risk at these cabin altitudes. Ask your doctor for advice.
To know more about Cabin Environment download the App.
TIP – If you experience discomfort, you can usually relieve it by swallowing or yawning. During climb and especially during descent portions of flight, chew gum or suck on a hard candy. Babies can be given a bottle.
As the aircraft changes time zones, your biological clock becomes disturbed. This “jet lag” can cause fatigue, sleepiness, and loss of appetite.
For each time zone you cross, it takes your body about one day to adjust to the new day-night cycle. However, evidence shows you are likely to recover more quickly after westbound flights compared to eastbound f lights.
Tip – You can minimize the impact of jet lag by getting a good night’s rest before your flight. If you will be at your destination for less than 48 hours, remain on your “home” schedule. For a longer visit, change to the local schedule as soon as possible. Expose yourself to the sunlight as soon as possible this will help you adjust faster.
Airlines offer a variety of seating arrangements. Passengers can choose more spacious seats, or less expensive, but more restrictive seats. More and more airlines are reducing the leg room to squeeze more passengers. It is a universal concern, however, do not let this restriction become a risk to your health.
You can avoid problems associated with long periods of immobility by exercising while seated or by getting out of your seat from time to time and walking down the aisle. See Exercises you can do while seated available on the My Travel Health App. These exercises can be performed without disturbing nearby passengers. If you are concerned about fellow passengers discomfort, choose a aisle seat. Be prepared to let your fellow passengers walk out.
Tip – It is good to start stretching before standing to promote good circulation.
Today’s aircraft cabin includes sound-absorbent seats, cabin walls and partitions. Buffers and seats are designed and placed to minimize noise. Airlines are continually working to lower noise levels inside cabins. Any noise can add to stress, especially if you are anxious or are not feeling well. Consideration for fellow travelers also helps to reduce disturbing noise. If you use headphones, be sure that the volume is not loud enough to harm your ears or disturb your seatmates.
Tip – Some airlines provide earplugs on long flight. However do not bank on it buy and carry earplugs in your pockets or hand bag and wear these when needed.
During flight, the relative humidity in the cabin is similar to a dry summer climate or to being indoors in the wintertime. Caffeine and alcoholic beverages actually contribute to dehydration. You may need to remove your contact lenses if they become irritated in the dry air and you can use moisturizers to refresh your hands and face. Dry air can aggravate allergies or asthma, so take the same precautions as if you were in any similar climate. The App has detailed information on the humidity in Cabin during flights.
Tip – Limit your intake of caffeine and alcoholic beverages. Drink enough water.
The cabin air is a mix that is one-half outside air and one-half filtered recirculated air. This normally produces 14 to 20 cubic feet of air per person each minute, depending on airplane type. The air supplied to the cabin in cruise is essentially sterile and particle-free.
However, whenever groups of people are together, there is the potential for diseases to spread. Spread of disease in an enclosed environment can be influenced by: proximity, ventilation, time of exposure, individual sensitivity, and state of health of the other occupants, etc.
Tip – Wash your hands often and minimize touching your eyes, nose and mouth while on a plane. Carry a mini bottle of hand sanitizer. While you are in a foreign country make it a habit to wash your hands with soap often.
The air in the cabin is a continuously flowing combination of air from outside the cabin and highly filtered recirculated air. Scientific studies of cabin air quality generally show that contaminant levels remain below levels that are considered safe and do not increase with time during cruise.
The HEPA filtration technology is capable of removing essentially all particulate matter from the recirculated air to provide clean supply air. Each minute, the cabin ventilation system supplies about 190 times more oxygen for each person than can be consumed.
Ozone is present in the upper atmosphere as a result of ultraviolet radiation converting oxygen to ozone. Ozone may be encountered at the flight altitude of airplanes. Ozone converters are recommended for airplanes on flight routes that may encounter ozone, e.g. polar routes or high latitude routes.
There is a lot more reliable health information on My Travel Health App. All information is licensed from Mayo Clinic.
BE PREPARED BE SAFE