Monday, 20th November 2017
HEALTH & WELL BEING Article
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This Month's Magazine
Are you safe to travel?

Are you safe to travel?

Now is the time of year when many plan their holidays. One of the things often overlooked is travel insurance. By Leslie Thomas of STM Nummos S.L.

Travel InsuranCe: If you are travelling within the EU, a European Health Insurance card will cover you in the event of a medical emergency, but this will only cover you in state run facilities and to the levels which apply in that country. It will not cover you for private treatment.

If you are travelling outside of the EU and do not have international medical cover, then travel insurance is essential unless you want to risk incurring potentially crippling medical bills.

Flying: Over one billion people travel by air each year and flying has been named as one of the safest modes of transport. However, the health effects of flying have given rise to much public concern in recent years. With the growing number of people travelling by air there is more opportunity for health problems. It’s important that you are aware of the risks and take steps to prevent them. Keep the following tips in mind for a healthy flight and you should feel fresh and ready to go at your destination.

Stress - Packing, travelling to the airport, long queues at the check-in desk and delays can raise your heart rate and stress levels. So how can you have a stress-free flight? Allow plenty of time to get to the airport and plan your trip in advance. Once onboard, settle back and relax as much as possible. The in-flight videos offering relaxation tips are very useful, and can help you relax and sleep.

Deep vein thrombosis - Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is when a blood clot forms in one of your deep veins, usually in your leg. Flying may increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis by slowing blood flow and causing it to collect in your legs. However, it’s not limited to flying - anyone who sits in the same position for a long period of time can develop DVT. Flight socks can help if you’re travelling for at least six hours and you’re at an increased risk of DVT – for example, if you’re over 40, very overweight, pregnant or have previously had a blood clot. The stockings come in various sizes and different levels of compression; Class I to III. Class I stockings should be enough for your flight - but make sure they fit correctly. Walking around the cabin and doing lower leg exercises in your seat are simple options that may also help.

Airborne diseases - It may surprise you to know that you’re no more likely to catch an infection when flying compared with in any other environment. The air in the cabin passes through filters that trap bacteria and viruses – similar to the filters used in operating theatres to keep the air clean. If you’re feeling under the weather after your flight, the air in the cabin isn’t to blame. It’s probably because you have caught a virus or infection from sitting close to people. If you’re feeling unwell, the best way to prevent infections from spreading is to delay your journey until you have recovered.


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Ear problems - You may be familiar with pain and pressure in your ears during take off or landing. As the plane climbs, the pressure in the cabin decreases, causing air to escape from your middle ear and sinuses. When the plane descends, air must flow back into your ear to equalise the pressure differences. If this doesn’t happen, your ears will feel blocked and painful. Often the best ways to equalise pressure are the simple remedies of chewing gum or yawning.

Dry skin and eyes- Low humidity in the aircraft cabin can lead to dry skin and eyes. Applying moisturiser and wearing glasses instead of contact lenses should help
to prevent dryness. It’s a myth that low humidity reduces your fluid levels and causes dehydration. You may be tempted by the free tea and coffee onboard but try to limit these and also how much alcohol you drink – too much can lead to dehydration during long-haul flights. Drinking water should help to keep your fluid levels topped up.

Jet lag - If you fly across several different time zones, our body’s normal body clock can become out of sync. t can take your body several days to adjust to the new hythm of daylight and darkness. To try to ease this, if ou’re flying east, sleep on the plane if it’s night time at our destination and don’t sleep during the day when ou arrive. If you’re going west, try to stay awake for as ong as possible.

Children and flying - Although flying shouldn’t ose any particular health risks to youngsters, the baby ay have difficulty equalising pressure. Breast or bottle eeding your baby, or giving your child a drink during ake off and landing, can help.

Be safe and enjoy your holidays!!



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