Having high blood pressure should not hinder while traveling and keep you from enjoying a globe-trotting lifestyle. Any type of journey, including flying, is equally fine and comfortable as long as you have high blood pressure and it’s well controlled. However, if your blood pressure is unstable and not controlled by medication, then you should talk to your doctor before you make any travel plans.
Know Your Numbers
Before your trip, it’s necessary to measure your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Be cognizant of your numbers before traveling. Blood pressure is generally classified as:
- Normal Blood Pressure; when systolic pressure is below 120 and diastolic pressure is below 80 mmHg.
- Prehypertension; when systolic pressure is between120-139 or diastolic pressure is between 80-89 mmHg.
- Hypertension; when systolic pressure is more than 140 or diastolic pressure is above 90 mmHg.
Know the Hypertension Symptoms
Being aware of the signs and symptoms of hypertension can lessen risk. While high blood pressure does not carry noticeable symptoms, yet there are a few things that must not be ignored:
- A headache
- Persistent aches and pains
- Shortness of breath
Risks Associated With Flying
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): If your blood pressure is high, there is a greater risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It is a condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in the deep leg veins. So take precautions by wearing comfortable and loose-fitting clothes, bending and straightening your legs frequently, massaging your calf muscles, and walking up and down the aisles if possible for proper blood circulation.
Earache or Temporary Hearing Loss: While flying, the change in altitude occurs so quickly that it doesn’t allow your ears to adjust to the air pressure outside. This results in the dreaded earache and temporary hearing loss. To avoid, drink lots of fluids and consume chewing gums and candies.
Before You Fly
- Talk to your doctor before you go
Before you board your flight, visit your doctor and inform him of your travel plans. In case your blood pressure is unstable or very high, your doctor can check and determine whether or not you should fly. If your doctor deems it’s unsafe for you to fly, he can change your travel plans or recommend a better time for travel.
If you are on constant blood pressure medication and your journey involves you to be far from home for more than a couple of weeks, make sure you carry enough medication to last for the entire long duration. Not to forget the prescription and your doctor’s contact details.
- Blood Pressure Checker
To be on the safer side, invest in a good blood pressure monitor so you can keep an eye on your blood pressure whilst you’re away and ensure that it remains within a safe blood pressure range.
- Travel Insurance
Consider safeguarding your trip with good travel insurance. While paying for insurance, declare your high blood pressure as a pre-existing medical condition. It will ensure that you are totally covered if anything happens and you need to cancel your trip or seek medical attention.
Safety Tips When Flying
- Don’t Just Sit: Try to loiter around now and then. Every 2 hours get up and move about the alley as this will ensure blood circulation and reduce the risk of clots.
- Eat Smart: Carry your own snacks and avoid the salty ones served during the flight. Salt will increase fluid retention and can increase blood pressure levels
- Avoid Alcohol & Sedatives: They can make you less active during the flight. Avoiding them will decrease your pain and swelling.
- Ice It: Ice-pack offers great relief in swellings and pain. Make sure to carry one before boarding.
- Keep Medicines Handy: Pack your medication in your hand luggage so that it’s accessible whenever required. Pack extra medicines to cover for any loss or delays.
- See Your Doctor: Before flying, remember to check in with your physician. He or she might make recommendations for supplemental oxygen therapy before the flight.