Flying and your health
Your wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us. Here’s how flying can affect certain health conditions.
For most of us, flying is a safe way to travel. However, the pressurised cabin can potentially affect passengers with existing medical conditions.
For passengers suffering from conditions like heart or lung disease, or blood disorders such as anaemia (including sickle cell anaemia), the lower oxygen levels could lead to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia), making additional oxygen supplies necessary.
Additionally, the lower air pressure means that air within the cabin is expanded by about 30%. This could cause problems for passengers who have recently undergone surgery, have abdominal health problems, or blocked ears or sinuses.
If you think you have any concerns please call 02-630-4600
You’ll also find further information below.
Please take note of the following situations. You cannot fly if:
You have been SCUBA diving within 48 hours prior to your flight (however, see below for more information)
You’ve had a general anaesthetic or dental treatment within 48 hours prior to your flight
Conditions that may be affected by flying
If you are affected by any of the following conditions, you should check your doctor is happy for you to fly. Certain conditions may mean we require written confirmation from your doctor:
· Heart or blood vessel problems such as a heart attack, heart failure, angina or stroke.
· Deep Vein Thrombosis
· Breathing difficulties such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema, pneumothorax (a collapsed lung), pulmonary embolism (a blood clot on the lung), or asthma, especially if you may need additional oxygen or use of a nebuliser during your flight
· A recent head injury
· Stomach or bowel problems
· A current infectious disease
· Ear or sinus pain
· Limb injuries, including fractures
· Psychiatric problems
· Any recent surgery
To reduce the risk of decompression sickness, you will need to leave ample time between your last SCUBA dive and your flight.
If you have only had a single dive, you may fly 24 hours after, if the dive did not include decompression stops.
If your dive involved a decompression stop or you’ve been on more than one dive, you should leave 48 hours before you fly.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition where blood clots develop, most often within the deep veins of the legs. Anyone sitting for more than four hours is at risk of developing DVT, but you may be at greater risk if you:
· Are aged 40 or over
· Have previously been diagnosed with blood clots
· Have a family history of blood clots
· Have inherited a blood clotting risk
· Have cancer and/or you are undergoing cancer treatment
· Are being treated for heart failure and/or circulation problems
· Have had recent surgery, especially on the hips, knees, or abdomen
· Have an illness which has led to a period of immobility
· Are pregnant or recently had a baby
· Take the contraceptive pill or other medicines containing oestrogen
· Are very tall, very short or obese
Top Health Tips
Concerned about the effects of flying? It’s really very easy to keep the effects of a long haul flight to a minimum. Here are our ten top tips to ensure a comfortable flight.
The best way to stay comfy and minimise the risk of clotting disorders like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) at bay is to keep moving. So try to change your sitting position regularly, and avoid crossing your legs.
Leave your seat and go for a stroll around the cabin. As well as getting your circulation going, it’s a chance to check out the view and share travel tips with other passengers!
Tempting as it may be, especially if you’re a nervous flyer, we advise you don’t take a sleeping tablet on your flight. It will reduce the chance of you moving about during the flight, which isn’t good news for your circulation, and you’ll feel much groggier when you arrive.
The only exception is if your doctor is aware that you are flying and has expressly recommended that you take a sleeping tablet.
Cabin pressure changes can be painful if you’re flying with a heavy cold, sinusitis or ear problems, so we advise against travelling with these conditions if possible.
If you experience problems during the flight, suck a sweet or hold your nostrils and gently blow through your nose - this should equalise the pressure. If it doesn’t do the trick, have a chat with a member of cabin crew for some more advice.
Keep yourself feeling hydrated throughout the flight. Our cabin crew will always be happy to provide you with a glass of water or juice.
As tempting as our onboard meals are, it’s best to avoid eating too much in one go as it can leave you feeling bloated. If you have any special dietary requirements, go to manage your booking and let us know at least 48 hours before you fly.
Keep your skin pampered and protected from the dry air onboard by regularly applying moisturiser and lip balm. If you wear contact lenses, it’s a good idea to bring your glasses with you, as your eyes might feel drier than usual.
Save any tight fitting outfits for your destination; for the flight, stay comfortable by wearing loose fitting, comfy clothes and shoes.
Beat jet lag by setting your watch to your destination’s time as soon as you get onboard.