Yes, it is surely risky to undertake a long flight if you are suffering from painful varicose veins or have a history of blood clots in legs or feet. Having poor vein health and having to maintaining the same body posture for an extended duration during the flight can lead to severe health complications.
The best part is that these health hazards leading to medical emergencies can be easily avoided if you take the necessary preventive measures and always safeguard your vein fettle.
Introduction to Varicose Veins
Varicose veins, often caused due to obesity, lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle, refers to the condition where blood tends to pool in the veins with a faulty valve. These enlarged and swollen veins appear bluish purple and are often times seen bulging out from the skin surface.
For patients who do not suffer from pain, varicose veins do not pose a life risk and may be nothing more than a cosmetic annoyance. But for those who have itching or irritation on the affected area, accompanied by mild to severe pain in the legs and feet, varicose veins can become a serious life threat if not treated promptly.
Risks During a Long Flight
Travelling in long-distance flights isn’t much of a problem for people with varicose veins. The complications arise when patients who believe that they are merely suffering from varicose veins are unaware of their hidden health issues like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), that may have cropped up due to delay or ignorance in treating the varicose veins.
DVT refers to the medical condition where a blood clot is formed in the deep veins of the legs or feet. This blood clot has higher chances of travelling to the lungs due to a sudden change in the cabin pressure during a flight. The blood clot if dislodged, travels through the blood-stream into the lungs and leads to the life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.
Flying with Varicose Veins
If you have varicose veins or have been diagnosed with DVT, the below mentioned precautionary steps will assure you have a safe and comfortable flight:
- Use Compression Stockings:
Compressions stockings are support socks that are tight near the ankle and lose around the knee. These have been proven to regulate blood flow for patients suffering from varicose veins. Available in many different styles and sizes, you must consult your doctor before buying a pair for yourself as wearing the wrong size compression socks or tight support stockings can increase the risk of DVT during flights.
- Perform Simple Exercises During the Flight:
The restricted leg space in the flight can not only cause cramps but also alleviate the varicose vein symptoms eventually leading to blood clots and DVT. Always make sure that you perform mild ankle exercises during your flight and walk down the aisle once every while. This will massively improve the blood circulation in your legs and feet.
- Skip Alcohol and Drink Water:
Sufficient intake of water prevents the blood from thickening and ensures proper blood flow. On the other hand, alcohol consumption leaves the body dehydrated and this can elevate varicose vein pains while increasing the chances of blood clots. When on a flight, always carry a water bottle along and drink as much water as you can.
Varicose Vein Treatment
To reduce the risk of DVT during long journeys, it is highly advised for all varicose vein patients to discuss their travel plans with a vascular expert. The doctors may request an ultrasound to check for blood clots and evaluate your varicose vein condition. They may even suggest some travel tips and recommend the use of compression socks for comfort and relief.
If you have visible symptoms or are anxious about planning a trip due to the worsening condition of your varicose veins, do not hesitate to book an appointment with Dr. Rajah V Koppala.
Forget about the painful surgeries and the awful sclerotherapy procedures, Dr. Rajah V Koppala is an eminent vascular surgeon and has exceptional expertise in performing the painless endovenous laser treatment that is sure to give you the best results for your varicose veins.
To get yourself checked for the probability of developing clots that may eventually lead to DVT, or for assistance in being able to manage your varicose veins, visit Avis Hospitals today!