What are the health hazards of flying?
During flight, there are some health risks to be aware of. These include:
- Deep vein thrombosis: Lack of exercise during a flight increases the risk of thrombosis in the legs. To reduce the risk, regular exercise should be taken during the flight or, in the case of high-risk groups, special compression stockings should be worn
- Dehydration: The air in the cabin is drier than normal breathing air, which can lead to dehydration. Therefore, drink enough water during the flight to stay dehydrated. However, in moderation, otherwise you are a regular guest in the toilet.
- Jet lag: The time difference when flying across several time zones can lead to sleep disturbances and fatigue. Try to adapt to the new time zone by adjusting your sleeping and eating rhythm accordingly.
- Air pressure problems: The air pressure in the cabin can fluctuate during the flight, which can cause ear pain, dizziness or even ear infections. If you suffer from ear problems, you should do something to help equalize the pressure, such as chewing gum or using earplugs.
- Contaminated air: Although rare, the air in the booth may be contaminated with fungal spores or other pollutants. People with weakened immune systems or certain lung problems should be aware of this.
- Radiation: long-haul flights also mean a higher dose of cosmic radiation that you don't have on Earth, but there are no known adverse health effects from normal exposure to radiation during flights.
- Psyche: Some people are afraid of flying. The prospect of a nice vacation, however, makes many take the step into the airplane. However, one must not underestimate what then turbulence or a harder landing triggers for fears.
Most of these risks are rare and the benefits of flying outweigh the known potential risks. However, if you have any health concerns, you should consult your physician before flying.