Air Travel and High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure afflicts millions of people globally. That means many people travel with hypertension or high blood pressure every year. Nevertheless, flying when you have high blood pressure comes with several risks. Thus, air travel is not an excellent way to move around for people with high blood pressure.

The Risks

High blood pressure symptoms worsen when flying at high altitudes. Medical experts refer to the worsening condition as hypoxia. That means flying higher decreases oxygen levels in the blood. A high blood pressure patient experiences a blood rush through the body without sufficient oxygen supply to all body parts when flying at a high altitude.

Symptoms of Hypoxia

Hypertension patience can experience blood clots in the legs during a long flight. They can also have difficulty breathing. Also, a person with high blood pressure can experience bloating and body swelling. Medical experts say that this fluid retention and swelling results from blood vessels’ damage in the kidneys. When blood rushes through the body vessels, it can prevent the kidneys from eliminating fluids and waste from the body. Consequently, the fluid can leak out, building up in the torso, face, and limbs.

How to Prevent Hypoxia

People with high blood pressure can avoid hypoxia by moving around or standing in the plan every two hours. Also, avoiding salty snacks can help with this condition. That’s because salt can encourage fluid retention and swelling. It can also worsen blood pressure.

Additionally, high blood pressure sufferers can carry ice packs for relieving swelling and pain during the flight. Avoiding sedatives and alcohol can also alleviate swelling and pain. Seeing a doctor when planning a trip to discuss the available options like changing medications and using therapeutic oxygen can also help.

 Avoid Traveling

Pregnant women with pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia and high blood pressure sufferers should avoid traveling unless their doctors say otherwise. That’s because high altitude can cause complications or make the condition fatal. And addressing the issue during air travel is not easy.

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