Health

10 amazing things that happens to your body while in a plane

Written by Theresa Mbanefo

 

If you have ever flown on a flight before, there are chances that you have experienced a few unpleasant symptoms during the cause of the journey this symptoms ranges from mild to severe.

Just in case  you have never been on a flight before this symptoms might be the reason why this journey might not be as amazing as expected.

Read through to find exactly what happens to your body during flight.

1.You will experience a symptom known as Economy class syndrome:

Because you have been sitting at a particular position for a long period of time and space is cramped up, this could lead to blood pooling up in your legs and feet. This causes deep vein thrombosis or otherwise called Economy class syndrome. Of course this can be potentially fatal.

Note:

Deep vein thrombosis is a blood cut which forms in a very deep vein in the body, usually in the lower leg or thighs. This clot can block blood flow to the leg, or can even break off and travel to the lungs cutting off blood supply.

What to do

Get up at regular intervals and stretch yourself especially the legs, this will help greatly.

2.Food will taste differently.

Some people get surprised when they eat an in-flight meal and it tastes totally bland.

This happens because your taste buds are numbed, apparently a study by Lufthansa found out that dry air on planes evaporates nasal mucus, which essentially interferes with your olfactory senses and prevents you from enjoying your meal.

What to do?

I will advise that while on flight, you should go for spicy foods as they taste stronger than other type of foods.

3.You are more likely to catch a cold:

Due to the recirculation of the greater parts of the air in the airplane cabin the nasal mucosal becomes dry combined with a lot of strange people cramped up in a single space, the travelers becomes an easy target for the cold virus.

Hence airplane passengers are more prone to catching a cold.

What to do?

Use a saline nasal solution to keep your nasal passages moist.

Go with thick sweaters to cover yourself properly during flight.

4.You will be exposed to cosmic radiation:

Although the amount is almost negligible, while on flight the passengers are exposed to a certain amount of cosmic radiation which are charged particles in the outer space.

Certainly this isn’t good for your overall health.

This risk of cosmic exposure increases in long haul flight and probably travelling on the North Pole.

Continuous exposure to this cosmic radiation leads to a build up in the body which will actually become risky to your health in the long run.

     What to do?

There is nothing much you can do about this, but make sure to close the windows properly while on flight to avoid sun trap.

5.You will be deprived of oxygen.

Flying at a high altitude (planes flies at an altitude of 35,000ft).

The oxygen decreases rapidly at high altitudes and because the planes air is pressurized this implies lower oxygen levels.

This can lead to a condition known as hypoxia which means minor oxygen deprivation.

When the oxygen level decreases, this means your body will have to work harder to circulate the required amount of oxygen to other parts of the body.

Hypoxia leads to light headedness and difficulty in breathing as well as difficulty in concentrating.

What to do?

There isn’t much you can do about this, but I will advise you stay away from alcohol before flight as it slows metabolism and makes the cells in your body less efficient in absorbing oxygen.

6.Drinking water in the plane could be dangerous and toxic:

An NBC5 research revealed that research by the environmental protection agency found that 15% of water on planes contains fecal matter and harmful bacteria such as E.coli.

This actually makes using water from airplane bathroom to wash your hands or face more harmful than helpful.

What to do?

Make sure you have antibacterial wipes and avoid drinking water on flight except it is sealed

7. Your ear might be discomforted:

Even with the cabin being pressurized, the maximum pressure is much lower than you will experience at ground level.

As you ascend higher altitudes the air trapped inside your ears expand, creating pressure within the auditory canal.

If this pressure cannot be released it can lead to severe ear pain.

What to do?

Swallowing, yawning and breathing can help to pop your ears.

8.You will have stomach bloating and pain:

Airplane cabins are pressurized hence there is build up of gas, this causes stomach bloating, also the gas in your intestines will expand as the plane rises and cabin pressure drops causing you to feel pain in the stomach and or fart more  often.

What to do?

There is nothing much you can do about this, your body will have to gradually adjust to the normal atmospheric pressure once you are out of flight and the stomach bloating will gradually fade away.

9.You might have headache:

Due the dehydration which your body undergoes while in flight and the highly pressurized cabins (up to 75%) of normal atmospheric pressure, you will tend to have mild headache.

What to do?

Take a lot of water while in flight and have at least mild pain relieve drug with you to calm down the headache (Paracetamol)

10.You might suffer from constipation:

Long period of sitting down at a place will slow down the metabolic rate and digestion causing constipation.

 

What to do?

Cut down on your calorie intake and twist from one side to another on your seat to keep everything moving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author

Theresa Mbanefo

Mbanefo Theresa is a creative and enthusiastic healthcare professional who takes delight in safeguarding your health for you through her insightful and informative health articles and update.

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