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Varicose Veins and the Dangers of Flying

by Jane Meggitt

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When you think about the dangers of flying, the fear of crashing or a terrorist attack probably springs to mind first. However, if you have varicose veins, you face a more likely risk every time you take a plane trip. That’s the danger of blood clots forming from the changing pressure in the cabin.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

If you have ordinary, unsightly varicose veins, you don’t really have to worry about the dangers of blood clots developing due to flying. However, if you have been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis along with your varicose veins, that’s a different story. If you have high blood pressure or any sort of heart disease, your risk increases.

With deep vein thrombosis, blood clots form in the leg’s veins. Because of cabin pressure changes, the clot could loosen and travel to the lungs, resulting in a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism.

Preparing for a Flight with Varicose Veins

To stay on the safe side, it’s important to take certain precautions if you have varicose veins and plan to fly, especially if you’re going on a long flight. Wear compression stockings during the flight to aid in blood flow and prevent blood pooling in your leg veins. Drink plenty of water both prior to and on the flight. Hydration is critical in keeping blood pressure and flow normal while you are in the air. While onboard, get up and walk around frequently to help circulation. Try to get up at least once per hour and walk up and down the aisle. In addition, move your legs frequently while you are sitting down and give yourself a gentle leg massage periodically.

If your usual flight plan involves taking sleeping pills and a long nap, make other arrangements. No movement for long periods can increase the chance of your dealing with a vein or blood pressure problem. If you keep drinking lots of water while onboard, you will have to get up regularly to relieve yourself, and that’s a good thing.

Varicose Vein Treatment

The best way to stop worrying about varicose vein risks while flying is to have your veins treated. Minimally invasive procedures via laser or injectable solution causes varicose veins to collapse, so they won’t bother you anymore. Even better, you’ll no longer have to camouflage those ugly, swollen veins, and can wear shorts or dresses once more. Call your doctor for more information and options for varicose vein treatment.

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