Your Healthy Travel Planner: Should You Be Flying?
Can you fly with a cold? Well, yes, if you promise to sneeze into a tissue and not on your seatmate. Actually, swollen Eustachian tubes from a cold can keep changing cabin pressure from equalizing in your head. This can lead to pain and even infection. Use a nasal-decongestant spray ahead of time to lessen the pressure on your ear canals. Below, what you need to know about some other conditions.
Women who are either close to due date (past 34 weeks) or at risk for miscarriage, premature delivery, or placental abruption should avoid air and long-distance travel. Stay hydrated. Fasten seat belts low over thighs, not the abdomen. And, even if flying, take frequent short walks to reduce risk of blood clots.
Consult with your doctor. Be prepared to test frequently. And adjust food and drug intake as needed. Most major airlines will provide a special meal with 24 hours notice. Hydration is also crucial.
If you have heart disease, carry a copy of a recent electrocardiogram (EKG) results. People with pacemakers or other implants may set off security devices, so they should carry a card or doctors letter of documentation. And if you have a defibrillator, inform any security screener that a handheld metal detector shouldnt be held over the area for more than 5 seconds, with at least 30 seconds in between.