5 Surprising Ways Long-Haul Flights Affect Your Body

Travelling is fun, but not the 12-hour flight you have to endure to get to your destination. Although traveling by plane is safe, you can still experience a few unexpected side effects when you are 35,000 feet above the ground.

1. Blood in your feet can cause them to swell
Sitting in a restricted space for long hours can have an effect on your blood flow, leading to swollen ankles and feet. Health experts also said that sitting for long hours in unusual pressure level can cause the blood flow in your body to slowdown. Although we often hear advices saying to get up and move around every once in a while during long hours of flight, it can be unsafe in case of turbulence. If you are someone with underlying health condition and has an upcoming trip outside Singapore that entails four or more hours of flight, talk to your doctor about it.

2. The cabin pressure can make you feel gassy
The farting during long hours of flights isn’t just in your imagination. Remember when your physics teacher thought you that gas expands inversely to pressure? This holds true when you are more than 30,000 feet above sea level. Therefore, as your height increases during a flight, the pressure lowers and the gas inside your body expands accordingly, causing you to bloat and break wind.

3. You may not appreciate your food
The food they serve in the plane may not be as tasteless you thought they were. The very low humidity in the air you inhale inside the plane dries the membranes in your nose and mouth, affecting your taste buds. No worries, though, you can reactivate your sense of taste by drinking more water.

4. Air shifts inside the plane can cause toothache
Though it’s not as common, gas changes inside the body can affect your teeth as the gas settles in the cavities and fillings of your teeth. And while it is not very common, unlike ear pain during flights, there is nothing much you can do to avoid it. Probably, the only thing you can do is to take painkillers to relieve the pain. If you’re already experiencing even the slightest toothache, visit your dentist prior the trip.

5. The air inside the plane can cause bad breath
Dehydration of mouth can encourage growth of bacteria that causes bad breath. Not drinking water or eating anything for hours can cause another episode of ‘morning breath’ later in your flight. The good news is that it can easily be remedied. Just drink plenty of water throughout the flight and bring your toothbrush and mouthwash with you.
Do not let your flight hamper the fun of your vacation. With a little preparation, you can avoid these effects and even appreciate the silence and relaxation that your long-haul flight offers.

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