Health Tips

Don’t Let Air Travel Get You Down this Holiday Season

Are you flying out of town this holiday season? Many are. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 38 million people will fly during the next two weeks, according to industry trade organization Airlines for America.  With confined quarters, re-circulated air and potential for jet lag, it’s no wonder why many become sick after traveling by air. But there are some things you can do to help ensure you feel your best for your whole trip:


  1. Before you go, boost your immune system by eating foods with high nutritional value, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Also, some supplements can help prepare your body for potential exposure to colds and viruses, such as vitamin C, Echinacea and Zinc.


  1. Air planes can have fairly dry air, so it’s important to keep yourself hydrated. Drink plenty of water before and during a flight. Also, if you are prone to dry skin, pack a travel-sized moisturizer, and maybe some lip balm, too.


  1. Wash your hands frequently, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Keep in mind high-contact areas, like handrails, touch screens, armrests, table trays and door handles. Be especially sure to wash your hands before eating.


  1. Being immobile for a prolonged period of time increases your risk for developing blood clots in your legs. Get up and walk around the cabin every hour or so, if possible. Staying hydrated will also help.


  1. If you have chronic medical conditions like diabetes or epilepsy, make sure to carry an identification card. Have the name and phone number of your doctor in case of emergency, and remember to bring all your medication with you on-board. Don’t check it.


  1. If your ears hurt when you fly, a decongestant can help. Try taking an over-the-counter, like pseudoephedrine, before you get on the plane. Chewing gum may also help. And babies can suck on bottles or pacifiers.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus and in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Schedule an appointment online today.