Guide to Common Travel Health Problems Resulting from Long Haul Flights.
Flying over many time zones can give you jet lag, with symptoms like daytime drowsiness,
difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and a general feeling of being unwell.
Jet lag is one of the most common problems of modern jet travel, affecting as many as 94%
of long distance travelers. Medical evidence also shows that jet lag makes travelers more
susceptible to colds, flu and stomach upsets. Some of the other main symptoms include:
Fatigue and Disorientation
Lack of concentration
Disrupted sleep after travel
Discomfort of legs and feet
What Causes Jet Lag?
The greatest cause of jet lag is rapid travel across world time zones. The more time zones
crossed, the greater the disruption of our body clock (which governs temperature, heartbeat,
blood pressure, and physiological patterns), this results in disorientation and mental and
physical fatigue. Crossing over 8 or 9 time zones, may take you about 5 days to overcome
the symptoms of jet lag. However, if you're flying south, from Canada to South America for
instance, despite the long trip, no time zones are crossed and you will not experience jet lag.
Advice to Help Jet Lag
First, consider melatonin, a natural human hormone that's available in pill form from pharmacies
and health food stores. It can accelerate the process of adapting to the new time.
Click Here For On Line Pharmacies. The dosage of Melatonin commonly taken are 3 milligram
tablets. Always read the label, which usually suggests that you take one tablet 24 hours before
your expected bedtime in the country you are traveling to. Then, one tablet about 15 minutes
before bedtime for the first three or four nights.
Other possibilities are sleeping pills or sleeps aids, such as zolpidem (brand names include
Ambien and Stilnox) or Zaleplon (Brand name Sonata) which you could take at bedtime, or on
the flight over, but the downside is that they could cause you to be less alert and groggy in the event of an air travel emergency. Below are several different sleep aids, muscle relaxers and
insomnia medications used to assist with sleep disturbances connected with Jet Lag. These are
available without prescription from a number of online pharmacies who offer worldwide delivery.
|Modafinil for Day Time Drowsiness and Fatigue|
Modafinil (Provigil) 200mg
Modafinil (Provigil) 100 or 200mg
|Modafinil (Brand names Modalert, Provigil, Vigicer)|
is another drug sometimes used to counter the effects of the
day time drowsiness and fatigue caused by the disrupted
sleep patterns often resulting from Jet Lag. Modafinil is a
memory-improving and mood-brightening psycho stimulant.
It enhances wakefulness and vigilance, but unlike
amphetamines, modafinil is less likely to cause jitteriness,
anxiety, or lead to any 'rebound effects' as is the case with
traditional stimulants. Modafinil is normally used to treat
excessive sleepiness caused by Narcolepsy (a condition that
causes excessive daytime sleepiness) or shift work sleep
disorder (sleepiness during scheduled waking hours and
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep during scheduled
sleeping hours in people who work at night or on shifts).
Blood Clots, Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolisms
Sitting still for long periods in flight, causes discomfort and possible swelling of the legs and feet.
The dry atmosphere in airliner cabins can cause body dehydration.
Airplane flights longer than 4 hours can cause blood clots in the legs, known as deep vein
thrombosis, these clogged arteries cause pain and swelling in the legs. More dangerously, they
sometimes dislodge and move to the lungs, resulting in a deadly pulmonary embolism.
Sitting still in an upright position causes reduced blood flow in the legs and combined with
dehydration, (caused by breathing the dry thin air inside airplanes) this lack of activity can
lead to blood clots. To reduce your risk of blood clot formation, drink plenty of fluids on a long
flight. Practice leg and foot exercises, whilst seated (rotating your feet and ankles, flexing your
leg muscles etc. Also, if possible walk up and down the aisle every couple of hours.
If despite these precautions you experience pain or swelling in the legs after a long flight,
see a doctor immediately in case you need anticoagulants or other antithrombotic medication.
Any sort of travel can cause motion sickness, there are a couple of medical remedies that can
control this nausea. One is scopolamine, in the form of a patch worn behind the ear.
Scopolamine patches are released into the body through the skin and last about three days.
However, scopolamine can cause constipation and may decrease perspiration, which is a
disadvantage in hot countries, and cause dryness of the mouth, nose or throat.
Another motion sickness medication is Promethazine, which also treats allergies and hay fever.
It is also commonly used to treat nausea and vomiting.
Promethazine (Brand Phenergan) can be purchased without a prescription, click here.
Many of the drugs used to prevent motion sickness are antihistamines. They can be prescribed
but are also available over the counter. Motion sickness drugs are most likely to be effective if
taken 30 to 60 minutes before a trip. Motion sickness drugs often make a person drowsy and
less alert. One motion sickness drug, the antihistamine diphenhydramine (Brand name Benadryl)
is the active ingredient in most OTC sleep aids. Anyone who performs an activity needing
alertness or concentration, including driving, should not take a motion sickness drug.
A motion sickness drug should not be taken with alcohol, sleep aids, tranquilizers, or other
drugs that also cause drowsiness and decrease alertness.