If you have high blood pressure, this shouldn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the freedom of traveling to and from different destinations around the world. Although blood pressure can restrict certain aspects of your life, many wonder if being able to fly is safe or not.
The good news is that having high blood pressure is not a barrier to seeing different countries around the world. As long as your high blood pressure is well controlled, all forms of travel, including long distance, should be perfectly safe.
If you do not take medicine for your high blood pressure, then it is recommended that you seek advice from your doctor on whether it is a good idea or not to travel.
Although it is safe to travel via planes, high altitudes can affect your blood pressure. Traveling and high blood pressure can cause some trouble for those who have a history of hypertension. This is when you have high blood pressure in the arteries.
In the following article, we are going to discuss how safe it is for people with high blood pressure to fly and the potential risks involved. You will be pleased to know that there are some cures available such as effective medicines that can improve your traveling experience and make it more enjoyable.
Let’s start by taking a look at what you should do before you fly with high blood pressure.
Can I fly with high blood pressure?
Get that suitcase out and your sunscreen because, yes, you can fly with high blood pressure. However, this is as long as you follow your doctor’s advice before you hit the skies.
If you are on medication for your high blood pressure, you must take the medicine with you, especially if you are going away for a few weeks. It may be frustrating to take extra precautions but these measures are very important and can prevent any problems that are related to having high blood pressure during flights.
There are a few factors that doctors generally inform you on for you to keep in mind when boarding a plane. Firstly, you should always take enough blood pressure medication and even an extra dosage for added safety measures. Secondly, your doctor will probably give you advice on some sort of diet plan for traveling. They will advise you to avoid certain types of food such as those with high levels of salt.
Traveling by air can often be pretty stressful. Even before you get on the plane, you have to deal with large queues, security checks, and tight schedules/timelines. This added stress can raise blood pressure so it is important to leave plenty of time when taking all of these factors into consideration. If you have an early morning flight, consider staying at an airport hotel the night before.
Allow for more time, especially with security checks, and ensure you have extra medication in your hand luggage. You should also take a prescription for your medication with you in case your pills go missing or more are required in another country. Ask your doctor about the international brand names for your medication so you know what to ask for.
You should talk to your doctor before you make any travel plans. But the good news is that you should be completely fine to fly with high blood pressure, as long as you take the necessary precautions and you control the blood pressure with medication.
Can flying affect your blood pressure?
Flying can, indeed, affect your blood pressure. Even when you’re sitting comfortably in a pressurized aircraft cabin, you are more at risk of hypoxemia which is a low concentration of oxygen in the blood.
This rarely affects most people and those with high blood pressure are not at high risk. However, if you have heart disease or heart failure, you are more likely to suffer from hypoxemia.
You should take snacks with you for the journey as airlines usually sell salty food such as peanuts and chips which can increase your blood pressure. It is recommended that you avoid alcohol and sedatives while on a plane too as these can heighten the chances of you falling asleep in one position during the flight.
People with high blood pressure are more prone to developing DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). You can limit these risks by doing certain exercises while flying. These include:
- Lifting your feet and rotating them in a circular motion
- Pointing your toes up with your heels on the floor
- Raising your heel with your toes on the floor
- Stretching out your legs with your toes on the floor
- Walking up and down the aisle
- Tilting your head toward each shoulder
- Bringing one knee up to your chest and holding it
- Rolling your shoulders back and forth
These simple exercises will keep you loose and prevent the onset of possible DVT, especially during long-haul flights.
Furthermore, if your doctor has any concerns about the altitude and believes you may require an oxygen tank, you should be able to rent one from the airline in advance.
Finding Out the Severity of Your Blood Pressure Levels Before Flying
The more you take care of yourself before boarding a flight, the less risk there is of coming into any trouble.
If your blood pressure is cause for serious concern, then you should do everything your doctor has recommended to avoid any problems relating to high blood pressure or hypertension.
Preventing any problems beforehand is always better than having to find a cure aftward!
So, you can fly with high blood pressure but some precautions should always be taken to limit the risk of any potential problems.
- Buy travel insurance to cover high blood pressure-related medical costs
- Take medication in your hand luggage
- Pack food to avoid salty snacks that can raise blood pressure
- Avoid alcohol and sedatives that could make you less active during a flight
- Drink a lot of water
- Take written information about your medication and dosages with contact information on who to get in touch with, in case of the unlikely scenario of an emergency