Healthy on air travel

Many dream destinations can only be reached by plane. But how big are the health risks of flying and how can you prepare for a plane trip? Every year, more than 145 million people take off and land at German airports, and this year will not be much less. However, air travelers are repeatedly alarmed by reports of thrombosis, infections and heart attacks while staying in the air. Clear that such a thing causes uncertainty. But what is it really?

Risk of thrombosis in the aircraft

It is certain that a longer, largely motionless stay in the confines of an aircraft seat increases the risk of thrombosis. In a study of the University Hospital Dresden discovered in almost 3 percent of 964 investigated long-haul aircraft, a clot in the calves; According to an Australian survey, about 40, 000 long-haul flights thrombose - but only one in two million flights, a patient dies of it.

In relation to this, the risk of accidental death while driving is about a hundred times higher. An effective thrombosis prevention is movement exercises in place: repeatedly flex and stretch the phalanges and toe joints, keeping the tension of the muscles for a few seconds. Even occasional getting up and running around and the rich consumption of caffeine and alcohol-free drinks have a supporting effect.

People at special risk, such as seniors, smokers, pregnant women and the seriously overweight, should wear compression stockings. In addition, in individual cases, heparin can be used for blood thinning.

Damaged immune system

In general, long-haul flights of more than six hours weaken the immune system, according to a study by the University of Mainz. It will be particularly critical 12 to 24 hours after landing. It is therefore advisable to be extra careful on the first day after the trip and to avoid large crowds and risky meals offered under unhygienic conditions. In addition, a few days before the start of your journey, you can begin to "upgrade" the immune system with medicinal plants such as Echinacea and Cape Pelargonium or combined preparations of vitamin C and zinc.


The infamous travel sickness is triggered by the overburdened brain, the eyes from the interior of the aircraft cabin pretend calm, while the inner ear with its organ of equilibrium signals acceleration and position changes. This causes the release of stress hormones, leading to the familiar symptoms of headache, dizziness and nausea. Staying in the area of ​​the wings, where the least turbulent happens, can help.

Also useful: the absence of nicotine, alcohol and high-fat foods. Flight medical experts also recommend relaxation techniques such as autogenic training. Other alternatives include special antihistamines and ginger preparations from the pharmacy.

Jet lag

In order to escape the so-called jetlag, one should try to adapt to the day-night rhythm of the holiday country before traveling longer in advance. Also get up early in the morning. Light is an important factor and has an influence on the rhythm-determining melatonin metabolism. Research has also shown that vitamin B 12 can help cope better with this biorhythmic stress.

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