While flying may be a delightful experience for some people, for others, it could be an uncomfortable one. We’re not only referring to motion sickness, but other forms of discomfort that could arise when you’re on a flight. Ever wondered why you feel that way? It’s usually due to these things that happen to your body when you’re at high altitudes, in a pressurised cabin.
Be it your face or your tummy, bloating is one of the side effects of flying and it can be due to several things.
For one, you might not be drinking enough water, so make it a point to take an empty water bottle with you when you’re travelling. Fill it up at the airport or ask for a flight attendant to fill it up for you before the plane takes off.
Alternatively, bloating can happen because the gas in your body expands and is trying to escape.
Everything Feels Dry
From your nasal canal to your face and even your mouth, everything will start to feel dry when you’re flying.
The humidity levels in planes can dip to about 10 per cent, causing your skin to feel dry and uncomfortable. Drink up and remember to use facial mist to ensure your skin’s hydration level is not compromised.
You Might Get Constipation
Because of the lack of activity going on, your metabolic rate slows down, signalling the brain to conserve its energy, hence leading to constipation.
The Oxygen Levels In Your Body Drops
Thanks to factors such as cabin pressure and thin air, your body absorbs less oxygen, causing you to feel a whole host of symptoms like sleepiness, dizziness and sometimes air sickness.
Plus, because you’re seated for hours on end, oxygen doesn’t circulate around the body as much.
Your Body Parts Can Swell
This is especially so while you’re sitting down. Blood tends to pool around the legs, leading to deep vein thrombosis, forming blood clots that cause pain and swelling. It’s recommended that you walk around the cabin when the plane is stable to improve blood circulation.
Your Taste Buds Change
The dry and recycled air circulating around the plane cabin can dry out nasal mucus, causing you to lose your ability to taste food properly.
This is why plane food can sometimes taste really bad and unpleasant. According to a study done by Lufthansa Airlines, high altitudes can cause your taste perceptions to drop by about 30 per cent.
This is one of the reasons why airlines tend to taste test their food out in highly pressurised cabins.
You’re More Susceptible To Damage From UV Rays
Some studies have revealed that because you’re so close to the sun, you’re much more exposed to stronger UV rays. This is why you really need to load up on sunblock even if you’re going to be in the plane for hours on end.
Text: Atika Lim / The Singapore Women’s Weekly / September 2017
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