Instant colds, swollen legs and increased risk of tooth decay – these are just some of the ailments apparently flying your way as a result of plane travel.
A new infographic reveals what happens to our bodies when we travel in the air, from painful vacuums of air forming in our ears to fluid building in our toes.
When it comes to the mouth, the diagram highlights that the air conditioned atmosphere in the pressurised cabin will naturally dehydrate passengers.
Therefore, people are urged to refrain from drinking alcohol and stock up on water throughout the journey until landing.
Also note that one third of the taste buds are ‘numbed’ at high altitude, possibly explaining why airplane food has such a bad reputation.
It points out that on a plane you’re more than 100 times likely to pick up a cold. This is because cabins are virtually moisture-free and the ‘perfect environment for diseases to spread’.
And that’s not the only reason you may feel bunged up. When the plane lands and takes off, the air inside the ear ‘contracts’ to form a vacuum. This can cause pain in the ear drums if they are blocked.
Even your teeth can be impacted by air travel, according to the diagram. It says that the changes in air pressure can cause tiny pockets of gas within fillings or an area of decay to become trapped, exacerbating dental problems.
When it comes to the lungs, decompression in the air can cause bloating, which can be especially uncomfortable for asthma sufferers. It could also cause complications such as pneumothorax (a collapsed lung).
Similarly, the stomach will expand at high altitudes, leading to abdominal pain and constipation. Travelers are advised to try and avoid heavy foods and gassy drink.
With the ankles and feet, fluid can build up, especially in those who are overweight.
Passengers are advised to keep the legs moving during the flight to avoid water retention.
Sitting in the same position for hours can also increase the risk of blood clotting. This can lead to limbs swelling and the possibility of deep vein thrombosis.