Your Ticket to Healthy Travel: Understanding and Preventing Venous Risk

With the new year about to emerge in full swing, it would not be unusual for individuals and families across the nation to begin to plan ahead for their next vacation. After all, with the conclusion of 2020, who wouldn’t want to reinvigorate their life with new sights and sounds?

However, the process of travel in and of itself is not always kind to those experiencing venous reflux or disease. If you or a loved one are seeking to travel in the midst of venous treatment, here’s what you need to know:

The Hazard in Long Flights

“Blood clots, also called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), can be a serious risk for some long-distance travelers,” the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has specified. “Most information about blood clots and long-distance travel comes from information that has been gathered about air travel. However, anyone traveling more than four hours, whether by air, car, bus, or train, can be at risk for blood clots.”

That being said, one of the reasons travelers may be at a greater risk of developing venous issues or DVT on airplanes is due to the change in pressure. One study performed in 2001 found that the decreased air pressure within an airplane cabin lowered passengers’ blood pressure, thereby also reducing the veins’ ability to carry out normal preventative measures for blood clotting.

Otherwise, by remaining seated in one position for prolonged periods of time, someone who is traveling — regardless of their mode of travel — may experience exacerbated pain and swelling in their extremities due to slower blood flow.

Mitigating and Managing Venous Complications

Thankfully, those planning on taking a trip several miles from home have plenty of options when it comes to both mitigating and managing their pain, as well as preventing DVT.

Specifically, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests “moving around the cabin during long flights to reduce prolonged immobility […] A regular trip to the bathroom, for example, every 2–3 hours, is a reasonable measure.”

Passengers may also research the various methods of seated exercises and/or stretches they may perform to keep their blood moving, regardless of when they are able to once again stand and move.

We also recommend that travelers familiarize themselves with the signs of DVT, such as continued swelling of the arms or legs, redness or discoloration of the skin, skin that is hot to the touch, and more.

Seeking Certified Help

At the end of the day, understanding your personal venous risk, as well as having a travel plan in hand, is critical in ensuring one’s health during long periods of seated travel.

However, if you have yet to assess your current venous state, or if you have further questions about how best to treat and manage any existing symptoms, it’s time to reach out to Duval Vascular Center! Whatever your needs, your health is our priority. If you have further questions or would like to set up a FREE vein screening, please call our office at 904-518-1398!