Asthma and airplane flight


Traveling on a passenger plane is a kind of respiratory problem, although more often than not we do not realize it.

In the cockpit of an aircraft flying at an altitude of about. 10 000 meters there were quite favorable conditions compared to what is right outside the window (the temperature is usually about minus 50°C and the atmospheric pressure is only? the fact that at sea level, the oxygen content of odpowiadałaby below 5% is normal, at sea level is its “OK”. 21%). However, despite the appearance of normality, these are not normal conditions. The pressure prevailing on Board such an aircraft can be compared to staying at an altitude of approx. 2500 meters above sea level (mountain excursion to Scratch, which corresponds to approximately breathing a mixture containing approx. 15% oxygen), and the humidity usually does not exceed 15%.

If lungs astmatyka quite well mismanaging with ensuring organism oxygen, even with his relative deficit, then the problem can be a bit rapid breathing dry air. This causes dryness of the Airways (breathe normally, every day, so we get rid of about 0.5 liters of water). This drying leads to a change in the composition of the fluid lining our bronchi (it becomes more dense and concentrated). In patients with significant hyperreactivity of the bronchi (and it happens with asthma), coughing and even wheezing and shortness of breath may appear.

So, what should you do?

First, you should remember to properly hydrate the body before the flight. It is often enough to drink an additional portion of liquid (for example, 0.5 liters of water) before planting. For longer flights (transatlantic, Intercontinental) it is necessary to replenish additional liquids on Board (airlines usually provide water or other soft drinks in almost unlimited volume on long flights). Note, strong tea and especially coffee have a diuretic effect and are not very suitable as a hydration.

  • If, despite this, there is respiratory discomfort and shortness of breath, you should not panic (this further accelerates breathing and increases bronchospasm). You need to take a standard dose of bronchodilator.
  • And here’s an important note: before the flight, you need to check whether we have a supply of medicine for the road. Due to security policy restrictions, some airports may even require a doctor’s certificate about the need to have drugs with you on the plane – it is worth checking to avoid being left without a drug on Board.
  • As a rule, such inhalation allows you to calmly endure until the end of the flight.
  • In extreme cases, with a significant increase in shortness of breath, in the absence of a reaction to several dozen breaths of the drug and other serious symptoms appear (cyanosis, violation of consciousness), it is necessary to request the crew about the location of the oxygen chamber-always on Board and can be used if necessary.

The second problem associated with flying an airplane is the possibility of mild transmission. It’s probably hard to find a more crowded place, often occupied by a few hundred people in a matter of hours. This contributes to the easy spread of infections transmitted by droplets (with exhaled air). Admittedly, we don’t have much of an impact on this, but if there is an opportunity to change the seat, then it’s worth taking care not to sit next to someone coughing or sneezing (well, if sneezing because it’s an Allergy like us), because during the flight, probably nothing will happen, but for a few hours or days after it, you may find that the desired rest will be a period of illness.

So, you can fly, but you have to remember about hydration and the provision of medicines. Pleasant and safe travel wishes the author.

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