There’s plenty to worry about when flying. Traffic on the way to the airport, flight delays, lost luggage and jet lag are among the many inconveniences we encounter when taking a flight. However, did you know that blood clots should be on your list of concerns, too?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a severely under diagnosed, yet preventable condition. DVT is a blood clot that forms in one of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs, from sitting for long periods of time. While DVT can cause swollen or painful legs, sometimes there are no symptoms at all. 900,000 Americans are affected by DVT each year, and it can cause serious health problems, including sudden death.
If you have a pre-existing condition, such as a pulmonary embolism or renal condition, the Center for Disease Control advises that flying can increase your risk of DVT by two to four times. Even if you catch the blood clot, 50% of people will experience long term complications such as swelling, pain, discoloration, scaling of the affected limb or even a recurrence of the blood clot.
With February being Heart Health Month, it’s a good reminder to assess your current health, and recognize areas in need of improvement. A big contributor to a healthy heart is circulation, and wearing Soxxy compression socks can help increase circulation, decrease swelling and muscle soreness, and reduce the risk of blood clots. Simple actions like this, can make a big difference!
A healthy lifestyle does not eliminate the risks of DVT. Jonah Lomu, professional rugby player, was in Britain to watch his team, the All Blacks, win the Rugby World Cup. He returned home to New Zealand, and appeared to be in good health. Soon after, he died from a suspected blood clot which had traveled to his lungs. Jonah also had a pre-existing kidney condition, which put him at a higher risk of experiencing a blood clot.
John Mayhew, doctor for the All Blacks, said, “I think it was instantaneous. He was unaware of what had happened…It’s just one of those tragic complications that can occur in people with chronic renal conditions.”
In 2011, Serena Williams, tennis star, underwent foot surgery. After a flight from Los Angeles to New York, she was having her foot checked when she was rushed to the hospital for a blood clot. Williams, who had a previous pulmonary embolism, was already at an increased risk of a blood clot, when the recovery from her surgery and the cross-country flight caused a clot. Because it was caught extremely early, she was able to fully recover.
Many airlines have begun advising passengers to walk around the cabin during flight or wear compression socks to help prevent blood clots from forming. With these simple tips, you can greatly reduce your risk for DVT.
The easiest way to prevent DVT is to CHIL out and wear Soxxy compression sox while flying, recovering from surgery, or even at work! Wearing compression socks can increase circulation, reduce leg swelling and pain, reduce varicose and spider veins, help muscle recover and are diabetic safe (seamless toe).